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Daily Pilot

Irvine City Council overhauls oversight, spending on Great Park

By Rhea Mahbubani

9:26 AM PST, January 10, 2013

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Capping a raucous eight-hour-plus meeting, the Irvine City Council early Wednesday voted to overhaul the oversight and spending on the beleaguered Orange County Great Park while authorizing an audit of the more than $220 million that so far has been spent on the ambitious project.

A newly elected City Council majority voted 3 to 2 to terminate contracts with two firms that had been paid a combined $1.1 million a year for consulting, lobbying, marketing and public relations. One of those firms — Forde & Mollrich public relations — has been paid $12.4 million since county voters approved the Great Park plan in 2002.

"We need to stop talking about building a Great Park and actually start building a Great Park," said Councilman Jeff Lalloway.

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This story was also reported by Los Angeles Times Staff Writer Mike Anton.