At its meeting today, the Orange County Board of Supervisors appointed Michael Giancola as the county Chief Executive Officer. Below is the Press Release regarding the appointment.
SANTA ANA, CA — The County of Orange Board of Supervisors today selected Michael B. Giancola to serve as County Executive Officer (CEO) effective immediately.
Giancola has served as Director of OC Waste & Recycling since 2009 and has been employed by the County of Orange for more than 30 years. “Mike’s long career with the County shows that someone can rise from an entry-level position to head an organization with more than 17,000 employees,” said Shawn Nelson, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “He has proven at each level of the organization that he has the skills, leadership abilities and drive needed to succeed.”
During his 27 years with OC Waste & Recycling, Giancola has served in several management capacities, including as the first manager of the County’s recycling program and as Deputy Director for both the department’s Central and South Regions. During his four year tenure as Director of OC Waste & Recycling, the department has secured revised solid waste permits to provide Orange County with long term disposal capacity, has expanded renewable energy opportunities at the County’s landfill sites and has developed an educational outreach partnership that resulted in the award winning Eco Challenge exhibit at the Discovery Science Center.
Giancola first joined the County in 1977 as a Park Attendant at Mile Square Park. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1980-85 and rejoined the County’s Harbor, Beaches and Parks Department upon his discharge from military service. He began working for the County’s Integrated Waste Management Department, now known as OC Waste & Recycling, in January 1986. Giancola received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and is a former President of the Southern California Founding Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America. He is also a graduate of the Orange County Leadership Academy.
The employment agreement approved by the Board of Supervisors sets Giancola’s annual salary at $245,000. The agreement also requires that he pay the employee’s share of the normal cost of his pension benefit plus the complete reverse pick-up pension contribution.
Giancola has been the subject of a lawsuit leveled by former Waste and Recycling Human Resources Manager Kathleen Tahilramani, alleging whistle-blower retaliation. A settlement of that lawsuit was reached last year but has not yet been approved by the Board of Supervisor’s. According to a report in The Voice of OC; Giancola has been accused of being involved with a salvaging operation at the county landfills and using county workers to do private work for him, according to sources and documents filed in a whistle-blower’s [Tahilramani] lawsuit against the county.
The county has hired an outside law firm to review allegations of misconduct involving several county officials. Supervisor Nelson indicated that the investigation of Giancola had cleared him of any wrong-doing. From the Voice of OC story:
After announcing this week their decision to place the hiring of Giancola on their meeting agenda, supervisors said they received a briefing on the report but haven’t read it themselves.
Nelson slammed the whistle-blower leveling the complaints against Giancola, saying the spoken reports he had received about the investigation led him to conclude the allegations were baseless.
Yet after being pressed by reporters as well as receiving a letter from an attorney representing the whistle-blower, Nelson said he asked county attorneys to give him the actual report.
“We’ve asked to look at it,” said Nelson late Wednesday after announcing Giancola as his choice for CEO.
Giancola’s appointment as CEO is effective immediately.