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O.C. Registrar Is Cleared, but Won't Return to Post Yet

October 08, 2005|David Reyes | Times Staff Writer

Orange County's registrar of voters, relieved of his duties in late August with three elections looming, did not violate any rules despite the undisclosed complaints against him, the county's executive officer announced Friday.

An internal investigation cleared Steve Rodermund, who was put on administrative leave Aug. 25, but he may not return to his post in the wake of the recent special primary that went off without a hitch, County Executive Officer Thomas Mauk said.

Acting Registrar Neal Kelley will continue to head the department at least during a busy election period over the next few months.

Rodermund was relieved of his duties while his office prepared for three elections in three months and after his controversial decision to schedule last week's special primary election on Oct. 4, which was Rosh Hashana, the celebration of the Jewish New Year. He was put on leave for what officials said was an unrelated personnel matter.

In a statement, Mauk said he didn't want to upend the management team he had put in place as it prepared for at least two more elections this year. "Given the recent success," Mauk said, "the current team will remain in place."

Votes are scheduled for Nov. 8, the special statewide election, and Dec. 6, the special general election for the 48th Congressional District.

Mauk said there were "a number" of personnel issues in Rodermund's department that "require individual follow-up."

"Taken as a whole, the report does not reveal or document violations of county policies/procedures or rules and regulations," Mauk said.

Wylie A. Aitken, Rodermund's attorney, said the report vindicates Rodermund. When Rodermund returns to work Tuesday on a temporary assignment, he will assist with disaster preparedness.

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