Subject: MOORLACH UPDATE — Carlos Bustamante — July 3, 2012
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2012 21:45:01 +0000
From: Moorlach, John
To refresh your memory, you may want to reread MOORLACH UPDATE — Closed Sessions — March 14, 2012, which I am providing below. The reason I refer to this UPDATE is that I was unable to comment publicly on this issue until a thorough investigation had been concluded. The District Attorney, Tony Rackauckas, and his staff completed their investigation and arrested Santa Ana Councilman and former Orange County employee Carlos Bustamante yesterday evening.
When people ask me how it is going, I tell them that this is the busiest year to date. Dealing with the matter covered below certainly consumed a significant amount of my time. It started with the nonsense that our Internal Audit Department discovered after a lengthy investigation from a fraud hotline call that just turned my stomach. It generated countless meetings and resulted in the Board turning over the information in our possession to the District Attorney. The apparent failures in judgment in this case are staggering and massively disappointing. Once again, another elected person who should have known better has become a major source of disappointment.
I want to thank Peter Hughes, the County’s Internal Audit Department Director, for persevering through a very contentious investigation in spite of the stonewalling that he endured. I want to thank my colleagues for addressing this matter in a swift and professional manner once it came to our attention through the Internal Audit Department’s report. And, I want to thank Tony Rackauckas and his staff for pursuing this high-profile case against an elected official in Orange County.
I believe my quotes in the OC Register article at the bottom adequately express my views (I’m providing the online version, as there have been several iterations of the piece).
MOORLACH UPDATE — Closed Sessions — March 14, 2012:
I do not discuss matters that involve personnel or that are conducted in closed session with members of the media. The report below, in the Voice of OC, references the talking points that my office provided for my colleagues. Here it is:
On Friday, March 2, the Board of Supervisors received a confidential report from our Internal Auditor highlighting a number of concerns related to the handling of allegations of sexual harassment/misconduct in the County’s Public Works Department.
During the course of last week and today, Board members, both individually and collectively, have discussed these concerns with County Counsel, the Internal Auditor, the CEO, CEO Executive staff, and OC Public Works staff.
Through the Internal Audit Report and the aforementioned discussions, the Board learned of an investigative report, prepared at the behest of the CEO by an outside attorney during September of last year (2011), that assessed claims of sexual harassment/misconduct that were alleged in anonymous letters to the Board, media, and County staff.
In addition, the Board has directed the CEO to reassess the need for disciplinary action and any additional review as a result of the Internal Audit and outside investigator reports.
I want to reaffirm for all of the County’s employees that our Board remains firmly committed that unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation will not be tolerated. To the extent that such behavior occurs, it should be reported, thoroughly investigated, and met with an appropriate disciplinary response.
For the benefit of accuracy, the Board had scheduled a special closed session meeting for Monday, March 12th. After I met privately with CEO Tom Mauk on Wednesday morning, we agreed to move up the meeting to Friday and kept the Monday meeting on the calendar, in case it was necessary to meet again.
From the Voice of OC:
Supervisors’ Chairman John Moorlach also acknowledged the difficult discussions of weeks past over the Bustamante allegations but wouldn’t comment on any specifics. He did say all audits like the probe into Human Resources and the Bustamante affair showed that “we’re taking critical looks at ourselves.”
On the referrals to Rackauckas, Moorlach also declined comment only adding, “I’ll let the system do what it’s supposed to do.”
From the O.C. Register:
The charges against Bustamante are “a real black eye for the county,” said John Moorlach, chairman of the county’s board of supervisors. “We will do our best to make sure that management identifies this type of behavior sooner and deals with it, because it’s not fair to the female employees of the county. We have to make sure it never happens again.”