It took just a few days for there to be a good reason for Newport

Coast residents to celebrate their incorporation into Newport Beach.

Maybe even 20 million.

Newport Beach officials are coming to their 7,000 new constituents'

aid by looking into how about $181 million in bond money sold to help

build the community was used. By some estimations, as much as $20 million

may be unaccounted for.

Much of the money under review, some $40 million, was used to build

Newport Coast Drive. But questions arose after the toll road agency took

over a two-mile stretch of the road, turning it into the start of the San

Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor. And while that third of the road

seemingly should have been worth $13.3 million, the agency only handed

the county $3.5 million. Worse still, community members say, that

reimbursement did not make its way back to the original pool of money it

was taken from.

At this point, Newport Beach officials say they have no reason to

think there was any impropriety or shenanigans. Finding all the

information about how the money was spent should answer any lingering

questions, the say.

We certainly hope so. Whether it be $3.5 million or $20 million,

answers need to be found.

One thing we are confident of, Newport Coast residents who say they

weren't pleased with the response of county officials, including

Supervisor Tom Wilson, to their requests for answers will likely have no

such complaints with Newport Beach City Hall.

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