In sworn testimony, Mayor Miguel Pulido was accused of running a side business personally renting out city-owned property and interfering with police decisions about which illegal pot shops to raid. Pulido denies the allegations.
Valentin is a longtime Santa Ana police officer and manager who has served as interim chief for the past nine months. His leadership of the police department has been supported by City Council members as well as the police officers’ union.
Former Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas has filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming he was forced to resign after whistleblowing and as part of a concerted effort by the mayor and police union president to push him out.
In a legal claim he filed against the city, Carlos Rojas said he “was forced to involuntarily resign his civil service position as a result of potential illegal activity and/or noncompliance [with rules and/or regulations] among city officials.”
Cynthia Kurtz, a retired Pasadena city manager, will serve as 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.
Shootings in the city have tripled and homicides have doubled in recent years. City leaders are starting a community-wide conversation about how to address the issue, as they emphasize the need for everyone to work together.
Santa Ana City Council members Tuesday voted 4-3 to appeal in Orange County Superior Court a decision by the city’s personnel board to reinstate officer Brandon Sontag, who was fired after allegedly committing crimes during a 2015 raid of a pot shop.