Less than a month after being appointed interim Orange County CEO, Bob Franz is slated for a 5.5 percent raise.

At this morning’s public meeting, Orange County supervisors will consider giving Franz a 5.5 percent raise while the former chief financial officer acts as CEO and oversees a national search for his replacement.

Supervisors will be voting on Franz’s raise just after attending a quiet morning party for outgoing CEO Tom Mauk, whose farewell was originally planned for the Hall of Administration but was changed to a private affair and moved across town to the Elks Lodge in Santa Ana.

Mauk resigned on July 26 in the wake of the scandal involving county executive Carlos Bustamante, who was charged with a dozen felony sex crimes involving seven female county workers.

Since District Attorney Tony Rackauckas charged Bustamante, questions have swirled around county officials and how they handled complaints about Bustamante and other top executives.

While Mauk was eased out after tense negotiations over his $270,000 exit package, when he resigned, supervisors generally spoke glowingly about his eight-year term in office.

Only one supervisor, Shawn Nelson, has voiced his displeasure with Mauk’s tenure. Nelson was opposed to the Hall of Administration reception and reportedly didn’t sign the proclamation that other supervisors will hand Mauk today at the Elks Lodge.

Board of Supervisors Chairman John Moorlach said the goodbye reception for Mauk was “good form.”

“It’s good to get some appropriate closure,” Moorlach said. “I think Mr. Mauk gave the county really good eight years. It was a little awkward at the end, but we certainly want to recognize those contributions.”

Moorlach also defended the 5.5 percent raise for Franz, saying it was “just a small token to compensate him for the additional duties.”

Franz declined comment on his raise.

Moorlach said Franz would return to his regular salary once a permanent CEO was selected.

Nick Berardino, general manager for the Orange County Employees Association, blasted the Franz raise as “offensive” to county workers.

“The guy is only going to be there for a short period of time,” Berardino said, “and it makes no sense to be talking to working men and woman about reductions while you’re giving the top exec in the county a pay raise.”

Nelson also seemed to be the lone dissenter on the Franz pay raise as well as his selection as interim. “I’m against it,” Nelson said of the raise. “I wasn’t in favor of the selection.”

While not critical of Franz, Nelson said he just doesn’t see the posting as long term.

“This interim thing will be over before we know it,” Nelson said. “Why are we complicating things? Nobody promised a raise.”


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