In the 7-year history of TheLiberalOC, we’ve done our share of digging into political corruption. We have on numerous occasions found a few meaty bones along the way. Throughout our experiences, we have been frustrated over the lack of official interest on the part of regulatory and law enforcement agencies in allocating significant resources to follow up with their own investigations. That is why the revelation yesterday by Voice of OC that a task force of federal, state, and local agencies has been formed to look into allegations of corruption infesting the Orange County Board of Supervisors has us in a hopeful mood.
Voice of OC reports [FBI Spearheads Task Force to Probe OC Political Corruption]:
The FBI, Internal Revenue Service, district attorney and U.S. attorney’s office have formed a task force to investigate reports of political corruption in Orange County, the FBI confirmed Wednesday.
The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission, which enforces campaign reporting laws and is investigating a majority of the Board of Supervisors, as well as the board of CalOptima, also is working closely with the task force, according to county sources.
Also in April, the Orange County grand jury called for creation of a county ethics commission, citing the county’s 40-year history of corruption. Supervisors rejected the idea and blasted the grand jury, claiming it was mistaken.
The Voice of OC story points out that former Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona was convicted of witness tampering in 2008 and sentenced to federal prison after an FBI investigation. When the feds start digging, you can bet that they have seen enough evidence to make it look like a substantive dig will be fruitful.
We are pleased that an investigation of the back-room deals resulting in no-bid contracts that explode with change orders and cost tax payers far more than initially planned. The Orange County Board of Supervisors has resisted true lobbying regulation aimed at curtailing the pay-to-play nature of the County’s more than $5 billion budget. They have rejected the most basic of efforts to track who they are meeting with prior to public meetings in order to seal the deals they approve without oversight or control.
There’s something rancid about the basket of oranges stored on the fifth-floor office suites of the Board of Supervisors. We hope the investigators follow their noses, and remove the rotten fruit to deep-cold storage in a federal prison somewhere in Colorado.