A Tale of Two Toms


Anybody can juggle one orange.

It’s not easy to look like you’re taking responsibility for some screw up or other when in reality you’re trying to spin as fast as you can to avoid accountability. But that’s exactly what seasoned bureaucrats do, and that’s precisely what County CEO Tom Mauk is up to now. It’s same old song: mistakes were made (passive voice, no subject of sentence), but corrective action is being implemented.

I have gotten hold of Mauk’s report to the Board of Supervisors about the massive fiasco in the County’s acquisition of the money pit at 433 West Civic Center – at the behest of the other Tom, County Clerk Tom Daly.

View the full memo

It would seem that the Board was never given crucial information about the true costs of remodel and remodel/expansion of the building. This data is shown in Attachment A to Mauk’s report, and is damning. Mauk doesn’t really even say he’s sorry for not passing critical cost information to the Board. The projected amounts developed by the County RDMD  were significant – in the millions – and congruent with the ultimate figures presented by Kishimoto Architects, hired by Daly after the sale went through.

What information the Board was given was rosy: work on the building would be relatively minor, that the building was “reasonably maintained,” and that renovation would be done by Daly.

Wrong on all counts.

But everything is still okay, see, because the County has been using the lot for parking and has saved a whopping $26,000 a year. Mauk wraps up his report with this whopper:

“In the meantime, it does appear that having the property in our inventory is a positive outcome.”

Well only in government bureaucracies is wasting  $2,100,000 on a near worthless property considered a positive outcome. I can only hope some Supervisor who really wants to supervise something will ask Mauk to quantify that statement. Mr. Moorlach?

Mauk may choose to do the Texas two-step around the truth, but I won’t. Check out the list of people CC’d at the bottom of that RDMD memo. The County Clerk was well aware of the millions needed to make that building functional and yet disclosed none of it to the Board; neither did the RDMD staff who created it. How come this happened? Mauk doesn’t bother to inform his readers. Hopefully the Board will be curious.

Ooops!

Was Daly hoping his $60,000 investment in Townsend and Associates was going to pay off with a big State grant that would cover the true costs to relocate the archives? If so that idea sure bombed big time.

What is inescapable is the conclusion that both the Clerk’s Department and the RDMD deliberately withheld the true financial implications of this acquisition in order to get the Board to go along with it. Is there another explanation? It would also appear that Mr. Mauk would now like the whole thing whitewashed.

So that’s the story. Now, who’s going to do something about it?

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  1. #1 by Tom DeLay on May 19, 2010

    We Toms gotta look out for each other, you know what I mean?

  2. #2 by Anaheim Dude on May 19, 2010

    Over at FibOC that creep prevatt is trying to pitch this memo as some sort of vindication for Daly instead of what it really is – a smoking gun.

    Let’s recap: a whole slew of RDMD and Clerk people were hip the costs but didn’t pass them to the Board who bought the proverbial pig in a poke.

    Mauk and Prevatt are spinning a “positive outcome.” It will be for mauk if there’s no accountability.

    Only in government circles is a liability confused with an asset. But Moorlach’s a CPA and should know better.

  3. #3 by Joe Sipowicz on May 19, 2010

    Mauk must go. He’s made himself complicit in a cover up.

  4. #4 by Tony Serra on May 19, 2010

    Chris Prevatt is a LONG BEACH LOSER.

    I don’t know what buisness he has reporting/commenting on OC ISSUES except, protecting his inflated OC pension.

    This guy and his lap band buddy are lazy wannabe’s. Otherwise, They would actually move to OC and/or go on a diet.

    THE LIBERAL OC: Taking the easy way out!

  5. #5 by Fullerton Rudy on May 19, 2010

    That Prevatt is an embarrassment. His argument is that the purchase of the building was a stand alone action – that the actual costs of remodel/expansion were not relevant.

    What? Would anybody buy a house without knowing how much it wouls cost to make it habitable. And then pay market rate for a tear down?

    The guy who owned that building paid 1.5 for it in 2005. In 2008 at the bottom of the market the building was suddenly worth 2.1 – an increase in value of 40%? Only in County government.

    But Prevatt’s job like Cunningham’s on the other side – is to talk away incompetence and malfeasance on the part of his boy Daly. Pathetic.

    BTW, this issue is exactly why we need Nelson on the BOS.

  6. #6 by Faceplant on May 19, 2010

    Fullerton Rudy :That Prevatt is an embarrassment.

    Would anybody buy a house without knowing how much it wouls cost to make it habitable. And then pay market rate for a tear down?

    Prevatt himself is not exactly beacon of fiscal responsibility, so it makes sense that he can’t do the simple math on this one.

  7. #7 by Sayonara on May 19, 2010

    Mauk.

  8. #8 by Mad as Hell Tax payer on May 19, 2010

    Where is the AUDITOR CONTROLLER and the DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE. I could be wrong but, I THINK THIS ENTIRE DEAL WARRANTS AN AUDIT AND AN INVESTIGATION FOR MISAPPROPRIATION OF TAXPAYERS MONEY.

    Think about that and let heads roll where they may.

