Recusal Reasons: Tait’s Firm has Billed County for More than $600K to Date

Mayor Tom Tait, Anaheim (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

Mayor Tom Tait, Anaheim (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

The Voice of OC ran a story last week about the friendship between Anaheim Council member Kris Murray and Carrie Nocella, who handles government relations for Disney.  AnaheimBlog addressed the post with details that both women were friends before Murray was elected to the city council and their sons attend the same elementary school. But that’s not what this post is about, but it provides context —  a comment from Orange Juice Blog publisher Vern Nelson is what this post is really about.

Nelson wrote:

Vern Pat Nelson

Anaheim’s klepto city attorney Michael Houston lets his patrons in the majority (Brandman, Murray, Kring) get away with anything. But he finds the most farfetched “conflicts” to make Mayor Tait recuse himself, and Boy Scout Tait does so. For example, Tait had no vote, or even the ability to comment, on the subject of homeless shelters, because HIS COMPANY SOMETIMES DOES BUSINESS WITH THE COUNTY. We were all like, you don’t have to listen to everything Houston tells you, but Tom is honest to a fault. It’s like fighting with gloves on against a gang with switchblades and grenade launchers.

We’ll take exception with Nelson’s description that Tait’s company sometimes does business with the county.  According to records obtained by TheLiberalOC, since January 2014, Tait & Associates has received a total of $627, 727.10 for more than 100 separate invoices ranging from $65 to more than $30,000.  Does this make Tait part of the county “kleptocracy?”  What’s the minimum on a government contract that makes it so?

The spreadsheet document is  here.

So for those criticizing the Michael Houston for “forcing” Tait to recuse himself from votes on items pertaining to the county, Tait really doesn’t have much of a choice.  It’s my firm belief Tait’s interest in the city’s OCTA seat, from which his firm holds contracts, is more about making connections and becoming aware of long term projects so after he leaves office and can legally pursue business with that agency, his firm will have an unfair advantage.  Its about business development rather than good government.

This is a case of a Mayor of the County’s largest city recusing himself from a significant amount of city business due to a business conflict, one must ask if residents and taxpayers are well served here.

  11 comments for “Recusal Reasons: Tait’s Firm has Billed County for More than $600K to Date

  1. August 13, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Oh! I’m IN this story, I guess that’s why Dan keeps texting me about it. I almost didn’t read it. By the way, Ryan keeps trying to comment; he tried to comment on this story and his last six comments haven’t got published; Dan tells me he hasn’t banned him so I don’t know what’s going on with that.

    All I know is Dan kept texting me “Tait’s company makes such-and-such money from the county,” and I’m all, “that’s OUTRAGEOUS, and he did no work for it, just like Brandman!? Keep digging, Dan!” I didn’t know this was about whether or not he should be recused from homeless shelter discussions.

    As far as Tom’s devious secret motivations for getting on the OCTA board, I’m glad Dan can see so deeply into the hearts of men he’s never met. All I know is that his predecessor Gail Eastman supported everything she was ordered to by her puppeteers – from toll lanes on the 405 to the Disney Streetcar, and Tom opposes those for all the right reasons. We need more people like Tom Tait on our boards and commissions. Wish we could clone him.

    • junior
      August 13, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Don’t you have your own blog to ban people from commenting on?

  2. August 13, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Hey wait a second – isn’t this a second, way-toned down version of this story? First version caused [the de facto banned] Ryan to write me, “[Dan] didn’t even read his spreadsheet. He’s quoting two years worth of invoices as one . . . because he can’t read.” And then you texted me yourself: “Got a text from the county on the mistake. Fixed it.” Wow, the whole county had to freakin text you.

    JUST SAYIN’ because, I thought you were Mr. Best Practices of Blogging, Journamalism, etc, etc. Shouldn’t you have a little tag saying something like “An earlier version of this story mistakenly stated that bla bla bla…”

    • Dan Chmielewski
      August 13, 2015 at 7:36 pm

      You want me to add a disclaimer? You didn’t when Greg called the Costa Mesa council election wrong. Tell you what Vern. I’m touched you and Greg are so concerned about how this blog is run. Guess what? You can stick it. I don’t care what you think. Practice what you preach on your own site.

      • Greg Diamond
        August 13, 2015 at 8:24 pm

        That was a prediction; this is a statement of fact. Did you realize that? Do you know the difference? Do you care about the difference?

        And … please don’t make me start to compile a list of your failed election (and political fate) predictions; as I agree with you on most of Irvine — except that I don’t wear blinders and a ball gag when I wrote — that would evoke too many unhappy memories.

        • August 14, 2015 at 10:34 am

          please do start a list. I think my predictions have a higher batting average than yours.

          • Greg Diamond
            August 14, 2015 at 5:09 pm

            Well of course you think that. You’re completely capable of convincing yourself that your last name contains fewer letters than my last name, if you had to to win some sort of bizarre and trivial point. “Triumph of the will,” I think it has been called.

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    August 13, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Vern, I texted you about this hours ago. The file I saw show a view for 2015 and a total. County let me know it was 2 years not one. I was able to update the post according. The amount is still the same. I will ask again…you guys seem to think every government contract is evil. Tait’s business has had an uptick since was was elected mayor with government contracts. If voters knew Tait would recuse himself on every vote dealing with the county, perhaps they would have gone a different direction. Public service or business. Tait should pick one.

    You’re being dishonest about an edit I told you hours ago. I fixed my mistake. Fix yours

    • August 13, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      So, the lesson you glean from all of the OJ’s writings on the abuses of OC’s kleptocracy is “all government contracts are evil?”

      What a simpleton…

  4. Greg Diamond
    August 13, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    It’s really ironic — and desperately sad — that the notion of “fair pay for honest work deriving from an arms-length transaction doesn’t even arise in this analysis.

    I mean, seriously — how does one write a piece like this and not raise the question of whether that is what was going on here? Is this some Freudian projection thing?

    • August 14, 2015 at 10:34 am

      So only Tait’s company does honest work…..?

Comments are closed.