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Irvine Seeks Contempt Charge Against Ex-Mayor For Evading Great Park Questions

By R. Scott Moxley

The City of Irvine has filed a lawsuit asking a judge to issue a contempt order against former mayor Larry Agran for refusing to answer questions under oath about financial benefits he may have received from Orange County Great Park contractors when he controlled the $1.6 billion project.

Anthony R. Taylor, the city’s special counsel, filed the superior court case this week in hopes of forcing Agran, a 1992 Democratic Party presidential primary candidate, to field questions he adamantly refused to answer during a March deposition.

Failure to obey a court order could result in jail time.

Agran–a lawyer and longtime boss of a political machine that ran Irvine and its proposed Great Park project for 12 years until 2012–has had troubled explaining how he spent $250 million in taxpayer funds without building a single, major planned feature.

Read more at OC Weekly…

Irvine council to consider suing Agran to force testimony

By Sarah de Crescenzo

IRVINE – Less than a week after Councilwoman Christina Shea blamed the latest delay in the release of the Orange County Great Park audit on former Councilman Larry Agran and threatened to take him to court, the City Council is set to consider suing Agran to force his testimony.

The comprehensive review of more than $200 million spent on the park’s development began in June of 2013.

While Agran has called the audit politically motivated, its proponents have said the accounting is needed to determine whether spending was wasteful or inappropriate.

The timeline for the audit’s release has been repeatedly extended. On Tuesday, Shea said Agran’s demands to be deposed “on his own terms” were holding up the final report.

Earlier this week, Agran dismissed the intimation that he is at fault for the audit’s delay.

The audit began in 2013 while he was a council member, but he did not receive any request for audit-related information until after he was voted out of office in December, he said.

Agran said he agreed to respond via writing to queries about Great Park-related documents he has provided, but that the city demanded he answer in person.

He did not appear for the deposition scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, according to a transcript from the meeting, held at the Irvine office of Aleshire & Wynder, the law firm overseeing the audit.

Through his attorney, Agran has requested the deposition be delayed until late March and that the city pay his legal fees.

Continue reading at the O.C. Register…