SANTA ANA — About one month after being placed on paid administrative leave following allegations that he had had inappropriate sexual relations with subbordinate staff, OC Public Works Executive Manager, and Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante has left the building, literally.
UPDATE: From the OC Register this afternoon we see how, again, county managers get special treatment.
Bustamante said in his resignation letter that he is not entitled to a 90-day severance package because he is voluntarily resigning, but said he has agreed to accept a 90-day severance package in exchange for not suing the county.
Regular employees do not get such options. It just doesn’t happen. Read the complete OC Register story here.
The Orange County Register reported last night:
County executive manager Carlos Bustamante, the target of an internal investigation into accusations that he had sexual encounters with his employees, resigned from his job Tuesday afternoon.
Bustamante, who is also a Santa Ana councilman, was put on paid administrative leave Sept. 12 after the county received an anonymous letter detailing allegations of a sexual nature against Bustamante, the director of administrative services for Orange County public works.
County CEO Tom Mauk confirmed Bustamante submitted a resignation letter Tuesday but declined to discuss whether the county’s investigation into the accusations against Bustamante had been completed or if it had been expanded to other employees in public works.
“I can’t confirm anything else,” Mauk said.
Each of the five county supervisors was handed an envelope containing copy of Bustamante’s resignation letter after Tuesday’s board meeting. Details of the letter were not publicly revealed.
I can only presume that the allegations placed Bustamante in a position where he had two choices, stay and fight and likely face involuntary termination from his high level position, or cut and run while he could. The burning question is whether he will choose to resign his position on the Santa Ana City Council. The determination of his fitness to serve as an elected official after such allegations is between him and the voters of Santa Ana who will have the opportunity to decide a little more than a year from now in November 2012.
Bustamante was once a rising star in the Orange County Republican Party as one of the few Latino’s in the party elected to a City Council. It should be interesting to see who joins in the calls for him to resign.
If it wasn’t for the fact that I don’t trust the Santa Ana City Council to make a good decision on a replacement I would probably join the calls for him to step aside. The allegations of infidelity by Bustamante have circulated for years. There has been no actual change other than greater public awareness to his character. The voters chose to reelect him in 2008 after his now infamous water-bra comment.
We’ll have to watch and see what the fall out is in the coming weeks.