Letters, posters target fairgrounds employees

Letters and posters circulated in the community contain false and defamatory information about Orange County Fairgrounds employees, fair officials said.

Within the past 30 days, two O.C. Fair & Event Center employees and one of their family members received anonymous letters at their homes that contained "false information," according to a statement read Wednesday by Fair Board Chairman Stan Tkaczyk.

The posters, placed around Huntington Beach and in neighborhoods near the fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, depicted fairgrounds staff in a "negative and cruel light," Tkaczyk said.

Officials declined to give specifics about the content of the posters and letters, or the personnel targeted. They said they didn't know whether the letters and posters are related.

"The O.C. Fair & Event Center and its board of directors take these actions very seriously, and the incidents have been reported to the Costa Mesa Police Department," Tkaczyk said.

After reading his statement, he added, "There have been things that have taken place in the past that were very disturbing. And I had hoped that we had passed all of those issues, and that they were behind us. But unfortunately, it appears that someone wants to continue doing bad things, and we as a board will not tolerate it."

He then offered a $1,000 reward to the people who wrote the letters and put up the posters to come forward. The reward money would come out of his own pocket, not the fairgrounds budget, he said.

"Let's see if the cowards have the guts to collect a thousand dollars," Tkaczyk said. He also offered a reward to those who can identify who sent the letters and made the posters.

In 2009 and 2010, former fairgrounds Chief Executive Steve Beazley was the target of acts of vandalism at his home and in his neighborhood. Fliers distributed around his residence accused him of criminal acts against women and children. Eggs were thrown at his house.

The actions reportedly were in reaction to the proposed sale of the fairgrounds. The Fair Board eventually approved spending $3,000 for a private security system for Beazley's home.

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