The former boss of disgraced ex-Santa Ana city councilman and Orange County public works executive Carlos Bustamante, who was convicted of sexually assaulting employees he supervised, lost her wrongful termination lawsuit against the county Thursday.

A jury rejected claims that Alisa Drakodaidis was wrongfully fired or terminated due to gender discrimination or as a whistleblower. The panel unanimously rejected the gender discrimination claim, and voted 10-1 in favor of the county on the wrongful termination and whistleblower retaliation claim.

The jurors, who deliberated for about a day and a half, told the attorneys in the case that they felt Drakodaidis was treated unfairly, but that the county did not violate the law in firing her.

“They certainly unfairly fired her,” one woman said. “That was hard for all of us.”

Another woman on the panel said, “She totally got screwed, but they did it in a way that made it legal.”

Attorney Norman Watkins, who represented the county in the trial, said, “We’re pleased with the verdict. We knew it wasn’t easy for the jurors, but they did their job.”

Drakodaidis’ attorney, Joel Baruch, said he felt his client was “treated differently — the question is why. Was it discrimination or retaliation?”

Drakodaidis was recruited by former Orange County CEO Tom Mauk to apply for a deputy CEO post overseeing five departments, Baruch told the jury in his opening statement.

Drakodaidis’ “nemeses” were high-level employees in the public works department, where Bustamante worked, Baruch said.

“All the problems she had came from male managers in the Orange County Public Works Department,” her attorney said. “Some of them did not like being supervised by a woman.”

Mauk at some point changed Drakodaidis’ duties to get her away from the department because of their complaints, Baruch said.

“He knew there were a bunch of good, old boys who just didn’t want to report to her,” the attorney said.

Drakodaidis went on medical leave in July 2012, but after she returned to work that September, she was placed to administrative leave and later fired in March 2013.

“Her career in government was destroyed,” Baruch said.

Bustamante, meanwhile, was arrested in July 2012, and he pleaded guilty and was sentenced in January 2016 to 365 days in jail and ordered to register as a sex offender for sexual misconduct involving five women who worked in the public works department.

Drakodaidis applied for 100 some jobs in her field and couldn’t get work “as a result of what happened in this county,” her attorney said. She is now working in real estate and earns much less than she did when she had her county job and pulled down $185,000 in salary in a job that amounted to $300,000 yearly when factoring in benefits, Baruch said.

The attorney argued that Drakodaidis lost $3.75 million as a result of wrongful termination.

Watkins told the jury that when Mauk was ousted in the fallout from the Bustamante scandal, his interim replacement, Bob Franz, who had been chief financial officer, found “himself in the middle of a maelstrom.” The public works department was in “total disarray,” and its director, Jess Carbajal, had been ousted, he said.

Carbajal dropped his wrongful termination lawsuit last September.

At issue was what happened with the first complaint against Bustamante. It was phoned into an anonymous fraud hotline in March 2011. Carbajal claims he told his bosses, Drakodaidis, Mauk and then-Human Resources chief Carl Crown, and was told to do an informal review. Mauk has said that was “nonsense,” Watkins said.

Carbajal said “he was told to keep it on the down low, as the kids say,” Watkins said in his opening statement.

Patricia Daniels, who was a human resources officer in public works, was told to investigate her boss, Bustamante.

“It was a clear violation of county policy, if not common sense,” Watkins said, telling jurors that Daniels produced a “horrible” two-page report that concluded there was nothing to the complaint.

In August 2011, another complaint came in and it found its way to the desk of the internal auditor, who alerted Mauk, and the decision was made to have an outside law firm investigate, Watkins said. The investigation concluded that Daniels’ report was a “plaintiff’s lawyer’s dream as an exhibit,” he said.

Bustamante was confronted in October 2011 with the sexual harassment allegations, prompting him to resign.

Another complaint about Bustamante came in anonymously that same month about a “rigged investigation,” Watkins said.

The internal auditor at the time, Peter Hughes, wrote a memo to county officials in January 2012, raising concerns about legal liability stemming from the Bustamante allegations, Watkins said.

The county’s top attorney at the time, Nicholas Chrisos, alerted the Board of Supervisors in March 2012 about the Bustamante issues, and that put Mauk in hot water, Watkins said. Chrisos also sent a report to the District Attorney to consider filing charges, Watkins said.

Daniels resigned that month. Carbajal was put on leave at the same time.

Shortly after Bustamante’s arrest in July 2012, Mauk was forced out and Drakodaidis began making moves to protect her job, Watkins said.

“She gets very active about this time,” Watkins said, and begins to think “maybe I’m going to sue the county.”

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