The Orange County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted to renew the investment authority of the county’s treasurer and tax collector, Chriss Street, despite questions over the county investment pool’s investments in some structured investment vehicles, or SIVs. The annual vote is usually a routine matter but became a matter of controversy after Street lost the confidence of Supervisor John Moorlach, whose endorsement positioned Street to win the 2006 election to succeed him as treasurer. Moorlach turned against Street this summer after questions and lawsuits arose over Street’s prior business dealings as trustee of a bankrupt trailer manufacturer, followed by questions over how he handled contracts to remodel the Treasurer’s Office. It was revealed this week that the county’s district attorney has issued subpoenas related to that remodeling contract. Street recently told the supervisors that the county’s investment portfolio includes SIVs that have been placed on credit watch by Moody’s Investors Service, an announcement that raised hackles in the county, which filed for bankruptcy in 1994 because of investment pool losses. The board voted 4 to 1 Tuesday, with Moorlach dissenting, to renew Street’s investment authority, while also asking for an outside review of his investing actions. Street, according to published reports, told the board Tuesday he is confident the SIVs in the county’s portfolio will pay in full when they mature.
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