San Juan Capistrano

DA’s Investigation Concludes
           No Wrongdoing

Another door in the saga of the Urban Village referendum was closed recently with the conclusion of investigations sparked by complaints filed with the Orange County District Attorney’s (“OCDA”) office. The complaints alleged wrongdoing by Council members Kerry Ferguson, Pam Patterson and a community member, and voter intimidation by the proposed developer during the Urban Village referendum process.

According to OCDA Spokesperson Roxi Fyad, the claims were investigated, insufficient evidence of wrongdoing was found and no charges will be filed.

 The ”Urban Village” downtown hotel and residential development was the subject of a referendum after the City Council majority of Sam Allevato, Larry Kramer and John Taylor voted to approve it over the objection of many in the community. Residents voiced concern about traffic and other negative impacts. After their concerns were dismissed by the council majority, a group of residents quickly raised more than the required number of signatures for a referendum to repeal the council’s approval of the project. A lawsuit was also filed challenging the project approval, alleging that it violated the Historic Town Center Master Plan on a number of fronts. The lawsuit is on-going.
Two complaints were subsequently filed with the District Attorney. One alleged that Council members Kerry Ferguson and Pam Patterson had acted improperly with respect to the referendum, although the specific complaint was not divulged. The second complaint alleged voter intimidation by the proposed developer. Both claims were investigated by the DA’s office and resulted in dismissal. “We are closing our inquiry into this matter,” stated Deputy District Attorney Angela Hong in letters to the complainants.

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