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OC Swap Meet Operator Calls Eviction Decision ‘Political Payback’

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COSTA MESA (CBS) — For 42 years, weekend swap meet goers have been able to take advantage of the many steals and deals at the Orange County Market Place. But this week, the Orange County Fair Board voted 6-3 to evict the operator of the popular venue.

“We’re arguably in the worst recession since the great depression. The recklessness and carelessness of this board is unconscionable,” swap meet operator Jeff Teller said.

Although the order doesn’t go into effect for 18 months, Teller says he’s furious and baffled at the decision. The Fair Board wants to make it clear that the swap meet will continue to operate.

“Why would you pick a 42-year tenant out that has an exemplary business record, always pays their bills, always paid their rent on time, claiming that the business model has failed, put their business that they created back on the street for someone else to take over,” he said.

Board members have said publicly that Teller’s revenues have dropped over 50 percent in the last four years and call this a financial decision. But Teller says there’s more to the story.

“Because we exposed the misdeeds of this Fair Board, they decided that the only way to keep all these facts suppressed is to kick us out,” Teller said.

Teller accuses the board of trying to purchase the Fairgrounds for themselves around the time that the State announced it was for sale.

The District Attorney did investigate and found that there was no conflict of interest.

But one board member told CBS2’s Stacey Butler that at this week’s board meeting, he asked that an oversight committee be formed, but was voted down.

We were unable to reach any of the other board members for comment by our deadline.

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» OC Fair Board Votes To Evict Swap Meet After 42-Year Run

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