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Flynn details cost of his media event

The Ventura County supervisor reveals that he spent nearly $6,000 on a news conference to lambaste his colleagues.

March 28, 2007|Catherine Saillant | Times Staff Writer

Call it the $5,800 news conference.

That's how much Ventura County Supervisor John Flynn says he spent in taxpayer dollars on 11,600 mailers inviting Santa Clara River Valley residents to a March 19 media gathering that he called to lambaste fellow supervisors.

Flynn used the event to accuse the board of redirecting money in December that should have gone toward a sewer conversion project in El Rio, a small community north of Oxnard in his 5th District.

Flynn himself had voted for the redistribution. But at the news conference, he said it had been a misuse of those dollars and that the money should be re-allocated to the El Rio project.

The Board of Supervisor's legal counsel ruled that the redistribution -- on a 5-0 vote -- of the $5.1 million to other county flood control projects was legal.

Most of the mailers went to residents of Santa Paula, Fillmore and Piru in Supervisor Kathy Long's 3rd District. Long last week accused Flynn of using the news conference to smear her reputation as she prepares to run for reelection next year.

At last week's board meeting, she demanded that Flynn account for the cost of the mailers. In a one-page reply, Flynn said the mailers had cost just over $5,800 to print and send out and were paid out of his office funds.

"My concern was that the majority of them were mailed into my district," Long said Tuesday. "What he did is not illegal. I just think it was a poor use of taxpayer dollars."

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