A newly formed recall committee led by former Democratic congressional candidate Gary Kingsbury promised to deliver recall notices tonight to three council members, who approved a plan last summer to borrow $62 million for an additional investment in the county pool.
Mayor Michael Ward and council members Barry J. Hammond and Paula Werner have been targeted by the newly formed Irvine Recall Committee. Council members Christina L. Shea and Greg Smith voted against the investment plan.
Kingsbury had promised to drop the recall if the City Council fires City Manager Paul O. Brady Jr. and Finance Director Jeff Niven. Kingsbury had delayed the recall drive in anticipation of a recently completed audit of the city's role in the county investment pool. But the council has yet to make the report public because of concerns over potential litigation.
"If there's information in this report that indicates we're wrong where we're placing the blame, we'll drop the recall process," Kingsbury said.
Hammond said he has found no reason in the confidential report to fire any city official.
"The report makes it pretty clear," Hammond said, "the county defrauded the city."
Councilwoman Paula Werner declined to comment on the recall drive but said she will encourage council members to make the report public. The council is expected to review the report during a closed session tonight.
"I just won't be blackmailed, and I won't fire anybody unless I have just cause," Ward said. "The report I have received does not show just cause to fire anybody."
But Kingsbury said the three council members should be held accountable. "All we needed was one more 'no' vote and we wouldn't be in this mess," he said.