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Oct-18-2010 15:08printcomments

Irvine Great Park CEO Michael D. Ellzey: Is This Man An Imposter?

Please forward this column to other Veteran organizations, especially USMC-related and networked ones.

Mike Ellzey at Irvine City Council
Ellzey at Irvine City Council. photo by Tim King.

(LAGUNA BEACH) - “Tango Mike Mike” (SNAFU & FUBAR: US Special Forces Radio Cry For Additional Help)

Great Park CEO Mike Ellzey

Do you know, or did you ever know this person, beginning with his youth in San Jose California? Yes, this management blimp with the psychotic-looking eyes?

We are urgently asking for your help, dear readers and supporters. Please forward this column to other Veteran organizations, especially USMC-related and networked ones.

We are investigating the various claims and allegations made by Great Park CEO Michael Ellzey, most directly attributable to him in biographical interviews and press releases. I’ll be using variations of “supposed, purported, allege and claim” a lot in this column because frankly, none of us believes his self-described history. Some things he’s uttered seem artificial, perhaps intentional lies to garner sympathy plus amplify his power and credibility.

And please, if he’s as perfect, as honorable, as heroically patriotic and bravely truthful as he asserts then he has nothing to apologize for, nor anything to hide from our investigation of his background. So don’t bother writing glowing testimonials in the comments section as a PR, CYA counter-attack, OK?

For example, we seek negative information (not necessarily limited to the following) that contradicts his public image. We promise confidentiality and anonymity, just point us in the right direction if you can:


Did you grow up with Michael Ellzey, and/or know him personally back as a young man?

Did you or someone you know go to school and/or work with him, know if he ever was a troublemaker before/after his enlistment?

Did you serve with him in the USMC (1970—76)? Any anecdotes as to what he was really like back then?

Is it true that he worked in USMC law offices office while serving?

How or why did he perform the duties of escorting dead servicemen as alleged if he was a pencil-pusher?

Do you know his supposed USN aviator dad, where he served, and do you know if his father pulled strings or played a role to keep his son in California for his entire 6-year enlistment?

Did his father arrange it so that Ellzey could drive home each night after hours, spend weekends with his childhood friends and family unlike other Marines?

Do you know what if any activities he took part in while purportedly serving at Treasure Island (San Francisco), i.e., handling the coffins of dead Vietnam Marines and Naval personnel?

Were you present when USMC Pfc. Mark J. Miller’s was honored as Ellzey purports to have been, and was Ellzey actually there helping to perform that service, and if so, in what capacity?

Have you ever worked near him after his alleged military service, and was he as “Mom and apple pie, straight arrow” worker and honorable boss as he claims?

From a recent Irvine City Council Meeting

Increasing our sense of haste and frustration in this matter, the two recent whitewashing columns by OC Register columnist David Whiting read as if OC’s only legitimate daily hardcopy newspaper has gone over to the dark side. This has made us even more suspicious as it now appears as if along with the now almost dormant and feeble LA Times, the OC Register has become both Ellzey’s and the Great Park’s new marketing and PR firm.

We believe, and intend to prove with your assistance, that Ellzey has created an exaggerated, seriously questionable and probably bogus resume----- Bloated and inflated, just like his visage today. If he looks like a thug in recent photos, he looks and acts even more so in person as Team El Toro members learned at the at the mid-September Irvine City Council Meeting. Maybe he got fat eating over at Irvine’s Machiavellian Monster Larry (Liar Liar) Agran’s house too often or at those endless corporate trough frenzies at local upscale restaurants.

The US Government and Irvine land barons are trying to close the enviro-approval book and turn the keys of this lemon conversion over for public and private development to reap quicker local fiscal rewards with no more scrutiny, public health concerns be damned. We know that they’ve intentionally-buried and low-balled the health and safety hazards of this CERCLA (Superfund) Project, so time is of the essence in our outreach to you.

"I'm a public official, and I stand tall in terms of that scrutiny as a public official," Ellzey stated in a buck- stops-here answer to a series of pointed questions.” October 12, 2010 edition of the OC Register (Great Park CEO Talks) by columnist David Whiting.

Ellzey refuses to accept Butow'sinformation on El Toro's hazards.

We feel betrayed because this column, along with the subsequent 2nd one, were supposed to be hard on investigative inquiry and wound up love letters, puff pieces. At least to readers it seemed that vigorous and thorough investigative journalism was implied by Whiting several weeks prior. Instead, Whiting seems to have had one too many glasses of Ellzey’s kool-aid.

