Orange School District Trustee John Ortega, who was named Chief of the Mt. San Jacinto College Police back in March of 2011, was placed on Administrative Leave by the school on December 15, 2011 for an undisclosed reason. Ortega has been rumored as a potential challenger to Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez in Orange County’s 46th Congressional District.
Murrietta Patch reports:
Ortega, who took the position as the top cop March 1, 2011, was on leave as of Dec. 15, MSJC Spokesperson Karin Marriott confirmed. She declined to comment on why, as it was a personnel matter, she said.
Ortega, 42, was listed as an Orange County Unified School District board member. Before he was hired at MSJC, he served as a police captain at Montebello Unified School District. Prior to that he served in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
MSJC, which serves students from much of western Riverside County, lost its former police chief, Kevin Segawa, in 2009. Segawa was charged and later pleaded guilty to eight felonies and two misdemeanors, mostly for directing the majority of towing profits to one company in exchange for gifts. He resigned shortly after his arrest.
Currently serving as interim chief for MSJC is Terry Meadows, a retired Riverside County Sheriff’s lieutenant, Marriott said. Meadows also served as interim when Segawa left.
We looked up campaign finance reports to see if Ortega has raised any money and thus far he has not filed any reports. Ortega is one of those right-wing darlings who touts family values. While the Mt. San Jacinto College administration isn’t talking, the rumor mill on campus is full of insight into the reason for Ortega’s sudden paid vacation.
We are hearing from anonymous campus sources that Ortega has been placed on leave for allegedly having sexual relations with more than one member of his staff. If this allegation sounds familiar, its probably because it is the same scenario that caused Santa Ana Councilman Carlos Bustamante to lose his job with the County of Orange Public Works department last year.
What is it about male Republican elected officials that makes sex scandals so attractive? We’ll let you know if we learn anything else.