Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Click on each topic’s headline to see the article.
Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.
County Public Works Chief Fired
Somebody make the popcorn, because this is going to be a great show!
The finger pointing begins. [Former Public Works Director Jess] Carbajal will probably file a claim with the county within the week, followed by a nice wrongful-termination lawsuit.
What a sad ending to Supervisor [Bill] Campbell’s career. He needs to do the right thing: Stop protecting [County CEO Tom] Mauk and clean house, starting with Mauk, then No. 2 Rob Richardson, who apparently was busy deleting videos of [former county Public Works executive Carlos] Bustamante groping in elevators and stairways on county property.
This is the scandal that will show Southern California how corrupt this county truly is. The supes talk a great game, but when it comes down to it, they will stall and protect their pals till the end.
Well, the end is finally here.
— Cacityguy / July 10
Bates as Swing Vote on Firing County CEO
[Supervisor Pat] Bates wants [Supervisor Bill] Campbell on her side if she is going to raise money, pay off campaign debts and run for office again. He has much influence with the Republican machine.
Support for firing Mauk would kill his support for her. By diverting attention from Mauk’s role in covering up Bustamante’s action and leaving county staff and others exposed to his actions for a much longer time, Campbell gives Bates a way out.
Unless Bates is bombarded with extremely bad press, Mauk will be allowed to negotiate his own severance package, including when he will leave, how much severance he will get, immunity from consequences of his decision not to act on the report [on Bustamante].
Campbell, Nguyen and Bates will vote to approve it. The county will pay out plenty of money for damages for Mauk’s (and Supervisor Campbell’s) coverup by the time this is over.
— Tiredofit / July 10
Wolf In Charge of the Flock
Here’s how the county works:
Each year the chairman of the Board of Supervisors distributes a memo to every county employee restating the county’s policy against any form of workplace hostility, harassment or retaliation. The penalty is discipline up to and including termination.
At the same time the CEO, Human Resources, and county counsel aid and abet a known sexual predator in a senior management position for eight years. Such double standards do not go unnoticed by the county workforce.
Any person who follows the county’s established procedures to report wrongdoing or fraud is immediately labeled a whistle-blower. As such, department heads and the Human Resources Department initiate retaliation measures.
Such retaliation includes shunning, being placed on a do-not-promote list, harassment without fingerprints and veiled or explicit threats from county counsel attorneys. These measures are performed in a public manner so the person serves as an example to other would-be whistle-blowers.
The threat to Bustamante’s victims’ careers was very real. That’s how Bustamante knew he could intimidate his unwilling victims into silence for so many years. (By the way, not all were unwilling.) He saw that county senior management would protect him while attacking the victims.
Counter to all the rosy rhetoric by the Board of Supervisors, the county does not protect victims or do-gooders but rather singles them out for public harassment and retaliation.
— OC Bureaucrat / July 7 and 8
Nepotism in Anaheim
In defense of Connie-Jewel Eastman [Councilwoman Gail Eastman’s daughter-in-law and aide], she was [county Clerk-Recorder] Tom Daly’s aide long before her mother-in-law got elected. She knows the pitfalls, and her experience has kept Gail from being manipulated even more by political sharks like [Councilwoman Kris] Murray and the ghost of [former Mayor] Curt Pringle. Who would you want to be working at City Hall, a college intern?
Now in regards to Galloway’s aide, the free trip to Spain is just the tip of the iceberg. How may of the folks on the payroll of her “nonprofit” are being funded by those seeking political favor? That may be a story.
— Praetor / July 11
There is no story here. The assistant is a part-time employee, and the article clearly states the following:
The city’s current nepotism policy bans hiring relatives of council members. But the ban extends only to full-time employees, according to Human Resources Director Kristine Ridge.
And with respect to the entertainment tickets, the article also states that rewarding employees of the city is totally permissible. In fact, Councilwoman Galloway gives tickets away at each council meeting to the hard-working employees of the city of Anaheim (including her assistant).
With a city that is suffering from gang violence, a rising crime rate and unemployment, the drama this article attempts to create seems quite trivial and silly.
— Karate Kid / July 11
Council Districts for Anaheim
Council districts change nothing. It isn’t race that separates the candidates, it is money. And those who think that the little guy going door to door can out-campaign the special interests who have bought elections for decades are kidding themselves. You think the machine cannot find someone for sale they can run in your district?
What is worse, we have a council that uses its voting blocks to cut deals to punish each other. Do you trust them not to dump all the junk projects in your district because your council member didn’t go along with the program?
Right now if you think the hills people are voting to dump the bad projects in another area, you have the ability to vote them out. You lose that if you go to districts.
Flatlands Anaheim has way more voters than the hills. Get off your duffs and vote, outnumber the hills people and put good people in. But districts are not the way to do it.
— Cynthia Ward / July 12
Counterintuitive, eh? The poorest ones are the fattest.
Only in America, only in America.
— Beelzebub / July 10
Turmoil at CalOptima
While the critical need for access to health care by OC citizens must remain the mission over the chronic malicious, senseless and childish disruption of CalOptima, why, oh, why doesn’t someone simply sue the pants off the person who is responsible?
It is inconceivable that one person should be allowed to do this much damage for no other reasons than revenge, delusions of grandeur and political ambition.
— Roslyn / July 12
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