Letter to the Editor:

Peotter’s financial past brings questions of qualifications

The fact that Councilman Scott Peotter defaulted on his Ports Streets home and was compelled to move back to Irvine is well known in the community. What is less well known is that after moving back to Irvine, Peotter defaulted on a $13.7 million commercial construction loan and was sued.

In this case, Peotter executed a Commercial Guaranty on July 20, 2006 for $13.7 million. This was used to refinance a prior loan and to fund construction activity. By 2009, Peotter defaulted on the loan. In court documents, he argued that he did not believe the Guaranty would actually be enforced and therefore he should not be required to pay back the loan. The building was sold at auction for $9 million, leaving the lender with a $5.1 million loss guaranteed by Peotter. In his own court filing, Peotter acknowledged that the amount of the loan far exceeded his own net worth and capacity to repay, yet, he signed it anyway.

California Bank and Trust sued and in a settlement, our councilmember has been making court ordered financial restitution in the amount of $1,666.67 per month for five years. No wonder he has maneuvered to collect four public paychecks from the city, Sanitation District, TCA, and Vector Control District. Every dollar of taxpayer income goes to fund his restitution requirements.

This record of poor financial decision-making, and failure to honor his legal obligations is highly relevant to Peotter’s service on the city council where he has taken the lead in promoting policies that could cost the taxpayers millions and result in taxpayer liability for millions more.

For example, he has proposed refunding debt in a way that would have increased costs by $20 million. He has promoted the sale of the old city hall site that would otherwise be a perpetual revenue generator for our Tidelands needs. He has advocated speculating with millions of taxpayer dollars in the stock market, and he facilitated the appointment of his politically ally to the Finance Committee, a person subsequently convicted of embezzlement. Because of him, the city sewer system operates at a structural deficit. Many of us have made financial mistakes, but with a record like Poetter’s, we cannot allow him to do to the city what he did to his own personal finances. Scott Peotter should be recalled, before it’s too late. Please go to www.recallscottpeotter.com for more information.

Craig Sawin

Corona del Mar