Great Park Audit Blues Redux

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In 2014 and 2015, the Irvine City Council commissioned audits of the Great Park by the accounting firm Hagen, Streiff, Newton & Oshiro (HSNO) that concluded some firms contracted to work on the long-delayed project got improper contracts or couldn't account for millions of dollars spent. One of them, Gafcon, filed a complaint with the California Board of Accountancy shortly after, and the Board just blasted HSNO's audits in a report released this week. They found that the firm violated numerous public accounting standards and are recommending the firm reimburse the state for its investigation of their audits, pay a penalty, and have its license suspended, restricted or revoked.

It's the latest skirmish in a battle over the Great Park that goes back in nearly 20 years, with this added wrinkle: longtime Irvine politician Larry Agran says the original audits were done to sink his reelection bid in 2014, while current councilwoman Christine Shea says they were done because the Great Park Board under Agran spent $250 million with little to show for it.