Whiting didn’t challenge answers or ask follow-up questions that any other journalist would have. Or for that matter Whiting didn’t ask specific questions we Marines have repeatedly demanded responses to this past 3 years, nor did he pursue hard answers and proof about Ellzey’s gloriously embellished, tear jerker, self-aggrandized USMC history and service record.

Does Ellzey’s alleged trip to the Vietnam Memorial constitute patriotism? Does his claim that he was spit upon as a Marine have ANY basis in fact, can this common but sometimes made up scene be proven to have occurred? What are the real facts, not Ellzey’s claims but hard evidence (photos and docs) to corroborate his bio?

"It's not always easy to do, especially when you are not accustomed to being spat upon, or being verbally threatened, or threatened with a baseball bat." Ellzey in Whiting’s October 12, 2010 column.

Are there ANY police reports, restraining orders or court records confirming these alarming allegations? Anybody know anything about these alleged incidents, their genesis or truthiness?

Howsabout this tidbit from his bio posted by the City of Irvine in a Press Release announcing his hiring as CEO on Valentine’s Day, 2008:

“Ellzey has a law degree from Lincoln University, School of Law, and a Bachelors degree in Political Science from San Jose State diversity.  Ellzey is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and served as Legal Chief, Marine Barracks, Naval Station, Treasure Island.”

According to his interview with Whiting, he hadn’t even been to college or law school yet, so how did he wind up in such a cushy desk jockey MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) as Legal Chief? Did Daddy arrange that too?

And those nighttime law studies at Lincoln University School of Law in San Jose, well, Lincoln does not have accreditation by the American Bar Association and it is not a member of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges either.

I invoked “Tango Mike Mike” out of respect for the memory and deeds of Congressional Medal of Honor winner MSG (Special Forces—Green Beret) Roy. P. Benavidez. This was a real hero, not some bragging pencil-pusher who probably got preferential treatment due to his father’s pull. A man who in his own described personal life history portrays himself as a stalwart warrior, who wraps himself in the flag as brave, when in fact he appears to be nothing more than a poseur, a sunshine soldier and summer patriot.

As for this self-professed patriotism it is often the refuge of scoundrels. They say if it seems too good to be true it is---Ellzey’s demeanor towards Team El Toro Marines at that Irvine City Council meeting debunks his comraderie and respect, his “Semper Fi” brotherhood. Probably because he grew up privileged and got perks/benefits due to his father’s pull, in most ways he was never considered himself to be one of us.

Please, ASAP, write to me or to Tim King personally if you have ANY information that conflicts or refutes Ellzey’s purported image.

We’re not trying to ruin someone with a clean record or impeccable reputation, we just want the truth, something Ellzey has been short of and lacking these past few years since becoming the Great Park CEO. Birds don’t change their feathers or leopards lose their spots. Our guts tell us that this guy is bogus, there’s something hinky, something’s amiss here.

Please specify/note that you wish confidentiality or anonymity due to blowback and/or personal retribution. Unlike our opponents at former MCAS El Toro and the Great Park cabal, we are honorable men.


FYI: If a project near you has some interesting enviro-aspect(s) that you think is/are worthy of coverage and our readers attention, feel free to contact me with a very brief synopsis. Water-related “Blue Interventions” are my specialty!

Launched in 2010, Odd Man Out is the creation of Roger von Bütow and his OMO columns are written exclusively for Salem-News-com. Born and raised in the LA Harbor area, son of a German immigrant father, he's been in Orange County for 45 years and is a 38-year resident of Laguna Beach, Ca. In 1998, he began his professional career in environmental review processes (CEQA, NEPA, MND, MND and EIR/EIS). He's a rare mix of cross-trained builder, writer and consultant as he brings his extensive construction experiences dating back to 1972 into his eco-endeavors. He has tremendous field and technical expertise in successful watershed restorations, plus wastewater, urban runoff, water quality monitoring/improvements and hydrologic mechanisms. He's built everything from commercial spas to award-winning private residences, and provided peer review and consultant analyses for single homes, subdivisions and upscale resorts.

View articles written by Roger Butow Read Roger's full biography on the Staff Page

His resumé is extensive, try an online GOOGLE search of his personal journey and historical accomplishments. His consultation fees are reasonable and if you've got a major project that alarms you, that needs creative intervention, then he's your man. His credentials and "CV" can be provided upon request.

Contact him at his office: (949) 715.1912 or drop him an email:

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