And there is a question that must be asked. Has former Sierra Madre Mayor and persistent regressive redevelopment nuisance Bart Doyle been caught up in any of this excitement? As the former Chief Operating Officer of the Titan Group, the organization that was the moving force behind the El Monte Transit Village, he was definitely a part of the picture during its heyday. And since this defunct company is today the apparent object of some ongoing Fed curiosity, Doyle's possible involvement now in this FBI investigation does seem like a fair topic for inquiry.
However, whether or not that is the case is a source for speculation only at this point. This from the PSN:
FBI, federal authorities investigating El Monte Village project - the FBI and other federal authorities are investigating the former developer of the $1 billion El Monte Transit Village project, according to federal, sheriff's and city officials.
El Monte police turned their investigation into alleged fraud by two executives of the Titan Group, John Leung and Jean Lang, over to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. A sheriff's lieutenant said Wednesday the department declined to investigate because the FBI was involved.
"When we were asked by El Monte (police) to investigate the case ... we did a little research and found out the FBI already had a case they were investigating so we weren't going to step on their toes," sheriff's Lt. Sherri Anderson (said). "We did let the FBI know that El Monte asked us to do it, but they were already doing it."
The entire story can be accessed here.
In 2007 things were looking a bit more sunny for the Titan Group and their El Monte Transit Village project. John Leung, the owner of Titan (pictured standing above with our Bart), was quite upfront about all the excitement being created by his transit village redevelopment project, and said so in this Sep. 25, 2007 article ("Mixed Used Development a Possibility in El Monte" - click here), originally published in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
"There is tremendous interest, and we are working with at least three different national financial institutions," said Leung, who estimated that the company should complete its financing negotiations within the next two months. "But it is looking very good right now."
He said that because of the project's massive scale, Titan is looking at about 10 different funding sources. "They all look very promising," Leung said.
In this same article Bart Doyle, Titan's Chief Operating Officer, also expresses a strong belief in the coming success of this project. Here is what he had to say:
The company also is negotiating with the city for a purchase price on its existing public works yard, as well as with Caltrans, which owns some of the land around the bus depot. Plans also call for Titan to lease property owned by the county's Metropolitan Transportation Authority to complete the project, said Bart Doyle, the company's chief operating officer.
Those acquisitions have yet to be made, though Doyle said that they are being "actively pursued." If all that falls into place, construction on the first phase of the project could begin in about a year, Doyle said. "We still need to map the property, get grading and building permits," Doyle said. "That takes time."
It wasn't too much later that John Leung was arrested for fraud, the Titan Group went belly up, and the $1 billion dollar, 65 acre El Monte Transit Village (aka "the Billion Dollar Bus Station") project fell into near ruins.
And now, 2 years later, another puzzle part to this story has fallen into place. It turns out that this investigation remains very much alive, and it is being conducted by the FBI. An organization widely known for its seriousness and sense of purpose.
An interesting development to be sure.
Bonus Coverage - Lead story on The Patch today: "Mosca Mistreated Committee Chair, Members Say." The committee in question is the General Plan Update Steering Committee. Not much meat on the bones of the article itself, but the video of Deb Sheridan and Colin Braudrick is pretty choice. Credit where credit is due.