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Panel to vote again on its free tickets

O.C. Fair Board was accused of violating open meeting laws.

August 22, 2008|Christine Hanley | Times Staff Writer

Amid concerns that it may have violated open meeting laws, the Orange County Fair Board has decided to take a second vote on its newly adopted policy limiting each board member to 10 complimentary tickets for each of the summer concerts at the Pacific Amphitheatre.

The policy that was approved in June will be temporarily rescinded because a Newport Beach resident who wanted to address the nine-member board was not given an opportunity to speak until after the board voted.

Under state law, the public must have an opportunity to make comments before a vote is taken.

The board plans to revisit the issue Thursday.

"It's a do-over," said fair spokeswoman Robin Wachner.

Wachner said the fair board decided to take a revote after realizing its mistake and researching the open meeting laws. The decision was relayed to the Orange County district attorney's office, which had received a formal complaint from the Newport Beach resident.

Under the previous policy, board members received as many as 26 free tickets for each show at the county fairgrounds in Costa Mesa.

The practice resulted in board members doling out thousands of premium concert passes to political figures, business associates and friends.

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christine.hanley@latimes.com

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