County to Audit Fair Association Contracts

Fair. - Courtesy Photo
Fair. - Courtesy Photo
Fair. – Courtesy Photo

On a motion by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and Mayor Michael D. Antonovich, the Board of Supervisors directed the Chief Executive Officer and Auditor-Controller to continue negotiations with the Los Angeles County Fair Association to ensure equity in the County’s existing contract and to conduct a full audit into the Association’s financial operations. This action is timely given recent media reports that revealed excessive salaries for executives of the Fair Association, in addition to potentially questionable aspects of its existing lease operation that may unfairly benefit the Association.

“It is vital that the Board of Supervisors take necessary action to protect County interests and uphold a financial agreement between the Fair Association and the County that is balanced and equitable,” said Mayor Antonovich.

In 1948, and again in 1988, two different long-term ground leases and operating agreements were established between the County and the Fair Association to produce the annual Los Angeles County Fair and other public events at the County-owned Fairplex in Pomona.

Tuesday’s motion, approved by the Board of Supervisors, will direct the Auditor-Controller, in collaboration with the CEO, to conduct an audit of the Fair Association’s financial operations, including funding sources, revenue streams and payroll expenses. The audit will also include a review of the operations at the Fairgrounds, and with a report due back to the Board of Supervisors in 120 days.

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