The Journal Podcast: Laguna Seca follies: Narigi speaks

Earlier this month, we introduced all the pieces we had discovered
in regard to the administration contract to the Laguna Seca Raceway awarded to A
& D Narigi Consulting in November 2019. The response was a lot hypothesis
and shock from readers and far candor from insiders.

Conversations with Chris Pook, the Lengthy Seaside Grand Prix founder, who additionally bid on the enterprise; Tim McGrane, the ousted CEO of the monitor; together with a variety of trade insiders who weighed in. However to essentially get to the center of the matter, John Narigi was one who wanted to be heard.

One sturdy voice was Laguna Seca’s vice chairman of promoting, Barry Toepke, a profession public relations skilled with an excessive amount of credibility within the racing enterprise – and somebody we take into account a buddy. He did all he may to run harm management. In so doing, he and Narigi agreed to a frank dialog about the way forward for the monitor.

Barry Toepke | Tom Stahler picture

The biggest query stays: How may the Monterey County
Board of Supervisors vote 5-Zero to entrust the county’s
world-renowned racing circuit and its fiscal stewardship to a person with no
expertise in motor racing?

Narigi had been the well-known lodge basic supervisor of the
Monterey Plaza Resort & Spa for almost three many years, and deeply concerned in
all elements of the hospitality tradition in Monterey. He retired from the job in Could
2019 with plans to maneuver to Washington State along with his spouse and run a consulting
enterprise to the hospitality trade.

Nonetheless, in some unspecified time in the future between his retirement and the county board vote in November, and as documented by means of emails between Narigi and Dewayne Woods, the Parks and Recreation administrator of Monterey County, Nairgi primarily was coached by Board Members and Woods on getting the contract earlier than the bid was introduced, it’s alleged. An e mail despatched to the Journal, dated August 20, 2019 from Narigi to Woods expressed thanks for a tour of the grounds and a request for all of the pertinent financials and logistical documentation. Woods complied and shared greater than 500 pages of knowledge, in line with public data.

Whereas this course of was taking place, native accounting agency
Hayashi & Wayland Accounting & Consulting, was doing an audit of
the Sports activities Automobile Racing Affiliation of Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP)’s
books on the monitor. For 63 consecutive years, SCRAMP had managed the monitor, however
it had accounting points in recent times.

Tim McGrane

In 2018, Tim McGrane, a revered motorsports and automotive
trade veteran, was introduced in as president of Laguna Seca and had been in
the method of straightening out accounting in addition to creating capital
enhancements for the ability.

McGrane informed the Journal, “There
have been quite a few invoices from the county (to Laguna Seca) for ‘companies’ we weren’t even
positive have been carried out.”

Narigi shaped his LLC, A&D Narigi Consulting, named for
his two sons, Anthony and Dominick, simply 10 days earlier than the press launch
saying a name for proposals got here out from the county board in October 2019.
Narigi considers that extra of a coincidence. As he explains within the interview, he
was already working with 4 hospitality purchasers doing enterprise as Narigi
Consulting beneath a dba with the intent to
incorporate as an LLC.

Based on paperwork supplied by Laguna Seca bidder and
Lengthy Seaside Grand Prix founder Chris Pook, the contract with the county was
signed by Narigi three days earlier than the board’s vote of
5-0. Pook intends to sue the county for the money and time spent on his bid. He
had beforehand filed a declare to recoup monies, which was rejected by the

Chris Pook | LB Enterprise Journal picture

In an e mail to the Journal, Pook wrote, “On Tuesday, October 15th, 2019, The County of
Monterey issued a Press Launch inviting ‘ Events’ to submit proposals
by Thursday, October 31st, 2019 for the Administration of LSRA – Laguna
Seca Leisure Space – and Laguna Seca.”

Pook continues, “It ought to
be famous that on Monday, October seventh, John Narigi’s
Legal professional’s filed for the formation of A
& D Consulting LLC, the corporate used to safe the administration contract for
Laguna Seca. Making an allowance for the time course of for receiving a ‘Submitting
Date’ from the Secretary of State for a
LLC, which means that discussions for the creation of the LLC befell the
week earlier than, i.e. on Thursday or Friday, October third or 4th! Precisely three or 4
days after Dewayne Woods mentioned, ‘I don’t know
something about this, regardless of the Supervisors need I’ll do’ and a few 12 days
earlier than the Press Launch inviting ‘Curiosity Events’ to submit their proposals!

September 30th, Dewayne Woods was instructed by Supervisor Alejo to
name (Pook) and talk about (Pook)’s curiosity
in a Administration Working alternative at Laguna Seca – when knowledgeable why he was
requested to name, the above was his response!!”

Based on native political advisor Christian Schneider,
“Pook ought to sue for the (A&D
Narigi) contract to be null and void beneath the Brown Act.”

The Brown Act (Authorities Code sections 54950-54963) is
meant to offer public entry to conferences of California native
authorities companies. Its function is described within the Act: “The
folks of this State don’t yield their sovereignty to the companies which serve

“By having these ‘off the file assembly’ with out
the county board involvement with the intent to award a contract is a transparent
violation,” Schnieder added.

Narigi denies any wrongdoing in regard to the Brown Act. It
is mentioned at size throughout the confines of the interview. Narigi says that
he was doing his homework and that Dewayne Woods supplied the identical alternative
to all bidders.

John Narigi

County Supervisor Mary Adams emailed Woods asking how she
would deal with the “blowback” from her
constituents. The monitor falls in her district. She definitely was keen to
vote in opposition to SCRAMP because it was “in dangerous
form.” Nonetheless, she needed to cowl her choice.

She informed Monterey County Weekly, “It
was a backroom deal. I don’t have any
query about that.”

Within the interview, Narigi is definite that he’s there to not
solely maintain and make “the long-lasting monitor”
higher, he desires to make the useful resource of the encircling county park, Laguna
Seca Recreation Space a a lot stronger asset.

It’s all been laid out by the
native media, whom Narigi says, “I’m
executed with them.” However right here is a chance to
enable the person himself to talk and relate his aspect of the story.

I got here away from the interview nonetheless skeptical, however
definitely extra assured within the monitor’s survival. Both John Narigi
genuinely seeks one other turnaround win, or he’s a superb actor. His
concise solutions definitely gave me a second of pause away from doom and gloom.

Change is one thing that ranks very extremely in inflicting folks
anxiousness. Over 63 years, quite a few private kingdoms have been constructed across the
legendary circuit. The main change in administration appears to have introduced the
warlords out of their figurative castles.

Give a pay attention and please share your feedback. You be the choose…

The Journal Podcast

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