July 9, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jason Mills (714) 576-4303
IRVINE CITY COUNCILMEMBER MELISSA FOX REFERS EMAIL THREAT TO ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
IRVINE, CA – Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox referred an email communication from Harvey Liss to the Orange County District Attorney’s office today.
In his email to Councilmember Fox, Liss directed her to vote for a motion regarding the veterans’ cemetery to be presented by Councilmember Jeff Lalloway at the July 10, 2018, City Council meeting or face an end to her participation on the Irvine City Council.
Liss’s email to Councilmember Fox may constitute a violation of several California criminal code sections designed to protect public officials from being extorted for their votes.
Liss is a close ally of Larry Agran and Ed Pope of the “Save the Veterans Cemetery” campaign committee, and an editor of the Irvine Community News & Views, which was one of the major donors to the campaign urging a “No” vote on Measure B, lending over $300,000 to the campaign, without transparency as to where its money came from.
Liss’s communication to Councilmember Fox via her private email account may also violate the City of Irvine’s Ethics and Lobbying Ordinance, since Liss is demanding that Councilmember Fox take a position on a municipal question on which Irvine Community News & Views has spent money far over the threshold reporting amount without reporting or registering as a city lobbyist and without reporting the lobbying activities that he and other agents of Irvine Community News & Views have undertaken.
In response to the email, Councilmember Fox said, “Liss’s threat is a misuse of the political system. It is to the people of Irvine that I owe my best efforts, my best judgment, my faithfulness, and my sole allegiance. I will not be bullied, threatened, or extorted into voting against what I believe to be the best interests of the City of Irvine.”