Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Orange County Performance Auditor Steve Danley has made headlines by exposing the corruption at the County of Orange – where pay raises are handed out like treats, many times without justification.  That this is happening while workings are being laid off and families are losing their homes makes this graft even more disgusting.

And perhaps the worst detail of Danley’s recent report is that Santa Ana Councilman Carlos Bustamante and SAUSD Trustee Rob Richardson are amongst the overpaid County employees who have received raise after raise without justification.  Santa Ana is home to the most foreclosures in Orange County.  These two greedy public servants aren’t serving the working families of Santa Ana – instead they are grabbing as much taxpayer money as they can.

The O.C. Register reported that “Auditors disagree that the rules were followed. Mismanagement by the county’s Human Resources has made the county more expensive to run and less productive, according to the report. Auditors said $149.3 million can be saved by changing the way Human Resources does business. Correcting those problems could be the answer to solving many, if not all, of the county’s financial woes.”

“Assistant CEO Rob Richardson was promoted from assistant to the CEO in January 2006 and given a 27.4 percent raise. That same day, he got a 2 percent countywide merit increase. Six months later, auditors noted he got a 4.5 percent salary hike “with no justification provided.” Then in April 2008, Richardson got another 8.3 percent salary adjustment,” according to the Voice of OC blog.

“Carlos Bustamante was the OC Public Works administrative director when he was promoted to executive manager to also oversee OC Facilities. OC Public Works Director Jess Carbajal told auditors in December that Bustamante could not do the entire job because of potential conflicts with his City Council position. Santa Ana pays for half of the Civic Center maintenance costs; the county the other half. Carbajal said the assignment was temporary; the CEO said it was permanent. Bustamante was the Republican establishment’s preferred candidate for an open seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2007. He finished fourth in the contest. The county paid him $156,178 last year,” according to the O.C. Register.

The annual median household income in Santa Ana is $43, 412, according to the City of Santa Ana.  Bustamante pulls down almost four times that income, and Richardson earned $194,489.60 last year – almost five times the household median income in Santa Ana.

Bustamante and Richardson are Republicans, in a town that is overwhelmingly Democratic.  They don’t appear to be tea party Republicans!

Assemblyman Jose Solorio supported both of them in their last elections – as did Supervisor Janet Nguyen.

Both Bustamante and Richardson face reelection in 2012.  I hope the voters and our politicians remember how these two ripped off Orange County’s taxpayers!



By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

9 thoughts on “Republicans Bustamante and Richardson get caught ripping off O.C.’s taxpayers”
  1. Getting a raise is not a crime.

    The criticism of Auditor Danley’s recent report is aimed at those making the decisions, the county manager and human resources. And those persons bosses are the 5 county supervisors.

    Your criticism that a couple of Republicans are enjoying a system of exaggerated pay and benefits that the cabal of Democrats who run the state of California supports and created to benefit themselves and their cronies.

    1. cook,

      It is a crime when the raises are pushed through without proper vetting. Go back and read the Register article and note how many raises Richardson and Bustamante reeled in. That they did this while laying off county workers is disgusting. Our County is broke. Now we know why…

  2. Back in the 80’s an organization I was a member use to to a “price” survey. They would send out to their members the results of the survey. My father and I would adopt that as our price list.

    In the late 80’s or early 90’s the organization gave notice that their will not be doing that survey anymore because it could be considered a form of “Price Fixing”.

    Currently and for as long as I can remember, the cities of Orange County and the County itself, does a salary survey between themselves on what they pay their people in managements positions.

    The proof that this system of salary setting is a form of “Price Fixing” is the fact that replacements are always paid a rate higher than the ones who left or retired. Whereas in the private market place, the new guy or gal starts at the bottom of the wage scale when first hired.

  3. I believe that it was Rob Richardson who helped Bustamante get the job to begin with.

    Bustamante is barely qualified to wipe his own ass and Rob needs assistance to wipe his.

    Perhaps Carlos can get a job as Rob’s caregiver. Instead of just kissing ass he can wipe some too.

  4. Rob Richardson is a weasel. No know much about “Bustos” other than his reputation for saying stupid things.

    I love these small government types working for and taking advantage of………..The Government!

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