[UPDATED: Police Chief Uncertain of Cocaine Involvement] City Employee Commits Suicide, Jumping Off Costa Mesa City Hall

UPDATE, MAY 31, 8:16 A.M.: Costa Mesa's police chief, Steve Staveley isn't entirely convinced by the conclusions being made from the coroner reports that Huy Pham had cocaine in his system at the time of his supposed suicide.


In an OC Register column, Staveley is quoted as saying, "Barbara [Venezia], I'm looking at the report right now. The drug found was something called Benzoylecgonine. I'm no doctor, but look at what it says on Wikipedia. Someone needs to get this information out for this man's family."

According to Wikipedia, Benzoylecgonine "is used as the main pharmaceutical ingredient in the prescription drug Esterom, a topical solution used for the relief of muscle pain." The entry goes on to point out that it "consists of ecgonine benzoate, and is the primary metabolite of cocaine."

Staveley made the point to the Register that "trace amounts" could point to cocaine, but could be indicative of another drug.

With hundreds of city-services jobs facing the ax, not one seat in the council chambers was unoccupied during a City Hall meeting on March 1 Click here to see more images from the night.
With hundreds of city-services jobs facing the ax, not one seat in the council chambers was unoccupied during a City Hall meeting on March 1 Click here to see more images from the night.
Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

ORIGINAL POST, 5:20 P.M.: It's been reported and confirmed that a 29-year-old city employee took his own life by jumping from the fifth floor of the Costa Mesa City Hall building.

Witnesses saw the man jump, but attempts to save him were futile. The man, who was a maintenance worker, was pronounced dead on the scene. 

Authorities have identified the man as a four-and-a-half-year employee of the city, but they have not released his name as they are still attempting to notify the family.

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