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California Briefing / IRVINE

Officials tap new Great Park leader

August 02, 2008|Tony Barboza

City officials have tapped Michael Ellzey, a recently hired deputy executive, to be promoted to top administrator of the Orange County Great Park.

Ellzey was promoted Thursday during a closed-door meeting of an executive search committee.

The decision has yet to be approved by the park's governing board.

If approved, Ellzey would take the helm of one of the nation's largest and most ambitious public works projects, converting 1,347 acres of the old El Toro Marine Corps base into a public park at a cost of more than $1.1 billion in public funds.

The decision was unexpected because board members voted in April to suspend the search until January 2009, citing the uncertainty of park financing and the pace of construction as well as a desire to keep the appointment from becoming a political issue during an election year.

City elections are in November.

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