The forensic audit at the Great Park has been extended until after the first of the year, but City council member Christina Shea says contractors to the Park are to blame for getting documents over late. But according to this story in the OC Register, those contractors say the auditors didn’t even contact them until October 8 and 9, about a week before the audit was supposed to be finished.
Stu Mollrich or Forde & Mollrich and Ken Smith, the park’s original design lead, tell the Register that the auditor, HSNO of Costa Mesa, didn’t even contact them until October 8 for F&M and October 9 for Smith. Mollrich and Smith both responded to the auditors on October 9, with Mollruch asking for the auditor’s specific questions in writing and Smith reminding the auditors that his contracts were a joint venture with Gafcon and that the great Park Design Studio had copies of all his contracts.
There are three takeaways here. Shea accused these contractors of being evasive with auditors and was quoted saying “If I had nothing to hide, I would not have a problem discussing my involvement.” The question Shea should be asking is of the auditor, “Why did it take three months and three weeks to contact contractors on tow of the largest expenditures at the Great Park?” And how about “why are there no 30-day update reports as was called for in the contract.” The second takeaway is Shea suggesting that the auditors might need another year to gather documents. Hmmm, what is on the calendar in a year? Could it be a city council and mayoral election of which the Forensic Audit will play a starring role in the Republican strategy? Last takeaway, Shea is notorious for sending cease-and-desist letters and trying to silence those who criticize her. In suggesting that the contractors were evasive and not the auditor being tardy in contacting them, she has opened herself and the city to possible defamation litigation.
It’s clear the GOP council majority’s strategy here is to delay the reporting of the audit for as long as possible. Lie to suggest contractors are being uncooperative and have something to hide. They should be ashamed of themselves for this delay and suggesting there’s no cooperation from F&M or Smith.