Fill-in county assessor Santos Kreimann took over this week and has reassigned two of the top deputies to John Noguez, who's on leave during a DA investigation into his office. They are Mark McNeil and Andreew Stephens. Both had contributed to Noguez's political campaigns and were promoted after his 2010 election, says Gene Maddaus at the LA Weekly:
In the memo to staff, Kreimann said that the pair are being reassigned "to encourage a collegial environment of collaboration and mutual respect."
McNeil has long been a friend and contributor to Noguez. When McNeil got married last fall in North Carolina, Noguez read a poem at the ceremony. Over the years, McNeil gave $5,500 to Noguez's campaigns for Huntington Park City Council and county assessor.
Stephens gave $7,000 to Noguez's campaigns.
Both were promoted to top positions in the office after the 2010 election. Late last year, McNeil wrote a memo that accused two colleagues of "retaliation" against tax agent Ramin Salari -- a friend of Noguez's who is at the heart of the pay-to-play allegations. In the memo, McNeil described Salari as a "known donor and political supporter" of Noguez's.
When the pay-to-play scandal erupted earlier this year, both men were transferred out of the assessor's downtown office. Stephens was put in charge of the East District office in South El Monte, which was a demotion. McNeil was put in charge of the West District office in Culver City.
The assessor's office declined to comment this afternoon on Kreimann's decision to reassign the pair.
"We're no longer commenting on personnel matters," said spokesman Louis Reyes.
Heh. Here's Randy Economy's report at Los Cerritos Community News.