Nguyen’s Former Chief of Staff Returns

Andrew Do, who abruptly resigned as Supervisor Janet Nguyen’s chief of staff four years ago, has quietly returned part time to her county staff while she seeks election to the state Senate, according to county records.

Do, who is married to Superior Court Judge Cheri Pham, didn’t return phone calls left for him at both Nguyen’s office and his Irvine law office.

But according to county records, he began his $54.27 an hour part time job on Nguyen’s staff May 5.

It wasn’t clear how many hours a week Do will work as a county staffer, but the “extra help” category for his employment normally lasts only six months and doesn’t include benefits, like health insurance.

His hourly rate when he resigned as Nguyen’s chief of staff in May, 2010 was $33.50, but at that time he was a full-time employee and eligible for health, pension and other benefits.

Do played a critical advisory role in Nguyen’s 2007 special election when she won her supervisorial seat, after a lengthy court fight, by just seven votes. She was elected to a full term in 2008 and re-elected in 2012.

But he abruptly resigned as her chief of staff in May, 2010 saying only “It’s just time. The chief of staff position was never something that I thought I’d stay there for eight years.”

A year later he similarly suddenly quit as a member of the Garden Grove City Council before his first term expired. He said his businesses didn’t leave him enough time to properly handle his city council obligations.

Until July, 2010, Do was a partner with Nguyen’s husband, Tom Bonikowski in a Lee’s Sandwich franchise in Stanton. Bonikowski apparently gave up his ownership share in the franchise when it ran into financial difficulties.

Nguyen is the front-runner in the November election for the 34th state Senate seat after easily out-distancing two other contenders in the June 3 primary.

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