Investigation of Santa Ana Code Enforcement Turns Up Empty

Santa Ana officials have concluded an investigation into allegations that the head of code enforcement was having a romantic relationship with a city employee, and found the accusation had no merit, according to sources close to City Hall.

The investigation had focused on code enforcement department head Alvaro Nunez. But the probe was also broader and included allegations of time card fraud, and an alleged scheme to overload a property with code citations in order to drive down its value and purchase it at a lower price.

City investigators found no evidence substantiating either of those allegations, according to sources.

Nunez did not return a call seeking comment. And Alma Flores, the city’s communications manager, responded that city officials don’t comment on personnel matters.

Voice of OC first published an article about the investigation into Nunez’s alleged relationship with an employee last month.

An anonymous commenter with the psuedonym “Retired 101” leaked a memo in the comments section of the article. The memo was written by Tony Carvalho, a code enforcement officer, to Paula Courtade, a senior code enforcement officer. It alleges that  Courtade “and others” had been “falsifying attendance sheets for 6 months, indicating an employee was present, when in fact, was off work for 6 months.”

Carvalho declined to comment when reached for comment. Courtade, meanwhile, replied “no” when asked if the allegations were true and refused to comment further.

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