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Michelle Brough, Dana Point

For months, I stood by and watched my husband, Assemblyman Bill Brough, be dragged through the mud by his own political party because he dared to challenge the mighty Transportation Corridor Agencies (the Toll Roads). But now, my children have been negatively impacted by the negligent actions of some in the name of political retribution against my husband. How dare they?

To promote good governance, my husband proposed a bill merely asking for an audit of the Toll Roads (that have spent and collected billions of our dollars) to ensure that his constituents’ hard-earned money was not being squandered by this unaccountable quasi-governmental powerhouse. Now one would think that any elected individual, regardless of party, would encourage legislation that reviewed how an agency with the power to mandate fees spends that money. (I am not talking about the toll one pays to drive on the roads; I am talking about the fees assessed by the toll roads on developers and businesses attempting to build or expand in our communities that increase every year and then get passed on to us.) This is not the case here. In fact, when my husband began discussing this legislation, he was told by his then-district director, Jennifer Beall (whose husband is Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman L. Anthony Beall and receives compensation for serving as a director on the Toll Road board and whose law firm has represented toll road and transportation authority issues throughout the country), that “he would be destroyed.” This was stated to my husband in front of another elected official.

My school-aged children are being severely and callously harmed by the false allegations being levied against their father for petty politics and money, albeit a lot of money, which apparently is more important to some than the welfare of a child.

Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, who recently told the press that she is experiencing nightmares because of my husband’s alleged actions that occurred 11 years ago, has done quite well by the Toll Roads. Her campaign consultant, president of Venture Strategic, on a motion made by Ms. Bartlett as a board member of the Toll Roads ended up with a $1.8 million-dollar consulting contract. Apparently, conflict of interest is not relevant with the Toll Roads. The motion to hire her consultant was originally made when Ms. Bartlett still owed money to this consultant.

Now, maybe there is nothing wrong with any of this (an audit should show any misconduct). But, the response against my husband makes me think that certain folks are afraid of what may be unearthed by such an audit. A few of the current and former Toll Road board members, including Ms. Bartlett, Anthony Beall, Ed Sachs and Michael Munzing, who claim to be good governance Republicans, have thrown fits, personally bashing my husband, while other board members focus on the legislation and welcome an audit. What are certain board members so afraid of?

I am in no way suggesting that credible sexual harassment claims should be casually dismissed; but, neither should the possibility of false allegations that are politically or financially motivated be overlooked. False allegations should be taken equally seriously, as they severely undermine those hundreds of thousands of legitimate claims that are out there.

Lisa Bartlett has changed her story repeatedly about the event that she alleges occurred 11 years ago.  Also, she seems to want to publicize her allegations at a time that would benefit her politically.  Additionally, I have credible reason to believe she has promised a job to the other woman that alleged my husband harassed her in return for her talking to the press.

We were told that this would all go away if my husband does not seek re-election, in which case his Toll Road bill would die. These facts should at least raise questions about the legitimacy of the allegations.

That said, if what they say about my husband is true, they absolutely should file a complaint against him in a court of law—clearly, they are not worried about discussing the allegations (they had no problem talking to the press and others in closed and open door meetings). Please, I implore you, rather than call my husband a “sexual predator” in your constituent meetings and at social events, file a lawsuit, let’s get the facts out. A lawsuit would also grant my husband his right to due process. Unfortunately, even if my husband were to prevail, the damage that they have caused cannot be undone.

This mom has had enough! If there is wrongdoing, one should absolutely file a complaint; but it is not OK to intentionally ruin anyone’s reputation and harm their children solely for personal or political gain.  I am utterly disgusted with what politics has become—rather than logical arguments to support their political positions, candidates and politicians sling mud and tell lies in an attempt to damage those with whom they disagree.

Politics has become a game where politicians profit off of the backs of the citizens whose interests they are supposed to be protecting and serving.  Ask your elected officials about their position on auditing the toll road to see how the money was spent; their answer says it all!

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About The Author Dana Point Times

comments (11)

  • I have asked for a criminal investigation of Lisa Bartlett and the TCA and it will never happen within the State of California… you have to ask the Federal government to step in. I have documented exactly what these people are doing and if your husband, as my elected representative wants to take these people on I will provide him with all the information necessary to prosecute Lisa Bartlett and the rest with criminal fraud. That toll road has been denied waste water drainage permits to build a toll road south of the Oso Bridge six times. They are all committing fraud by using the waste water discharge permit granted to the Ranch (a private company) to build Los Patrones Parkway (a FREE arterial road.). Further- the land in the right of way for the Tesoro extension of the 241 was not legally transferred into the right of way. The Ranch lost track of its parcels and they transferred land they did not own into the right of way. That is how we now have a toll read ON SCHOOL DISTRICT PROPERTY. They have a violation of the sub-division map act that should be cured before anything was allowed to built south of the Oso bridge. This is all documented and could be determined as a matter of law. There is NO VALID CEQA FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE 241 South of Oso Parkway. These assholes have abused San Clemente for 20 years and despite having no legal authority to do so, are continuing to shove a road south of the Oso bridge right through the City of San Clemente with callous disregard for the health and safety of taxpayers or the students at Tesoro High School- San Juan Hills High School and now San Clemente High School. The TCA and the OC Board of Supervisors have abused taxpayers long enough. Your husband should walk all of the documentation to Washington, and hand President Trump a victory in California by exposing the state of California for what it is- a third world banana republic that steals from its citizens. FBI should be down here putting all of them behind bars.

