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City Council Members' Economic Interests Include AT&T, Pfizer

Patch takes a look at financial disclosure forms filed with the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Last year, made between $10,000 and $100,000 for consulting work on the Orange County Great Park Project, and another council member, Laura Freese, received a $50 popcorn basket and $50 worth of cookies Christmas Day.

It’s time to get a glimpse into the gifts, income, property, investments and businesses of the San Juan Capistrano City Council members, as reported in their statements of economic interests for 2010.

The statements, which list wealth and personal investments of California's elected officials, are filed yearly to show where potential conflicts of interest may exist.

Roman Porter, executive director of the California Fair Political Practices Commission—the governmental body that collects the statements of economic interests—said that the financial disclosure forms have a two-fold purpose.

“They provide the public with information to ensure that the official is making government decisions for the benefit for the public and not for their personal economic benefit,” Porter said.

And, Porter said, the disclosures serve as reminders to officials of what their personal stakes are before they make decisions, so they can avoid conflicts of interests.

California law prohibits officials from accepting a gift or gifts totaling more than $420 in a calendar year, and officials must report all gifts of more than $50, according to Porter.

Porter said the law does not require exact figures on certain parts of the disclosure forms, for example, listing stock value as between $2,000 and $10,000 or over $1,000,000.

Here’s what the San Juan Capistrano council members reported for 2010: 

MAYOR SAM ALLEVATO

In 2011, Allevato reported receiving between $10,000 to $100,000 for consulting work on the Great Park project in Irvine, from Forde & Mollrich, a Newport Beach consulting firm. 

Allevato reported no gifts.

LAURA FREESE 

On Christmas Day 2010, Freese received a gift of a popcorn basket from  in San Juan Capistrano with a value of $50, and a donation of cookies from the Costa Mesa law firm of Woodruff, Spadline and Smart worth $50.

Freese also reported owning between $2,000 to $10,000 in stock from Bare Escentuals, a makeup company, acquired in August 2006, which she disposed of March 3, 2010.

Freese listed herself as co-owner of the Savings Express of South Orange County, a marketing business, which has a fair market value of between $100,001 to $1 million. She said she received more than $100,000 in gross income from the business.

She is also co-owner of Capistrano Sunrooms, a building general contractor, with a fair-market value between $100,001 and $1 million. The business provided her with a gross income of more than $100,000.

In January 2006, Freese acquired between $2,000 and $10,000 in stock from UPS, and $2,000 and $10,000 in Target stock. She disposed of both in 2009.

LARRY KRAMER

reported that he owned between $10,001 to $100,000 in ExxonMobil stock and between $10,000 to $100,000 in AT&T

stock.

He also owned between $10,001 and $100,000 in water bonds from the Calleguas and Las Virgenes municipal water districts.

Kramer reported no gifts.

DEREK REEVE

Reeve listed his business, the Law Office of Derek Reeve, as having a fair- market value of between $2,000 to $10,000 and lists a gross income between $1,001 to $10,000.

Reeve reported no gifts.

JOHN TAYLOR

owned between $10,001 and $100,000 worth of stock in Pfizer, the pharmaceuticals company, and between $10,001 to $100,000 worth of stock in Corinthian Colleges, trade schools.

He also listed his gross income from his wife’s business, Goin Native, as between $0 to $499. The business reportedly has a fair market value of $2,000 to $10,000.

Taylor reported owning property at 31660 Lobo St. and receiving $10,000 to $100,000 in rent.

Taylor reported receiving no gifts.

TheJellyFish March 28, 2011 at 08:55 PM
Interestingly, Mayor Allevato received money from a company that does work for the Great Park in Irvine. The Great Park in Irvine receives its funding partially from the Redevelopment Agency. Mayor Allevato sent out to all residents a letter endorsing the Redevelopment Agency and to not stop the funding. Additionall, he sent a signed on City letterhead to the Governor asking him to not stop funding for the Redevelopment Agency. Did Mayor Allevato disclose in his letter to the residents on the Redevelopment Agency that he receives his most of his primary income from funding by the Redevelopment Agency? No he did not. So much for Allevatos transparency in government.
Clint Worthington March 28, 2011 at 09:00 PM
Jellyfish, that brings up an excellent point. If you have found out that Sam Allevato has this income from a RDA, I wonder if any of Laure Freese clients have received any funding from the RDA? It would be interesting to find out.
rick lyons March 28, 2011 at 09:04 PM
At the last City Council meeting some people spoke about the relationship with Allevato and the Redevelopment Agency. Did Allevato have approval of the City Council to send out that letter? If he did not have that authorization to send out that letter with the City Seal on it, has he been reprimanded by the City Council? How can a Mayor who has an obvious conflict of interest with the Redevelopment Agency send out a letter like that. Someone needs to look into this.
smoothpuss2 March 28, 2011 at 09:07 PM
Let me get this straight. Sam receives his primary income from a company that receives its income from a redevelopment agency and he sends out a letter to the residents supporting the redevelopment agency. I did google Sam's name and it said Sam was a spokesperson for the great park as if he worked directly for the great park in irvine.
socalfam March 28, 2011 at 10:37 PM
Sam Allevato isn't known for his transparency, or for being forthcoming with info that exposes his agenda like being paid (indirectly) with redevelopment agency dollars. I didn't see mention of any gifts from Laura Freese's pal Eric Altman, the owner of the Vaquero West building. She shoulda got soemthing for promoting the use of redevelopment agency dollars to fund her pal Eric's renovation and expansion of his privately owned building. The first "loan" (at little or no interest) was for around $450,000 if memory serves (could be more). But now he's come back to the council for another $900,000 (slightly more I believe) "loan" to finish his building. Of what public benefit is a private office building with potentially one or two small retail shops? This is what I find so disturbing about these council members; they have no problem spending OPM ("other people's money"), which is YOUR tax dollars, while continuing to increase our city's debt. The redevelopment agency in our little town already is in debt more than $47 million. Time to send these two packing when the next election rolls around.
Orrie Brown March 29, 2011 at 01:48 AM
Exactly, socalfam. If you are an elected official and you are out of touch with your constituents you just may find yourself out of office. 2012 can't come soon enough!

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