“Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash!”
— James Tolkan berating Tom Cruise in “Top Gun”
One could apply that classic movie line to Supervisor Todd Spitzer – except that his ego is writing checks that the taxpayers have to pay for – $271,396 in the past few weeks.
$121,396 of that was a check from county taxpayers to the Voice of OC, so they could pay the lawyers they were forced to hire to pry some puvlic documents out of Spitzer that he had no business withholding in the first place. The Voice of OC was trying to get its hands on e-mails between Spitzer and the county PIO Jean Pasco regarding the controversy swirling around his bizarre decision to use a gun to handcuff a Christian fellow who wanted to talk to him about Jesus on Good Friday in 2015, while Spitzer munched lunch at Wahoo’s Fish Tacos.
Spitzer wanted to publish an op-ed entitled “I WILL NEVER TURN MY BACK ON THE PUBLIC OR ITS SAFETY” in which he defended his actions, going so far as to claim he would have been justified in using deadly force against the ersatz evangelist (who subsequently lost his job with a county-contractor).
The remaining $150,000 the amount on the check which county taxpayers will be writing to former Spitzer staffer Christine Richters because her former employer is a nightmarish boss. Richters filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in March of this year, seeking several hundred thousand dollars. In her lawsuit, Richters said Spitzer was a raging maniac who governed his staff through “fear and aggression.” she produced a memo from Spitzer to his staff in which he told them they are on duty 24/7 and threatened to dock their pay if they didn’t respond to his texts within 15 minutes, regardless of the time of day or night.
Given that memo and the enormous staff turnover that has plagued Spitzer’s since he returned to the Board of Supervisors in 2012, Richter’s claims held credibility.
Spitzer responded by accusing Richter of being incompetent and lacking basic word processing skills – which begged the question of why he would have placed her on both his county and campaign payrolls if that were truly the case.
Todd Spitzer deeply covets the job of Orange County District Attorney, and he is running very hard to take the job from incumbent Tony Rackauckas. These two taxpayer checks written by Spitzer’s ego go to the heart of why so many people are horrified at the prospect of placing so much power in Spitzer’s hands. Character and temperament matter a great deal when it comes to choosing District Attorney, and in the past few weeks we’ve had 271,396 reminders why the 3rd District Supervisor comes up short in that department.