July 12, 2016
CONTACT: Melanie Eustice, Communications Director
Phone: (714) 834-5492 Mobile: (714) 581-7784
Spitzer Statement on $500,000 Settlements with Each Bustamante Victim
(Orange County, CA) — Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer made this statement today after the Board of Supervisors approved settlements with the victims of former OC Public Works Manager Carlos Bustamante:
Today the Orange County Board of Supervisors acted to bring a legal close to the civil proceedings involving the criminal acts of a now disgraced former County manager, Carlos Bustamante. While our actions cannot erase the damage caused to his innocent victims, we hope the monetary settlement will ease the pain of the damage he caused. We offer our sincerest sympathies to those who suffered at the hands of this former County manager’s criminal conduct.
The County does not tolerate acts of harassment or aggression against its employees by anyone. We are committed to a safe and healthy workplace. Bustamante’s reprehensible actions are not accepted, expected or condoned within any Department of County government.
The County has done everything imaginable to assist those affected to become whole again after his acts. We offered to settle with the victims rather than requiring them to endure the stress and exposure of going through the civil litigation process to help right the wrongs against them committed by Bustamante.
The County has implemented safeguards with new policies and procedures, mandated routine and regular training of all employees in reporting and recognizing any form of harassment.
County employees in Bustamante’s chain-of-command, who may have contributed to a culture which tolerated the defendant’s acts, have all left the County or been terminated. The Board of Supervisors agendized the termination of the then-County Executive Officer, who subsequently resigned.
I have continued to demand that OCERS, the County’s retirement system, terminate retirement benefits for County employees who so egregiously violate the trust of their constituents, being convicted of criminal acts committed during their employment. Numerous criminal charges were filed against the defendant. When Bustamante was convicted the County appeared at his sentencing to request restitution on behalf of both the County and the individual victims of his acts.
Our continued hope, is to move toward complete healing and restitution for all those affected by defendant’s unwanted, illegal and immoral acts of misconduct. This concludes a dark chapter of our County’s family history.