James Mitsch, the second-ranking official in Hawthorne, has been suspended for 30 days, the maximum period, without pay.
City Manager Kenneth Jue said he imposed the penalty but declined to provide the reasons, saying that to do so would be an invasion of Mitsch's privacy.
In an earlier interview, however, Jue said it was "more than likely" that he would give Mitsch a 30-day suspension because Mitsch had been insubordinate. Jue said that Mitsch, the city's director of general services and public works, had disobeyed a 1983 order sever his connection with Centinela Valley Engineering Co., a surveying firm that Mitsch owned. In 1983, a Los Angeles County grand jury had criticized Mitsch's role in the company as a possible conflict of interest.
Mitsch, who has acknowledged he did not shut down his firm until this spring when he was again ordered to do so, has denied that Centinela Valley Engineering did any surveys in Hawthorne.