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Flynn Says Concern About Harbor Contracts Justified

The supervisor isn't mollified by a district attorney probe that cleared Lyn Krieger.

February 11, 2006|Catherine Saillant | Times Staff Writer

Although the Ventura County district attorney has said there was no impropriety in contracts awarded by the Channel Islands Harbor master, Supervisor John Flynn, whose accusations prompted the investigation, says his concern was justified.

Flynn said in a written statement Friday that "larger issues of trust" were at stake in his call for an investigation into contracts that Lyn Krieger awarded to a marina operator at the harbor.

The "issue of criminal conduct needed to be investigated," Flynn wrote.

He added that he hoped a separate review now being conducted by the Ventura County Grand Jury would "carefully weigh the evidence, come to the proper conclusions and thereby fulfill its duty to the people of Ventura County."

In a one-page report released Jan. 30, Dist. Atty. Gregory Totten said he found no evidence for Flynn's accusation in October that Krieger had awarded an improper "sweetheart deal" to a harbor lessee earlier in the year. Totten said investigators in his office had reviewed extensive lease documents and conducted numerous interviews.

Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Linda Parks said she hoped that Totten's report would ease tensions over the county's attempt to redevelop the aging harbor.

Flynn's board colleagues have accused him of bullying Krieger for disagreeing with him on key development decisions.

Debate was especially intense over the location of a boating instruction and safety center expected to break ground in the coming year.

"There's so much going on right now at the harbor, it would be good if we could get past the emotions and on with the work of making it a better place," Parks said.

Although happy about Totten's report, Krieger said the outstanding grand jury inquiry and lingering questions about Flynn's charges might have permanently damaged her reputation.

"I'm very pleased by the public acknowledgment of what I already knew -- that nothing happened," she said. "But sometimes innocence is not enough."

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