Supervisors Schedule Meeting to Review Bustamante Matter

The Orange County Board of Supervisors will meet in a special closed session Friday for a performance evaluation of CEO Tom Mauk that will focus specifically on the handling of sexual harassment allegations against Carlos Bustamante, according to the Orange County Register.

The meeting follows revelations by Voice of OC that supervisors will meet to consider whether they should refer the allegations to Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackaukas for a criminal investigation. The meeting, originally scheduled for Monday, was moved up in response to the Voice of OC story.

In October, Bustamante, who remains a Santa Ana city councilman, quickly resigned from his job as an executive in the OC Public Works department after county officials launched an investigation into the allegations made by about a dozen female employees.

The matter was widely considered closed until recently, when a report by Peter Hughes, county director of internal audits, made its way to the supervisors, according to sources close to the situation.

The sources say the four-page review concludes that the county’s own investigations revealed problems about how the county bureaucracy reacted to allegations from employees that Bustamante was aggressively confronting female workers. The allegations triggered action only after workers sent anonymous letters to several news outlets.

Mauk in particular is under fire because top officials at OC Public Works, such as Director Jess Carbajal, did nothing about allegations against Bustamante when they were first received from female workers, the sources say.