County CEO Faces Ouster Over Handling of Bustamante Affair

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The Orange County Board of Supervisors will meet Friday at 3 p.m. to discuss firing County CEO Tom Mauk over his handling of the Carlos Bustamante affair.

A notice just released by the clerk of the board states that supervisors will gather in a special closed session to discuss Mauk’s termination.

One item on the agenda released by the board clerk reads “Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release,” and another item is titled “Public Employee Appointment,” which refers to the possible naming of an interim county CEO.

On Tuesday Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas charged Bustamante, a Santa Ana city councilman and former manager at the Orange County Public Works department, with a host of felonies related to his alleged sexual assaults of at least seven women who were his subordinates at the county.

Bustamante, who has maintained his innocence, resigned his county position last October after an county probe into the allegations against him was completed. It has since been established, however, that Mauk and other high-level county officials had known about the allegations since at least March 2011.

Rackauckas said today in court that he would investigate the county government with an eye toward explaining how Bustamante was allowed to remain in his position for so long, especially after workers began voicing concerns.

For months, questions have swirled inside the county administration building regarding how the matter was handled, with most of the recent focus centered on Mauk and County Counsel Nick Chrisos.

— NORBERTO SANTANA JR.

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