  • I agree. At this point, the accusers need to do something if they plan on retaining any credibility.

  • I am sorry for the hell your children and family are living with because a corrupt disgusting women wants to further her agenda. It makes me so mad and sick that some women think this kind of lie is ok for any reason. It desensitizes everyone for real victims… and let me just say real victims do not get in front of a camera and politicize their experience. ESPECIALLY 11 yrs later. What a joke! California is going to hell in a hand basket quickly and we are all doomed if we dont get out. Sadly… the corruption is far too great. But, there are still great rational residents in this state that would do whatever they could to help you seek justice and stop the madness! I am one of them!

  • It’s the republican way $$$$$$$$$$

    • No, it is not the “Republican” way. This woman is corrupt. It has nothing to do with her political affiliation. I wish people with stop it with the demonization of people with whom they don’t agree politically. It’s causing the ugliness and divison that is going on in this country. Shame on you!

  • To whom it may concern we have a horrible corrupt Goverment here in California the elections were rigged for Governor Brown an Gavin Newsome both got in with no votes from anyone in California or anyone knows we suspect illegals an dead people voted them in an that they were also harvesting votes so much so that neither Gavin Newsome or Jerry Brown had to campaign for office no appearances an no commercials about them running John Cox was running as interference he was a failed candidate of Chicago we need an intense investigation regarding who is behind this scheme an who is proving the money i suspect George Soros is behind everything but that is for you to prove please do your job California Citizens will thank you Susan Carreon

  • I have seen a letter from a Bartlett staffer that discussed her shady dealings by offering her campaign consultant an exorbitant contract while still owing him money from her previous election campaign. Note too–the original contract was $400k. It was later increased internally after the initial contract was signed.

    What was not discussed here is that Bartlett also arranged for a different contract with the same PR company while she sat on the health care board. The supervisor and the rest of the TCA cabal use their positions to spread favors–and money–around the county.

    Directors on the TCA–you are complicit by not requiring the TCA to pay back their bonds early for toll roads that should already be free.

  • Good for you! I have a great deal of respect for what you’ve written here, especially in regards to the harassment allegations. Perfection.

  • The $1.8 million dollar contract Lisa Bartlett got her campaign consultant, Venture Strategic was $1.8 million for multiple years and only ended June 2019. The board was never given their scope of work or who were the sub consultants of this firm even though the board directed staff to provide that so we would know what this money was paying for.

    Who knows whether this campaign by the members of the Republican Party was cooked up by Venture Strategic to harm Bill Brough and thereby killing this bill for an audit? Maybe Barrios & Associates or Curt Pringle & Associates? They are all connected and making money off the toll road and our citizens.
    All of them like to go after good elected officials that look the other way while they spin their lies and ask for our votes. Why would any of them be concerned about an audit of TCA?
    We need elected officials like Bill Brough. Lisa Bartlett Has gone all in on this and supporting TCA. The Orange County establishment of officials and consultants who think they can muscle this road through must give her confidence to make such a move but I’m not confident it will turn out well for her or them.

    I am counting on the voters in Orange County that have been reading for decades about the problems with the toll road and billions of dollars of debt TCA has saddled them with. These roads were promised to be free. TCA and their consultants have changed all messaging of their purpose to managing the roads and no longer promise they will be free. They want to stay in business forever and take your money. The politicians and consultants they surround themselves with are happy to keep making $$$ to fund their campaigns and special interests. It all goes round and round but the citizens are who are paying without much benefit.

    Orange County residents need to call for an audit of TCA. Why are they afraid of an audit? Please support elected officials like Bill Brough who represent your interests and try to make our county and your lives good.

    Ask your city council if they will support an audit of TCA. It’s your money they have collected on every new house and commercial building and given to TCA and it’s the tolls you pay that are supposed to pay off this debt.

    I think an audit is in order now, before TCA and any of their supporters can do more damage to the citizens of this county.

  • Unfortunately it is the Republican Party of Orange County’s way. I am an elected official and a Republican and I can personally attest the republicans and their consultants, which happen to also be TCA’s consultants, are unethical in their words and deeds when it comes to this toll road. They are showing their cards but think they are so powerful they can squash all opposition to exposing TCA before the citizens can find out.
    They are “all in” at this point and I hope the citizens of this county won’t stand for it anymore. We can do and be better but the corrupted have to go.

  • Do you think anyone cares about any of you rich people who are slowly ruining Dana Point, while slowly filling your pockets? Cry me a river, all of you…

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