Costa Mesa Hiring Former Secret Service Agent to Conduct Second Investigation of City Employee Suicide

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Either officials from Costa Mesa are really concerned with determining what exactly happened in the final hours and moments of Huy Pham's life before he seemed to have jumped from the roof of city hall or they're just protecting their own interests in the possibility that a lawsuit is filed. The motive for the second investigation is unclear, but what is known is that the city isn't skimping on quality, hiring a former Secret Service agent to come in and handle the job, according to the OC Register.

While Pham's death was initially believed to be an apparent suicide, the story became more complex when the coroner's report found trace amounts of a compound for cocaine.

Pham's death triggered a media hailstorm, with outlets throughout the southland suddenly finding the city's outsourcing plan exponentially more interesting. The death also struck an increasingly more sensitive emotional chord with residents, which only further splintered the relationship with the city council which had decided to initiate the outsourcing. (It didn't help that Mayor Gary Monahan appeared more interested in St. Patrick's Day revelry than tending to a city in mourning.)

The city is hoping that the agent it is hiring--Ron Williams of Talon Executive Services--will figure out in further detail what, if anything, lead to Pham's death and any other details that may have been missed or avoided in the initial investigation. As the Register's story points out, there are plenty of questions still needing to be answered.

While the top-dollar investigator may find vital information--or absolutely nothing at all--it raises the same issue that seems to arise every time the city council makes a move: yet another unnecessary manner of spending city tax dollars just months after telling 213 city employees that their services may no longer be needed, in hopes of saving money.
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Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

On May 21st the OC Register posted the following in the Article: After the toxicology report: It’s still a tragedy

"Costa Mesa Police Chief Steve Staveley said," I saw the coroner's report, and I saw no indication of cocaine, but I'm not a physician." He also went on to caution anyone reading the report that there could be other contributing factors and that "trace amounts" could be a result of other drugs, but again he stressed he's not a pharmacist or a physician. I delivered my quotes to the newspaper, but something kept nagging at me. Why wasn't the chief buying the whole cocaine thing? So I called him early Friday morning. "Barbara, I'm looking at the report right now. The drug found was something called Benzoylecgonine. I'm no doctor, but look at what it says on Wikipedia. Someone needs to get this information out for this man's family," Staveley said.

So I did. According to Wikipedia, "Benzoylecgonine is the main pharmaceutical ingredient in the prescription drug Esterom, a topical solution used for the relief of muscle pain. Benzoylecgonine is a topical analgesic and metabolite. It also states: "Benzoylecgonine consists of ecgonine benzoate, and is the primary metabolite of cocaine." Whatever the situation, this is tragic on so many levels. In the quest for answers, police reports, coroner's reports are scrutinized to see if there are clues to why and what happened. And because this was such a public death at City Hall in a politically troubled time, everything will be scrutinized even more. The sadder news is even with answers the family and friends of Pham will never find true peace in what happened on March 17. One thing no one should be doing is jumping to conclusions as to what the toxicology report means in the big picture or as to why this young man chose to end his own life. To paraphrase a friend, suicide solves only one person's problem and creates so many for those left behind. Barbara Venezia

Is the city of Costa Mesa behind this smear against a dead man? He had a broken ankle, is it illogical he would use a "topical solution" like Ben Gay to help with the healing process?

Notice Stavely stated, "I saw the coroner's report, and I saw no indication of cocaine" then the next day stated, "Barbara, I'm looking at the report right now. The drug found was something called Benzoylecgonine. I'm no doctor, but look at what it says on Wikipedia. Someone needs to get this information out for this man's family," Staveley said."

Let me see, I have heard that poppy seeds can show up as Heroine in a drug screen, so if this guy ate a few muffins with poppy seeds he would have tested positive for heroine? Some people love to see the worst in people!

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