Recall Effort of Two Lake Forest Councilmen, Mayor Begins

Oct. 26, 2015 |

LAKE FOREST – A dispute over campaign contributions and street medians has led to a recall petition of three Lake Forest City Council members.

Lake Forest resident Leah Basile served Mayor Scott Voigts and councilmen Andrew Hamilton and Dwight Robinson with notices of intent to circulate recall petitions last week.

The notices say the councilmen used a voting bloc on the council and approved developments brought forward by political contributors, allegations the councilmen deny.

Specifically, Basile said she was referring to a 2014 Meritage Homes contribution of $10,000 to Laguna Niguel-based political action committee Restore California, which had spent $16,609 on behalf of candidates Scott Voigts, Dave Bass and Andrew Hamilton, according to campaign finance records.

Also, in the 2012 election, developers Brookfield Homes and Trumark Co. gave at least $75,000 to groups that supported Robinson and Councilman Adam Nick, then council candidates. Robinson’s campaign also received money directly from the developers, as did Voigts’.

Nick and Robinson voted with Voigts in 2013 to approve the developers’ residential projects at Auto Center Drive. Nick isn’t named in the recall effort.

Basile said what ultimately prompted the recall was the construction of new medians on Saddleback Ranch Road, which is one of the main corridors in and out of the Portola Hills community. She said the medians are too wide, creating a public safety hazard, and that the three council members named in the recall put the developers’ priorities over those of the community. Click here to read more.