California official 'accepted Panoz gifts'

A civic council executive from Stanislaus County, east of San Francisco, CA, has been asked to explain why she did not declare gifts she allegedly received last year from US businessman Don Panoz, having spent a week at his luxury Château Elan Hotel in Braselton, GA. Pat Paul and a superior had gone there to discuss a proposal by Panoz to establish a new motorsport facility in the Modesto area

California official 'accepted Panoz gifts'

Among other business interests, Panoz is the principal owner of Panoz Motorsports and the Elan Motorsport Technologies group of companies, the promoter of the American Le Mans Series, and the track operator at Sebring International Raceway in Florida and Mosport Park in Canada. Having built the Diablo Grande golf resort near the town of Patterson, also in Stanislaus County, he expressed an interest in operating a motorsport centre in the district.

Panoz proposed that the county would put up the money for land acquisition and basic infrastructure costs, and that he would then lease the facility from the county under a long-term agreement. Stanislaus board of supervisors chairman Ray Simon subsequently told him that there was "no way" the county would do that.

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