Attorney General Jerry Brown responds to the festering scandal surrounding the sale of the OC Fair Ground with a stunning move in a letter dated December 1st to the Chair of the OC Fair Board.
I wrote about the issue in a Calitics Diary in October, and I even talked to him for a few minutes about the issue at the CADem Eboard meeting in November, and criticized him sharply for failing to act.
The AG’s initial response was as an attorney representing a state agency, with the the 32nd Agricultural District Fair Board as a client. But he put the staff to work, found the relevant section of the law, and has left the eight Fair Board members and Orange County Republican insiders on their own.
In the letter from Matt Rodriguez, the ranking staff attorney in the AG’s office, there’s one killer sentence.
“Given the seemingly intertwined and potentially conflicting interests of the District, the District Board members and the nonprofit, we have determined that we should withdraw from providing legal services.”
This may read like a simple bureaucratic letter, but in fact it’s a stunning rebuke to the political appointees at the Orange County Fair Board. When you’re a state agency, the Attorney General is your attorney. In general, when your attorney quits you, it’s a devastating sign that you’ve really screwed the pooch. When your attorney is the Attorney General of the State of California, and he quits, it’s probably time for a bunch of folks to be looking for criminal attorneys.
Jerry Brown acted decisively and quickly here, given the necessity of acting in the best interest of the state.