Sources: Two city administrators placed on leave

Two Costa Mesa employees who organize special events have been placed on paid administrative leave, city officials confirmed Wednesday.

Public Affairs Manager Dan Joyce and Special Events Coordinator Christine Cordon, were put on leave Tuesday pending the outcome of an outside investigation, said two high-ranking city officials, each of whom requested anonymity.

The reasons for the leaves were not disclosed.

Eastside resident Geoff West was the first to report the news on his blog, "A Bubbling Cauldron."

Assistant City CEO Rick Francis and Mayor Jim Righeimer both declined to comment, saying the issue was a personnel matter.

"We may craft a response soon, but as of now, we are not ready to do so," Francis wrote in an email.

City CEO Tom Hatch was on vacation.

A message left on Joyce's cell phone was not immediately returned. Cordon, who also serves as an assistant recreation supervisor, could not be reached.

Joyce began with the city as an interim employee in early 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was later made full time.

His past professional experience includes working as race director of the annual Costa Mesa Community Run and as an X Games consultant.

Cordon joined the city in 2005, according to her online résumé. She has held various positions, including office specialist and deputy city clerk.

Both Joyce and Cordon were active in planning the city's 60th anniversary celebrations, including the three-day festival at the end of June. Cordon is secretary for 60th Anniversary Planning Committee.

Mike Scheafer, the committee's chairman, said he felt "blind-sided" by the news.

"More than anything, I'm surprised," he said. "I don't know the reasoning they were put on leave. No one's contacted me."

The committee is still awaiting a financial review of the 60th anniversary party, held June 28 to 30. A meeting planned for Thursday to discuss the event was canceled earlier in the week.

Not enough discussion topics were ready in time for the meeting, Cordon told the Daily Pilot on Tuesday.

Scheafer did not know how the suspensions would affect the panel.

"What does it do to the committee?" Scheafer added. "Are we done?"

[For the Record: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated in the second paragraph that the two employees had been suspended. They were put on leave.]

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