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

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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