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O.C. Candidate Being Probed Loses D.A.'s Endorsement

Times Staff Writer

Orange County Dist. Atty Tony Rackauckas on Thursday withdrew his endorsement of Chriss Street’s candidacy for county treasurer-tax collector, having opened an investigation into Street’s previous role as trustee in a Fruehauf Trailer Corp. bankruptcy case.

The district attorney said in a prepared statement that he could not discuss “the nature or scope of an open investigation” of Street, a Newport Beach financial manager until he was appointed by outgoing Treasurer-Tax Collector John M.W. Moorlach as an interim assistant treasurer-tax collector in January.

“The Orange County district attorney’s office received a complaint regarding matters involving Chriss Street and his role with Fruehauf Trailer Corp.,” the statement said. “We are currently investigating the matter.”

Rackauckas did not elaborate on the scope of the investigation.

Street could not be reached for comment, but his campaign manager, Brett Barbre, said the allegations under investigation may stem from statements made by a Los Angeles businessman who replaced Street as trustee in the bankruptcy proceeding.

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“We believe it’s proper that Tony Rackauckas withdraw his endorsement,” Barbre said, adding that “we fully expect that once the investigation is concluded Chriss will be vindicated and Tony will reinstate his endorsement.”

Street recently filed a defamation lawsuit in state court against Daniel Harrow, his successor as trustee, over Harrow’s allegations that Street had mismanaged a trust involving Fruehauf, Barbre said.

Robert Kugler, an attorney for Harrow, said Harrow’s statements were made in his capacity as trustee. “Mr. Harrow strongly disputes Mr. Street’s contentions of defamation,” he said.


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