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Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido is working behind the scenes to keep Jill Arthur, the recently ousted deputy city manager, involved in city business, according to sources close to City Hall.

Arthur officially separated from the city on Sept. 12 after six months of paid administrative leave. She left the city’s employ after a city investigation into whether she attempted to use her influence at City Hall in an inappropriate manner.

Last year she allegedly backed her car into a vehicle owned by a 23-year-old Buena Park resident, Marcel Alvarez. Instead of exchanging insurance information, Arthur took Alvarez to the city’s work center and instructed staff to help Alvarez find a job, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

Although no city officials would comment publicly, numerous sources confirmed that Arthur’s separation came as a result of this incident.

On Oct. 7, Arthur contacted a city employee to make a request on behalf of the mayor, according to sources familiar with the situation. The communication raised eyebrows at City Hall, and City Attorney Sonia Carvalho is investigating  whether Arthur may work as an unpaid volunteer, sources said.

Arthur was part of a small cadre of high-level officials, including former Police Chief and City Manager Paul Walters and former City Manager Dave Ream, who effectively ran the city with Pulido for years.

Ream retired in 2011, and Walters was ousted earlier this year after a new council majority, dubbed the Santa Ana Spring, began to chip away at the mayor’s control over the city’s levers of power.

Pulido hung up on a reporter when reached by phone for comment.

Please contact Adam Elmahrek directly at aelmahrek@voiceofoc.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/adamelmahrek

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