Monkey Business at the Clerk/Recorder’s Office? Why Did Tom Daly Pay His Campaign Supporter $50K?

Tom Daly, in happier times...

UPDATE: Allan Bartlett has helped close the circle on the Daly-Barbre financial connection. Here is the link that shows a $1000 campaign contribution from Barbre back to Daly. Even if there is no overt kickback here it sure stinks like Hell.

– GC

Has there been fiscal misfeasance by Tom Daly at the County Clerk/Recorder’s office?  As we previously indicated, here, OC Clerk Recorder paid self-styled public relations “consultant” and Municipal Water Board member Brett Barbre tens of thousands of dollars in 2008 and 2009 to assist in the creation of some sort of OC sports “hall of fame.” A public records search has turned up invoices from Barbre to Tom Daly’s department for almost $50,000, with almost nothing to show for it. Interestingly, as early as March, 2009 Barbre, who is  a Republican, made himself conspicuous as an endorser of Daly in his now defunct campaign for 4th District County Supervisor.

What the records show is that in February 2008 the County Clerk’s office engaged the services of Barbre in a contract for $15,000 and later in a $3000 per month extension, to delve into the subject of creating a sports hall of fame museum.

What the consultant selection process was, why Mr. Barbre was chosen, what his qualifications were, and why the taxpayers were put on the hook for this dubious concept project may never be known. But what is known is that from May 2008 through June 2009 the County paid Barbre $48,000 with virtually no evidence of any accomplishment at all.

Our request for “all activity status reports” and “lists of work completed” turned up three short memorandums and an incomplete spreadsheet listing Orange County High Schools and their mascots.

We have been provided with no evidence to suggest that any of the activities outlined in Barbre’s contract were ever achieved. Added to the evident lack of accomplishment seems to be a reluctance to publicize the hall of fame brainstorm at all. Very telling is a sentence from a January 15, 2009 memorandum from Barbre to Tom Daly, in which Barbre says about the whole idea: I would suggest keeping it fairly low key until the budget mess at the state and the county are behind us.

Right. No sense in letting the public know that the Clerk/Recorder Tom Daly is squandering public money on such a hare-brained scheme during a recession, including giving Barbre $3,000 a month to ponder the sports hall of fame concept, while county employees are about to be laid off.

A very big sports fan.

We have been informed by the County Public Information office that we are not in possession of all the work product documents, and that something else is forthcoming. This strikes us as particularly odd since Barbre’s questionable “services” were concluded nine months ago and our records request was made several weeks ago. We can’t help but consider the possibility that something is being fabricated up after the fact to make it appear as if the $48,000 slipped to Barbre by Daly produced more than a few short memos and an incomplete list of Orange County’s High Schools and their mascots. Well, we’ll soon find out.

The final disturbing piece to this puzzle is the fact that Brett Barbre’s name appears on Tom Daly’s March, 2009 fundraiser host committee list – the event in which he launched his abortive campaign for County supervisor; and that later, in the summer of 2009, Barbre assumed the office of ambassador to the OC GOP Central Committee for newly-minted Republican Renee Ramirez, Daly’s employee and hand-picked successor for the County Clerk’s job.

First column, six down.

Ironically, we note that Daly pulled the plug on his supervisorial campaign last Friday – the very same day we presented ourselves at the County to pick up the Barbre documents.

That’s the story so far. It doesn’t paint a pretty picture of either competence or probity within Tom Daly’s bureaucratic regime. The self-styled fiscal conservative seems to have been anything but conservative with public funds, and, as will become painfully evident in subsequent posts, this episode is not a lone example.

Hall of fame? Really? Maybe what we need in OC is a hall of shame – for politicians who abuse the public trust. We’ve got a recommendation for the first inductee.

Behind Closed Doors Dead heads Orange County Government Repuglicanism Setting The Bar Low

45 thoughts on “Monkey Business at the Clerk/Recorder’s Office? Why Did Tom Daly Pay His Campaign Supporter $50K?

  1. How dare you guys barge in on those poor county employees and request some public documents. Apologize to them right now! This is America, not Nazi Germany.

  2. Now we know why he quit the supervisors race so abruptly on Friday. Hah, loser!

    Wait, I’m a taxpayer. The joke’s on me. Damn.

  3. I can see the mailers now:
    “DALY BLOWS $48,000 TAX-DOLLARS ON SPORTS HALL OF FAME! STOP WASTEFUL SPENDING, STOP DALY!”

    That’s Colon Rubble’s boy for you…

  4. Incomplete list of high school mascots? Just fax the list to Norby in Sacto today. He’ll fil it in from memory and have it back by lunch. Jesus man, three G’s per month for high school mascots. It would be hard to find a more brazen waste of taxpayer money.

    With regard to hiring a donor to take this nifty gig, please have someone at FFFF call the DA today. We are entitled to justice.

  5. It makes many wonder if this is going on in other departments throughout Orange County government.

    It would be like looking for a needle in a haysack on any documents under Public Records request, but one may be surprised to find something.

  6. In the few years that I was working at OC I never saw anything like this but I wasn’t upper management either. I wouldn’t be surprised if certain elected department heads did something similar.

