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Bustamante’s County Promotion Gave Him A $9,000 Car Allowance Double-Dip

Councilman Carlos Bustamante - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante had to have been riding high last year when he got a quiet and unannounced promotion to Executive Manager with OC Public Works. His promotion, which County Performance Auditor Steve Danley found lacked proper justification, also included a $9,180 car allowance.

During all of the drama last year over double-dipperSanta Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido collecting a $6,000 annual car allowance in addition to a free car from AQMD, Bustamante escaped similar scrutiny because nobody knew he had received the promotion to Executive Manager that included the county paid car allowance. As a Councilman Bustamante also receives a $6,000 annual car allowance.

The problem with Bustamante’s particular promotion is that as the Orange County Register reports, his boss OC Public Works Director Jess Carbajal told auditors in December, Bustamante cannot 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.

So even after Bustamante embarasses himself, the County, and the City of Santa Ana with his now infamous “water-bra” comment about Sheriff Sandra Hutchens’ appointment as Sheriff by the Board of Supervisors over Santa Ana Police Chief Paul Walters, the CEO still allowed him to receive an unjustified promotion to Executive Manager as a likely consolation prize for not being selected as OC Public Works Director.

Who needs a water bra when you’ve got these kinds of perks?

One Comment

  1. cook cook June 8, 2011

    Is the auto allowance tax free or taxable?

    The fed’s reimbursement rate is 51 cents a mile this year and it was 50 cents a mile last year and 55 cents a mile in 2009.

    Local governments are very generous with other peoples money.

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