SANTA ANA — The city's personnel board has reinstated a building inspector who was fired for allegedly using his city vehicle and offices to have sex with prostitutes on three occasions.
After a 13-day hearing, the panel late last week ordered the city to rehire David E. Tibbs and to pay his full back salary, Tibbs' attorney, Richard Silber, said Sunday.
Tibbs was fired last November after an investigation by Santa Ana police alleged that he had sex with a prostitute in his office on 4th Street. The city also accused Tibbs of having sex twice with prostitutes in a marked city vehicle during work hours.
But Silber said Sunday that city officials failed to prove their case.
A man who reported that he had witnessed one of the purported sexual encounters between Tibbs and a prostitute failed to identify the building inspector in a photo lineup, Silber said.
The lawyer said his client wasn't guilty of misconduct.
According to Silber, Tibbs broke down in tears when he told the personnel board that he was only trying to help the women. Tibbs told the panel that he had a close relative who was a prostitute and how he had helped to rehabilitate her, Silber said.
"He could not take advantage of someone in that position," Silber said.
"The charges were overwhelming. He really went in that hearing as a man whom they thought was guilty, and he came out innocent."
Officials from the city attorney's office could not be reached for comment Sunday.