A Jerry Brown appointee to the board that runs the Del Mar fair has decided to throw in the towel after just one four-year term. “I am writing to inform you that I will not be seeking an additional term as a member of the Board of Directors of the 22nd District Agricultural Association following the expiration of my term on January 15, 2015,” says a November 14 letter from David Lizerbram to Brown appointments secretary Mona Pasquil. “While my immediate professional and charitable commitments over the next year will prevent me from continuing to serve as a Director following the expiration of my term, it would be my pleasure to be of service to the State of California in the future.” Lizerbram, “co-founder of the Craft Beer Association of San Diego, a think tank focused on promoting San Diego County’s dynamic craft beer industry,” according to his website, recused himself and left the room during a fair board debate this fall about turning its pseudo Spanish Revival “Race Place” complex into a super-sized brewpub and wedding venue.
Questions by Lizerbram about an earlier proposal that would have allowed booze behemoth MillerCoors to set up a microbrewery with fair food vendor Premier Food Services had raised nagging conflict of interest questions. “We want to do this in a way that passes every smell test,” board chairman Fred Schenk said regarding Lizerbram’s September recusal. Schenk is also a Brown donor and fair board appointee whose sister Lynn was a top Brown aide and now serves on the state’s high-speed rail commission. Reached by phone earlier this week, Lizerbram said his decision not to stand for reappointment to the fair board was unrelated to the beer vote. Lizerbram’s father, Sol, a longtime Brown campaign backer, was a business associate of Richard Silberman, Brown’s business and transportation secretary during the Democratic governor’s second term back in the 1970s.
The fallen financier subsequently went to prison after being caught up in a federal money-laundering sting. In 1989, the then-former governor — who as of the end of 2013 has reported having between $100,000 and $1 million worth of stock in Sol Lizerbram’s Health Fusion, Inc. — attended David Lizerbram’s Bar Mitzvah.