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Documents Seized From O.C. Official

Probe: D.A. steps up investigation of a Seal Beach councilman whose votes benefited a business associate.


Investigators served search warrants Wednesday on Seal Beach Councilman Shawn Boyd as part of probe into conflict-of-interest allegations involving Boyd and a business associate.

A dozen investigators retrieved documents from Boyd's Seal Beach home and an apartment where he has been staying. The Orange County district attorney's office confirmed that the warrants were served on "residences where Mr. Boyd is known to have stayed" in the last year, spokeswoman Tori Richards said. She declined to elaborate.

Boyd, who faces reelection in March, could not be reached for comment. His attorney, Al Stokke, declined to comment.

The district attorney's office has been investigating since October whether Boyd violated state law by voting on the use of city funds to buy a mobile-home park owned by Richard Hall, for whom Boyd was working on at least two other real-estate ventures.

Hall bought the Seal Beach Trailer Park in December 1998 for $3.5 million. Two years later, Hall sold it to a nonprofit group for $7.4 million, backed by city financing.

The Times reported last year that Boyd voted seven times and abstained four times on park matters without disclosing his work for Hall. He said he didn't reveal the relationship, or abstain from voting, because he hadn't been paid yet by Hall and didn't consider the votes to be a conflict.

State law bars elected officials who receive $500 or more in income within the previous year from voting or influencing decisions on matters that could financially benefit the giver. The prohibition includes money paid to or formally promised to officials.

Complaints against Boyd were lodged with the district attorney's office and the state Fair Political Practices Commission in September by a Seal Beach resident. The FPPC has been cooperating with the district attorney.

Boyd Worked With Hall on Real Estate Projects

In an interview late last year, Boyd said he had an oral agreement to be paid $12,000 for acting as Hall's agent on a Castaic mobile-home park project, and that he also expected to be paid $4,000 from an aborted apartment project in Anaheim. He acted as Hall's developer for the Anaheim project.

But he said he believed that he had complied with state law in his votes. "It's the right of every citizen to raise this question if they want," he said about the complaints. "I guess I would be [nervous] if I had something to hide, but I don't."

Boyd is up for reelection March 5. He has three challengers for the four-year term in the 1st District council seat: retired accountant Walt Miller, county planner Charles Antos and relocation consultant Beverly S. Pearce. Two other council incumbents are running unopposed.

The investigation is the second by Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas' office into conflict-of-interest allegations involving local elected officials.

Earlier this month, former Huntington Beach Councilman Dave Garofalo pleaded guilty to one felony and 15 misdemeanors for violating state laws that prohibit officials from voting on matters involving sources of income.

Garofalo, who resigned from office in December, admitted soliciting thousands of dollars from advertisers to his publishing business while voting as many as 300 times on matters affecting the advertisers. The probe into his financial dealings took about 18 months.

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