Police Chief Questions Conclusions Drawn From Coroner’s Report on Costa Mesa Employee

Costa Mesa Police Chief Steve Staveley is questioning conclusions that Huy Pham, a maintenance worker who committed suicide by jumping off the Costa Mesa City Hall, had cocaine in his blood the day he died, according to a column in the Orange County Register by Barbara Venezia.

From Venezia’s column:

Costa Mesa Police Chief Steve Staveley said, “I saw the coroner’s report, and I saw no indication of cocaine, but I’m not a physician.”

He also went on to caution anyone reading the report that there could be other contributing factors and that “trace amounts” could be a result of other drugs, but again he stressed he’s not a pharmacist or a physician.

I delivered my quotes to the newspaper, but something kept nagging at me. Why wasn’t the chief buying the whole cocaine thing?

So I called him early Friday morning.

“Barbara, I’m looking at the report right now. The drug found was something called Benzoylecgonine. I’m no doctor, but look at what it says on Wikipedia. Someone needs to get this information out for this man’s family,” Staveley said.