SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Former Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante was sentenced Friday to nearly a year in jail and ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life for sexual misconduct involving women he worked with at the county public works department.
Bustamante will also be on five years of formal probation, according to the plea agreement reached Dec. 18.
The former councilman is working to make arrangements with the county probation department to serve his time in a city jail, which he must pay for, Bustamante’s attorney, Brent Romney, said. If those arrangements can’t be made, Bustamante must report to Orange County Jail by Feb. 26.
Bustamante is required to serve at least 182 days of his 364-day sentence, which was handed down after he pleaded guilty to felony counts of attempted sexual battery and stalking, and misdemeanor counts of attempted sexual battery, simple assault, grand theft and false imprisonment. He has the option to ask a judge in three years to reduce the felonies to misdemeanors and eventually seek to have the convictions expunged.
Bustamante, who was arrested in July 2012 while on his way to a Santa Ana City Council meeting, was charged with sexually assaulting six women with whom he worked between 2003 and 2012 while he was an Orange County Public Works executive. He was convicted of victimizing five of the women.
Prosecutors said he also stole up to $4,029 in county funds by misleading co-workers into thinking he could use tuition reimbursement funds and expenses for meals to cover part of the costs of Harvard’s Kennedy School training program. He admitted stealing $3,150.
If Bustamante violates any terms of his probation, he faces four years and two months in prison.
The Bustamante scandal led to former county CEO Tom Mauk getting pushed out of his job in May 2013. It also prompted officials to reform the way sexual harassment claims are reported and investigated.
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