  7. I’ve been hearing a lot of rumors about corruption within Daly’s department. This one turned out to be true. Makes me wonder about the rest of them…

    1. Right you are, Sean. Right now Jerbal Cunningham and Colony Drabble are performing pro-Daly gymnastics and wet lingual insertions with County employee/stooge Chris Prevatt.

      The topic? Nguyen’s claim that the Clerk’s Department is “over budget.” In the world of wordsmithing and perpetual parsing this doesn’t pass muster.

      Fortunately WE know exactly what he meant. The department collects too much revenue and wastes it! Technically Daly is under budget – only because he is charging people too much! He can’t be over budget, that’s an impossibility.

      The example above demonstrates, at best, a complete lack of management and vendor performance controls; at worst just a bribe to a campaign supporter.

  8. This guy Tom Daly thinks he is untouchable. We need to teach this guy a lesson that you can’t waste taxpayers money for your own agenda.

    The County of Orange is hurting for money and people are getting layoff and taking furloughs and this guy is abusing our money.

    We have liberOC and Redcounty defending and supporting this guy even though he doing some crazy stuff.

    I met Hugh Nguyen on Tuesday at an event in Fullerton and he is a really nice guy. I bet he would do a better job than Tom Daly.

  9. “Barbre is the Principal of Barbre & Associates, a public affairs company specializing in lobbying, campaigns, media and public relations. “

        1. #30, that’s a badge of honor, no wonder why the Republican party has no soul, people like Jerbal have hijacked the nincompoops repuglican elected with wordsmithing and misdirections.

  10. Barbre should show up on Harry’s Host Committee here any second before his next fundraiser.

    I think Barbre is their trash companies consultant

    1. The whole thing stinks. If everything was on the up-and-up, it is still a huge waste. There is no way to justify the C/R Office seeking a Sport’s Hall of Fame with tax money. No way…

  11. I notice that Daly lists Hon. Ralph Clark as one of his supporters. Ralph Clark died in June of 2009.

    I wonder if Tom is planning to take a page out of the Chicago Daley’s playbook and have dead people vote for him too.

  12. ALL EYES ARE ON TOM DALY.

    YOU HAVE BEEN A BAD BOY AND SPENDING TAXPAYERS MONEY ON A SATELITE OFFICE IN FULLERTON THAT CAUSE THE COUNTY $7,500 A MONTH. YOU DID THAT BECAUSE YOU WANTED TO RUN FOR 4TH DISTRICT SUPERVISOR. WE WERE TOLD BY YOUR SOME OF YOUR SUPPORTERS THAT CAN’T BELIEVE YOU DROP OUT OF THE RACE.

    NOW YOU ARE GIVING OUT FREE MONEY TO FRIENDS (CONTRACTORS) IN RETURN THEY DONATE $1,000 TO YOUR CAMPAIGN.

    SHIRLEY WHERE ARE YOU PLEASE INVESTIGATE HIS CAMPAIGN STATMENT!

    I WANT MY MONEY BACK THAT I DONATE TO YOU FOR YOUR 4TH DISTRICT SUPERVISOR RACE NOT FOR THE CLERK-RECORDER’S RACE!

  13. I just want to say a big thank you to FFFF for bringing this to light. The OC Register should be ashamed of themselves for failing to look around and find this sort of payola. How hard would it be for full time journalists to comb through the county’s list of contract vendors and ask a few questions.

    This type of behavior by Mr. Daly is outrageous and he owes the taxpayers a big appology. Barbre better fork over some work product before the end of tomorrow or I will always be suspicious that anything turned over after this weekend was a product of a weekend cramming session.

  14. Tom Daly can you write me a fake contract and write me a check for $48,000 of taxpayers money.

    You should be ashamed of yourself. Barbe donate to your campaign $1,000 dollars. What kind of bullshit is this.

    You are suppose to protect our records not give your friends taxpayers money.

    WE NEED TO MAKE SOME SIGNS THAT SAYS:

    PLEASE DO NOT VOTE FOR TOM DALY FOR THE JUNE 8, 2010 ELECTIONS.

  15. Come on People, that’s just good economics!! if Daly paid me $50,000 i would vote for him too, and I might even donate to his campaign, whatever he is running for that month.

  16. Isnt there some sort of County oversite for this type of graft??? I thought this stuff just went on in Chicago and DC.

  17. Great stuff guys. Although i thought it was interesting that Daly’s documents say “Friends of Tom Daly for Clerk Recorder for 2010”. Did he ever seriously plan to run for Supervisor? or was he just trying to raise more money for his campaign? What a fraud

  18. Keep looking FFFF, there is a lot more than these shady contracts at the C/R office. This guys is completely dishonest. just read the comments from his staff.

  19. Chris, if Hugh Nguyen takes the election, a mess of those folks will be fired.

    There is more on Daly and it will be coming forth in the next couple of weeks. At least thats my take on the whole thing.

  20. Tom Day stop wasting taxpayers money by paying out yours friends.

    You should resign immediately!

    Someone needs to investigate these allegations.

    Hello Board of Supervisors!

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