Supervisors seek audit and possible lease renegotiation with LA County Fair Assn. – Los Angeles Times

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday ordered an audit of the Los Angeles County Fair Assn. and called for a possible renegotiation of the organization’s long-term lease in response to a Times investigation that found the fair’s managers were richly compensated even as the association lost money.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said he objected to the lavish compensation given to the nonprofit executives of the fair association, which operates on county land.

The Times reported Tuesday that the fair association’s chief executive, James Henwood Jr., 69, collected nearly $900,000 in total compensation in 2013, dwarfing that of other fair managers in California, according to the group’s tax filings and state records. That same year, the fair association lost $3.4 million.

From 2010 through 2013, Henwood and four members of his executive team received a combined $2.8 million in bonuses and incentive pay, boosting their total compensation to $8.75 million.

“Look at the excessive, generous compensations,” Antonovich said. “It doesn’t make for good business practice, be it a private company or a public company.”

Antonovich added that the salaries and bonuses reported in The Times story were out of line with other operators of fairs in California. “It’s not logical, or reasonable,” he said.