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Home Bill Campbell Orange County CEO Tom Mauk may be fired over the Bustamante affair

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Orange County CEO Tom Mauk may be fired over the Bustamante affair

Karina Onofre Banner

The Orange County Board of Supervisors will meet Friday at 3 p.m. to discuss firing County CEO Tom Mauk over his handling of the Carlos Bustamante affair, according to the Voice of OC.

Bustamante’s boss, Jess Carbajal, was placed on leave in mid-March of this year, after the Bustamante affair first blew up.

Orange County Counsel Nick Chrisos could be toast as well.  And the Voice of OC has also reported that Supervisor Bill Campbell and the Orange County Human Resources department knew about Bustamante’s behavior awhile ago.  Here are a few excerpts from one of their recent articles

But that was not the first time Mauk had been made aware of Bustamante’s alleged conduct. A complaint had surfaced in March 2011. Yet at that time no specific action was taken at that time to stop Bustamante’s actions, which Rackauckas now says continued unabated until his resignation in October.

Supervisor Bill Campbell – who was then supervisors’ chairman – remembers telling Mauk to look into the complaint and that it was referred to human resources. But because the county’s human resources department had been decentralized, it resulted in Bustamante being investigated by one of his own subordinates.

The O.C. Register reported that “Mauk commissioned an outside law firm, Fisher & Phillips LLP, to conduct an investigation, Moorlach said. When that report came back in September, Bustamante agreed to resign with 90 days of severance pay in exchange for not suing the county.”

At the same time that Fisher & Phillips was doing their investigation, according to the O.C. Register, “a call about Bustamante came in to the county’s internal fraud hotline. The county’ s internal auditor, Peter Hughes, began an investigation, not knowing that the Fisher & Phillips probe was also in the works.”

Prosecutors have said investigators are continuing to focus on whether anyone within the county knew about the allegations, according to the L.A. Times.

When this is all over I also expect Orange County Manager Rob Richardson, who is an assistant to Mauk, to get dragged into the investigation.  He is supposedly the one who first recruited Bustamante into a job at the County.

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