[UPDATED: Union GM/Photographer Talks] City Employee Commits Suicide, Jumping Off Costa Mesa City Hall

UPDATE, MARCH 21, 5:45 P.M.: The Weekly was able to speak with Nick Berardino while he was in a taxi on his way to catch a flight home from Sacramento. He had a good laugh about Costa Mesa Mayor Gary Monahan's accusations of a union set-up, in regard to the photos Berardino leaked to the media.

"It's a politician running for cover, and politicians are great at running for cover," Berardino said. "I don't think there's anything new about that, in all of American history."

According to Berardino, nearly an hour and a half after Huy Pham's suicide, an Orange County Employees Association (OCEA) member informed him that Monahan was out front of his bar, Skosh Monahan's, dressed in a kilt and partaking in the St. Patrick's Day festitivies. Berardino, who's the general manager of the OCEA, decided he needed to see this for himself and headed there around 5 p.m.

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.

According to

The Orange County Register's report

, the man was listed among the employees to be laid off as part of Costa Mesa'a city-wide outsourcing program, but he had not yet received his notice.

A candlelight vigil took place at City Hall for Pham on March 18. Click here to see more images from the night.
A candlelight vigil took place at City Hall for Pham on March 18. Click here to see more images from the night.
Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

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