Bustamante a No-Show at Santa Ana Council Meeting

Councilman Carlos Bustamante - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC
Councilman Carlos Bustamante – Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

Television media trucks lined up in front of the Santa Ana police department headquarters last night in hopes of getting a live shot of Councilman Carlos Bustamante, who was arrested two weeks ago on sexual assault charges. But Bustamante had other plans. He failed to attend the City Council meeting not only disappointing the media, but the audience packed into the Police Community Room for the meeting as well.

Max Madrid (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

Bustamante’s absence only slightly toned down the entertainment value of the meeting. The Public Comment portion of the meeting ran for more than an hour with speakers criticizing the actions of City Parks and Recreation Commissioner Max Madrid for his lawsuit against the city clerk in an effort to allow Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez to seek a fourth term on the council. Speakers also called upon the council to repeal the Downtown Community Assessment District (PBID), place a “Sunshine Ordinance” on the ballot. This was in addition to residents concerns over the damage to Santa Ana’s reputation caused by Carlos Bustamante’s alleged criminal misbehavior.

Claudia Alvarez
Santa Ana Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

During the closed session that preceded the public portion of the meeting, the council approved the retention of an outside attorney to defend the City Clerk, Maria Huizar, in the lawsuit filed by Madrid. There was no indication from the City Attorney as to whether member Alvarez recused herself from the closed session portion related to the suit, but based upon her recusal two weeks ago, it’s likely she did not participate in discussions about Madrid’s suit on her behalf.

Because Bustamante was not in attendance at the meeting, the City Manager requested the continuance of item 19D, related to the Downtown Community Assessment District. Busamante’s attendance was required to meet a quorum necessary to take action on the matter.

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

The Council established and Ad Hoc Committee of members Michele Martinez, David Benavides, and Vincent Sarmiento to formulate possible charter initiatives for the November election ballot to address the establishment of term limits for the position of Mayor and a proposed “Sunshine Ordinance.”

Claudia Alvarez
Claudia Alvarez (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

During council member comments, Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez went on the attack against the City Clerk and in defense of her Parks and Recreation Commissioner Max Madrid. Regarding Madrid, Alvarez suggested that critics should lay off their attacks on Madrid because of his national service as a military veteran.

We’ll cover more from the meeting once the city posts the video of the meeting.


  1. can you blame Bustamante for pulling a no show. Im surprised he hasnt officially resigned by now.

  2. Lay off of madrid because he’s a veteran?! Maybe she shouldn’t use him to do her dirty work like shes doing because he’s a veteran either. What a dispicable creature she is.

  3. Does this mean that Alvarez should back off on Paco Barragan? He’s a veteran….

    The humorous part of this is directing residents to New Santa Ana, the only media outlet that gives her unquestioned love….

  4. That should make the “usual putos” who run that blog quite pleased after all that’s why that blog was created. Pathetic.

  5. Being a veteran does not give you Carte Blanche to dishonor the will of the people. There are millions of veterans in this country who take their oath to the flag much more seriously than Mr. Max Madrid. You cannot hide behind the flag of this wonderful country after looking for loopholes in a measure that you helped pass. A measure that was deceitful to begin with as it implied that ethics was the main purpose for the bill and not the trailer that increased council term limits. Max should now sue to have council and Mayoral offices downtown turned into condominium apartments so that those in office will never have to move out.

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