Susan Luzzaro 4:30 p.m., March 10
Navarro's Documentary to Debut
The controversy-plagued documentary Death by China, produced by UC-Irvine professor Peter Navarro, former perennial San Diego political candidate, will debut March 28 at 4 p.m. at the Fashion Island Cinema, 999 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, according to the Laguna Beach Independent newspaper.
The big steel company Nucor was to finance the film with a $1 million grant to Navarro. But according to Nucor, Navarro wanted the money to be run through San Diego's Utility Consumers' Action Network, which wants to dissolve and is facing both a civil lawsuit from internal whistleblowers and an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office.
Possible financial irregularities of the consumers network are major subjects of both the civil suit and the government probe, and the Death by China financing is one key focus.
The Utility Consumers' Action Network sent $600,000 of Nucor's money on to Navarro, but retained $400,000. This week, in an ex parte court hearing, the network said it wants to pay the $400,000 to Navarro, even though the utility watchdog complained of its fragile finances.
The consumers' network wants the hearing on the movie's finances to be accelerated "to resolve the dispute over the 'legality' of the payment and to minimize potential consequential damages asserted by the payee [Navarro's Death by China Products LLC]," says the network's filing.
Pictured: Navarro from the Death by China website