Congressional GOP candidate Dean Andal emphatically denied that he was the unnamed consultant listed in a San Joaquin County civil grand jury report who received confidential closed-session information in a case involving allegations of a Brown Act violation by several members of the Delta College Board of Trustees.
The report, released earlier this week and detailed in a Tri-Valley Herald story yesterday, said the “San Joaquin Delta College Board of Trustees has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars and violated open government laws by discussing closed-session matters outside its meetings.” (Click here to read the grand jury report.)
The story said that day after a Feb. 9, 2006, “closed-session meeting (with Delta College board members), phone calls and a faxed letter indicated that one or more board members had relayed confidential information about the ‘breach of contract’ discussion to the developer and his consultant, Dean Andal.”
The grand jury report does not identify Andal by name although a college trustee who made the initial allegations had previously named Andal in Stockton Record story as the recipient of closed-session information.
Andal is, of course, a well-known consultant to PCCP Mountain House, LLC, a group led by Sacramento developer Gerry Kamilos, although he is far from the only consultant on the large project.
According to federal financial disclosure statements, Andal earned $217,589 in 2007 in consultant fees and salary from Kamilos, PCCP Mountain House and another PCCP development called Mariposa Lakes.
With respect to the grand jury investigation, the company was in discussions at the time with San Joaquin Delta College to provide the college with $14 million for infrastructure as the landowner and the college developed their respective properties in Mountain House, a master-planned community near Tracy. Mountain House and Tracy had been engaged in a well-publicized competition for the new college, which Delta College eventually agreed to build in Mountain House.
Andal said he lobbied at least one Delta College board member but said he never received any confidential, closed-session information from any elected official.
“If someone had tried to give me closed-session information, I would have stopped it,” Andal said. “I am very experienced with the requirements of the Brown Act.”
Andal called himself a staunch advocate of the Brown Act, a state law which spells out how publicly elected boards must conduct themselves in both public and closed sessions. Elected officials cannot disclose what was said in closed session and the law limits the topics under which they are permitted to hold discussions outside of the public eye.
Delta College Trustee Ted Simas, however, was quoted in a Stockton Record story of Aug. 21, 2006, saying that Andal had called him on the telephone several hours after the board concluded its Feb. 9 meeting and “had information that could have been obtained only by board members in closed session.” Simas said Andal told him that two college trustees had provided details of the closed-session negotiations to Kamilos. Andal was quoted in the same story saying that he did not remember the conversation.
Despite the conflicting accounts of this incident, watch for this issue to make its way into what will be a fierce general election campaign between Andal and incumbent Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton. Andal is known as a veritable “Boy Scout” and these allegations could call that image into question if the Democrats are able to gain sufficient traction on the issue.