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Surf City Official Quits

Huntington Beach councilwoman resigns for personal reasons. She is among those being investigated for condo conversions.

September 02, 2004|David Haldane | Times Staff Writer

In a move some city leaders described as shocking, a controversial Huntington Beach council member resigned Wednesday less than two months before the end of her term.

Pam Julien Houchen, nearing the end of an eight-year stint on the council, said in a letter delivered to the mayor and other council members that she was resigning, effective today, "due to personal reasons."

The Police Department and district attorney's office are investigating Houchen and others for allegedly illegal conversions of apartments into condominiums.

Houchen allegedly bought, converted and sold four units and also acted as the real estate agent on the transaction. Mayor Cathy Green said she was "absolutely shocked" at Houchen's resignation. "I had no idea, none."

Added fellow council member Connie Boardman: "I'm surprised. She never discussed any plans with me regarding her resignation."

Houchen, whose last council meeting would have been in mid-November, could not be reached for comment. She was first elected in 1996.

Term limits precluded her from seeking reelection.

Boardman said she was an effective member of the Council. "She's managed to find common ground with many council members," she said.

A Huntington Beach spokesperson said the city attorney was examining whether the council should appoint someone to complete Houchen's term or wait for the November election.

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