The Westminster City Council held an unusual Monday night meeting to consider appointment of a controversial candidate to fill the job of city manager.
Chu Thai, who has served with eight cities in a variety of positions but was terminated from the last two, is the person selected to be offered a contract. The sole topic of the session was the appointment, which was met by a storm of criticism objecting to the choice.
Monday’s closed meeting – conducted by webconference – opened with City Clerk Christine Cordon reading e-mails and letters from residents criticizing Thai’s fitness for the spot. That was followed by seven “live” speakers commenting via their computers and phones. All expressed dismay at the choice.
“If there was ever a meeting to say a prayer,” said Jodi Boyd, “this is it.” She continued with “I don’t know how he ever made it to the final cut.”
Noting Thai’s ongoing legal action against his last employer, D’vorah Mariscal said “We cannot afford another lawsuit.” Westminster has been plagued in recent years by litigation by former employees.
Terry Rains said, “I am appalled you would even consider this candidate.”
At his last public employer – the City of Monterey Park, where he worked as director of management services – Thai was placed on administrative leave and eventually terminated for questionable conduct including use of a city-issued credit card and his relationship with a person bidding on a city contract worth $600,000 to $700,000.
At the job before that with the City of Stanton, he left after four months under a “separation agreement.”