Report Sheds Light on Infighting, Scandal at Santa Ana City Hall

The results of an investigation into Santa Ana City Manager David Cavazos have been released and, while it found no violation of city policy, the report concluded that Cavazos exposed the city to millions of dollars in potential liability.

According to the report, Cavazos carried on a romantic relationship with a subordinate city employee in 2014 and did not disclose it until a year later. That same relationship earned him censuring from the International City/County Management Association earlier this month.

In addition, the investigation found that Cavazos’ claims of sexual harassment against Council Member Michele Martinez were without merit. The councilwoman had no interest in him whatsoever, the report said.

The investigation cleared Cavazos of several other allegations, however. The city manager did not improperly influence the selection panel for a planning manager position, according to the report, nor could anyone prove that Cavazos searched the emails of Martinez and the mayor, although someone definitely did.

Mayor Miguel Pulido said the relationship between Cavazos and the city employee is still going on and that it continues to open the city up to millions of dollars in potential liability. Santa Ana has no policy prohibiting relationships between city employees, however, so even if it is unethical, Cavazos is not violating any rules. Mayor Pulido now says he will work to change that.

The investigation was launched at the behest of Martinez and Pulido and carried out by Cerritos-based firm Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo. Now that it’s over, Cavazos says he hopes everyone can “work together to build on our successes” and serve the Santa Ana community.

Good luck.


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