Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Was Tom Fuentes a shill for LFC re the Coast Rabbit Island sale?

     As you know, recently, reporters have been sniffing around some curious factoids concerning “embattled” OC Public Administrator/Guardian John Williams and a firm — a contributor to Williams' reelection campaign — that has been selected (perhaps under the radar) to sell properties for the County (see "Auction House and Public Administrator").
     Legendary (i.e., notorious) OC Republican Neanderthal, Tom Fuentes, brought the firm, LFC (Lange Financial Corporation), and Williams together. (Fuentes and Williams have been on the SOCCCD Board of Trustees together since 2000.)
     Fuentes downplayed his association with LFC, seemingly suggesting that he never worked for the firm and that, at most, for a time he used office space at LFC that was donated to the Claremont Institute, with which Fuentes is associated. In fact, however, at one point, the SOCCCD biography for Fuentes identifies him as a “Senior Vice President” for the LFC group of companies.
     Further, to this day, Fuentes uses an LFC email address.
     Today, I received an email from a Coast Community College District source that appears to confirm the suspicion that Mr. Fuentes has been an energetic agent for (or advocate of) LFC—as recently as three years ago:


     I didn’t want to post this on your DTB web site, as I am not in a position to have this attributed directly to me but thought you would be interested to know: When the Orange Coast College Foundation was selling its donated island in British Columbia–Rabbit Island in 2007—Lang had Fuentes call one of our trustees and Chancellor Yglesias and essentially try to get the Orange Coast College Foundation to use LFC as the auction agent for the sale. The Coast District and our trustees were not micromanagers and they said it is a Foundation Board decision and we are not going to force you to do anything. We found that LFC's commission structure was higher and we questioned if we would be best represented by an Orange County firm trying to sell a British Columbia property. LFC also tried to scare off a few reputable BC brokers by telling them they had a guaranteed listing on the property. We ended up going with a local BC broker who sold the property with good results and their commission was about 3% lower than LFC*, which wasn't chump change on the $2.2 million sales price. Bottom line is I definitely got the idea there was a connection between LFC and Fuentes and Fuentes wasn't shy about pushing LFC and using his contacts to do so.

— A reliable source at the Coast Community College District. Name withheld by request.

*3% of $2.2 million is $66,000


Anonymous said...

Nice lookin' island.

(You guys get all the big staories lately. Hot cha!)

Anonymous said...

It appears we have our own vampire squid, right here in Orange County.

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