OC Register: Santa Ana Councilman Bustamante Placed on Leave from County Job

The Orange County Register is reporting that Santa Ana city council member Carlos Bustamante, the only Republican on the council, has been suspended from his county job pending an investigation into a sex allegation. Bustamante, who represents Ward 3, is on paid administrative leave from his job as an executive manager with the county’s Public Works Department.

From the story:  “The leave was imposed after the county received an anonymous letter last month detailing allegations of a sexual nature against Bustamante, an executive manager overseeing Public Works’ Facilities and Fleet Services divisions.

Details of those allegations have not been made public, but several county employees have confirmed the existence of the letter.

HR Director Carl Crown would not provide a reason for the leave, saying only that “it’s a personnel matter.” Crown also declined to discuss whether the county had opened an investigation into Bustamante.”

There’s no indication that Bustamante will step down or take a leave of absence from his duties as a city council member in Santa Ana.  Bustamante was was promoted to executive manager for O.C. Public Works seven months ago and eanred $178,277 last year, according to county pay data.  He is considered an at-will employee of the county and could be fired if the allegations are true.


  7 comments for “OC Register: Santa Ana Councilman Bustamante Placed on Leave from County Job

  1. September 15, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    The truth is, there is no such thing as an at-will employee in public service. No one will prosecute, no one will do much more than scream and bitch for awhile until everyone gets tired if it. Then, he’ll quietly go back to work with no more than a slap on the hand even if the charges are true.

  2. junior
    September 15, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    why would the County give any credence to an anonymous letter? That does not make sense. There must be more to this than just that.

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    September 16, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Bustamante made a statement to the Register:

    “I am not at liberty to discuss an on-going investigation; however I strongly deny the vicious and hurtful rumors surrounding my employment with the County of Orange,” Bustamante said in a statement. “My family and I are confident that the investigation will disprove them and I am looking forward to returning to work.”

    While this entire investigation is certainly worth following, it’s had to see how there’s any violation of the City’s Code of Ethics here. The alledged actions pertain to Bustamante’s county job, not anything he’s done as a city council member.

  4. Howard be my name
    September 16, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Just because the letter was anonymous doesn’t mean it didn’t contain enough information to allow an investigation to take place. An anonymous letter could certainly contain a good deal of specific information.

  5. JT
    September 18, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Is this story really a surprise to anyone who knows him? I just wonder why it took so long.

  6. DestinysBike
    September 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    So when will Pedroza strike against Benevides? I smell a lawsuit

  7. September 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm


    Register reports 4 women are named in the investigation.

    There is no mention on trghe City Council agenda calling for his removal from his job. His county job has nothing to do with his actions as a city council member. But it’ll be intersting to see if the city council calls on him to resign after coming to Claudia Alvarez’s defense.

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