Where Are They Now?

It’s amazing what you come across as a political blogger. You often wonder what happened to this commissioner or that county supervisor after they left office. Thanks to an alert reader, I got to see what one former Tustin city councilmember and mayor was up to these days.

You may have seen recent articles on OCRegister.com concerning the Trinity Broadcasting Network, reputed to be the largest televangelist organization in the world. TBN, a so-called word-faith based church, is conveniently headquartered right here in Orange County, just a few miles from our town Tustin. Few evening travelers along the 405 haven’t seen the gaudily lit building just South of the freeway near the South Coast Plaza. Allegations of drugs, sex and the misappropriation of funds by the TBN board of directors, made the Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker “Praise the Lord” scandal of the ’80s look like a schoolyard shakedown. It’s a good bet that even Robert Schuller is quaking in his robe at this one.

In the latest article in the Register, it seems that even Paul and Jan Crouch’s granddaughter, Brittany Koper, is out to reveal some embarrassing facts and exact her own form of justice. She is also going about it in an interesting way by suing her former lawyers in Federal Court. She has accused them of the some of the same things the TBN board has been accused of including breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and, get this, sexual assault.

Apparently, Koper had questions about payments made to boardmembers and went to her lawyers, who were also TBN’s lawyers at the time, for advice. The answer she got was rather shocking: Sit down, shut up and return all the money she ever made from TBN to the church. And, who were the lawyers? One of them was Douglass S. Davert, partner of Davert & Loe Lawyers in Long Beach, and former mayor of Our Town Tustin.

On Religion News Blog, the complaint alleges a variety of evil deeds including breach of fiduciary duty and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. According to the complaint:

Ms. Koper sought the Defendant Attorneys’ legal advise about these matters. In response, the Defendant Attorneys acknowledged that the conduct in question was unlawful but nevertheless advised, encouraged and instructed Ms. Koper to perform and cover up such unlawful activities within the TBN Companies. The Defendant Attorneys told Ms. Koper that she needed to do as the TBN Companies’ directors and senior executives instructed Ms. Koper to do, or else Ms. Koper was “Going to get into trouble.” The Defendant Attorneys told Ms. Koper that she was “legally prohibited” from doing otherwise, and that she “really [had] no choice in the matter” but to do as she was told.

She goes on to accuse Davert’s law partner, David Loe, of sexually assaulting her (the Religion Blog report was in error, saying that it was Davert), touching her inappropriately and making lewd suggestions to her. In reading the complaint, I am surprised she did not have him arrested for attempted rape. And, one has to wonder why an “upstanding” person like Doug Davert would consort with such people as Loe, let alone go into business with him. Well, they are lawyers, after all.

Of course, our good former mayor, in his best lawyerly fashion, said her allegations are “outright fiction and wholly without merit. The allegations are defamatory and to the extent they get printed, we are going to defend ourselves vigorously.” He also says there is a lot more going on here than meets the eye and, that it was actually Koper and her husband who did the misdeeds. Both Koper and her husband, Michael, have been accused of misappropriation to the tune of $400,000.  Koper says that lawsuit filed against them by Redemption Strategies Inc. was a pre-emptive strike to discredit them. Well, I guess it is all in the timing.  It does seem interesting that, at one time, Davert was Koper’s lawyer and he is now champion of the TBN cause. It is also interesting that Redemption Strategies Inc. was formed by David Loe, yes of Davert & Loe, on October 17, 2012 and the lawsuit was filed October 18, 2011.  The law firm address is listed as the address for the corporation so it wold be safe to say they are one and the same. You have to admit, Redemption Strategies Incorporated is a pretty catchy and all-encompassing name.

But, there appears to be more to it than that. Koper alleges in her Federal Complaint that Redemption Strategies was formed for the specific purpose of suing the Kopers and being able to issue “numerous subpoenas” to multiple banks and other institutions seeking the bank records of Ms. Koper and the other defendants in the Redemptions Strategies litigation. The aim of all of this, according to the complaint, has been to keep her and the other defendants from spilling the beans about Trinity. Sorry, Doug, the word is out. I don’t think this lame attempt of starting a sham corporation to shut up the whistleblower is going to work this time.

It’s interesting that Davert’s law firm website touts his time as a Judge pro tem and proudly states he served twice as mayor. It also claims, “Davert & Loe is committed to providing efficient, high-quality legal representation to the business community as well as to the individual client.”  Huh….. OK…..

So, here you have it. Our former mayor and councilmember has been busy in the private sector, defending the likes of mega-church magnates Paul and Jan Crouch and, according to at least one account, helping them hide their misdeeds while being accused of fraud and fiduciary irresponsibility themselves. I look forward to seeing how this all turns out. We will be sure to keep you apprised as we know that our town is always interested in what our former city fathers are up to.

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  1. Pingback: Former Tustin Mayor Target of Christian Broadcasting Lawsuit | The Liberal OC

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