Trial for County Exec’s Wrongful Termination Suit Set for Next January

With the sex crimes case against former Orange County Public Works executive Carlos Bustamante finally over, Bustamante’s boss, former Public Works Director Jess Carbajal, got his own trial date.

The jury trial in Carbajal’s wrongful termination lawsuit against the county has been scheduled for January 9, 2017.

Carbajal argues supervisors improperly forced his firing in July 2012 to help quash a brewing political firestorm that threatened to uncover their own mismanagement of sexual assault allegations against Bustamante, who was sentenced to one year in jail last month. 

The trial was delayed as many of the documents needed for Carbajal’s case were under seal by the Orange County District Attorney’s office until Bustamante’s case was closed.

The trial is expected to last 7 to 10 days, according to minutes from a trial setting conference.

Carbajal’s attorney Michael A. Penn did not return requests for comment.

Contact Thy Vo at tvo@voiceofoc.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.