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Santa Ana has hired Cynthia Kurtz, a retired Pasadena city manager, as its interim city manager, just two weeks after the City Council voted to remove Parks Director Gerardo Mouet as acting city manager and after Police Chief Carlos Rojas resigned.

Kurtz, who has also been the interim city manager for the city of Covina and an ethics consultant to the city of Vernon alongside former California State Attorney General John Van de Kamp, accepted the temporary position Tuesday, according to a city news release.

She will replace the current Acting City Manager Robert Cortez, who took over two weeks ago, to fill a position that has been the center of controversy for past several months. The city council voted to hire her at its May 2 meeting, according to the release.

Former City Manager David Cavazos was forced to resign in January after a faction of the city council backed by the police union, led by Mayor Miguel Pulido, voted to approve a severance deal for Cavazos.  

Mouet served as the acting city manager for just a few months before he was ousted in late April, just as he was set to appoint an acting police chief.

The vote to remove Mouet, and return him to his post as parks and recreation director, came from the four council members who have been outspoken supporters of Rojas and have taken high-profile positions lately on the opposite side of the city’s police union.

Kurtz has also worked as the chief economic officer for the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership and the chief operating officer for the LA River Revitalization Corporation.

She received an undergraduate degree in Community Development and Housing from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Arts in Transportation and Urban Development from the University of Iowa, according to the city press release.

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

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