  9. #9 by Mad as Hell Tax payer on May 19, 2010

    When is the next election for CEO (if any). MAUK NEEDS TO BE GONE ALONG WITH TOM DALY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. #10 by Tony Serra on May 19, 2010

    #9: I would’nt hold my breath.

    The Assistant CEO is a guy, Rob Richardson, who once said:

    “What do you mean, The supervisors are doing a WONDERFUL job”. This in 1995 during the midst of the county Bankruptcy!

    These guys have no clue!

  11. #11 by Turning Blurple on May 19, 2010

    Why is Daly’s nose so red?

  12. #12 by We are watching on May 20, 2010

    His nose is so red from snorting all the tax payer’s money away. He gets a high every time he wastes money that isn’t his. That is what carree politicians are best at. NO MORE CAREER POLITICIANS!! VOTE DALY OUT AND INTO RETIREMENT!!! BTW this is what happens when your your closest advisor (Renee Ramirez) didn’t earn a college degree. Funny, Daly a harvard graduate listening to advise from a high schooler.

  13. #13 by We are watching on May 20, 2010

    Wait the same thing happened to Carona. If I recall correctly, his assitant also didn’t earn a degree. I guess history tends to repeat its self.

  14. #14 by tea party partier on May 20, 2010

    Board of Supervisors – please have Mr. Mauk show you (and us) how he calculated this $26,000 annual savings. Mauk says that he is saving this money on employee parking??? If that is true how come there is a sign on lot that says “PUBLIC PARKING”? What a complete lie.

    Please show us what employees were previously parking at a pay lot, and then are now parking at the 433 Civic Center lot!!!

  15. #15 by OC public works on May 20, 2010

    I would have to question Mauk’s response as well. I work for OC public works and we asked the Clerk Recorder if we could use the 433 civic center parking lot for county employees in January 2009 (because it was sitting unused). They told us no, because they has leased the lot out to a private company. So how can they be saving money on employee parking?????

  16. #16 by Joe public on May 20, 2010

    The biggest laugh regarding Mauk’s memo is that the building is an asset to the County inventory!!! the building sat on the market for two years without any offers until the Clerk Recorder came along. Why is Mauk protecting Daly???

  17. #17 by Joe Sipowicz on May 20, 2010

    #16 – I’m starting to get the idea Mauk is protecting Mauk. Why else deliberately get himself involved in whitewashing a conspiracy?

  18. #18 by Someonewhoknowsathingortwo on May 20, 2010

    Tom Daly lied to Mauk again. There are several clerk-recorder employees parking at the privately owned parking lot behund the abandoned YMCA building. At least 10 from what I can count. I know several employees at the CR department and they park at that lot and pay just like my agency did unless Daly and Mike harrah cut a deal with Tom for space at his new Braodway Tower. But plese lot into this and someone go to the D.A. with these lies!!

  19. #19 by Iowa hawkeye on May 20, 2010

    Did Mauk (or whoever wrote that memo) ever get off their fat government ass and walk over to the lot before he wrote the memo??? Its clearly a “public” parking lot now, not an employee lot. So how could they possibly be saving the money?

  20. #20 by Joe Public on May 20, 2010

    Are these county leaders that incompetent where they cant tell if a parking lot right under their nose is a public lot or an employee lot?

  21. #21 by Blurple on May 20, 2010

    JP, welcome to 2010

  22. #22 by Joe Public on May 20, 2010

    I dont know, even if you do “new” math, $2.1 million for a 30 space parking lot doesnt sound like a good deal to me.

  23. #23 by tea partier on May 20, 2010

    Come on JP, thats only an 81 year payback period. how can you say thats not a good deal!

  24. #24 by This is Bullshit on May 21, 2010

    Tom Daly is the biggest liar. Chris Prevatt is an IDIOT. How can this be a positive outcome. Mr. Mauk you must be pretty stupid or afraid to tell the truth. Is Tom Daly paying you to not tell the truth.

    Supervisor John Moorlach you must step up to the plate and tell this guy enough is enough. It’s such an embarrassment that the Supervisors are afraid to touch or go after Tom Daly.

    This is the worst deal in Orange County. We purchased a building for $2.1 million dollars and now we still have to spend $2.5 to $7.5 million dollars and this is positive outcome. Mr. Mauk you should be fired on the spot.

    Tom Daly you should be ashamed of yourself and do us all a big favor and quit. I will file a complaint with the grand jury and District Attorney soon that you are mismanaging and abusing taxpayers money.

  25. #25 by OC Clerk/Recorder on September 10, 2010

    Just found this post. Excellent recap. Moorlach’s “investigation” was performed by Mr. Coverup T. Mauk, the same guy who recommended purchase and who was assigned the job of negotiating with the seller in the first place.

    Check it out it’s in the record!

    Thanks, Moorlach. Only in OC government do you send one of the perps to investigate the crime!

  26. #26 by Fullerton Rudy on September 10, 2010

    I pointed that out too last spring. Some investigation. Moorlach voted for this disaster and didn’t want the truth to come out, either.

  27. #27 by admin on September 10, 2010

    Fear not, lads. That one is still on my radar screen. The evidence is clear – a deliberate fraud was perpetrated and then covered up.

Comments are closed.