Govt. Worker Suicide Was Cokehead

by CalWatchdog Staff | May 30, 2011 10:11 am

[1]John Seiler:

Remember the government worker, Huy Pham, who jumped from a government building in Costa Mesa after he was laid off? Pro-government unions and politicians still are blaming his death on the mean City Council of Costa Mesa that fired him amid budget cuts.

As I reported here last week[2], the April-May edition of “California Teacher,” the magazine of the California Federation of Teachers, contained another lament using Pham’s death to advance the union agenda. An article in the magazine read:

Ann Nicholson is president of the nearby Coast Federation of Classified Employees. Her local is in negotiations now, so Huy’s death “makes us realize just how serious our work is at the negotiation table.” She said the attack on organized labor across the country represents a threat to all middle-class wage earners and the contributions they make to the economy.

Well, it turns out that Pham was high on cocaine when he jumped. Reports the Orange County Register[3]:

A doctor specializing in drug detoxification says the results of the toxicology report of the man who jumped to his death off Costa Mesa City Hall points to cocaine use.

Speculation is swirling over whether Huy Thanh Pham, 29, of Fountain Valley had been using cocaine or whether the report was flawed and turning out a false positive.

“This amount is hard to explain other than cocaine use,” said Dr. Daniel Headrick, who specializes in drug detoxification at Mission Pacific Coast Recovery. “That’s a significant amount in the blood.”

The Orange County Coroner’s toxicology report shows there was .44 mg of benzoylecgonine per liter of Pham’s blood.

Coroner officials confirmed the substance indicated cocaine in Pham’s system but some have questioned whether the substance was showing up because of prescription drugs used to nurse a broken ankle Pham had been tending to, among other possible explanations.

Benzoylecgonine is the primary metabolite of cocaine but it can also be found in a topical treatment used for muscle pain and is sometimes used in surgery for ear, nose or throat procedures. Neither of these cases would show up at these levels in the blood, Headrick said.

“This is a pretty confident report that this person was under the influence of cocaine,” he said after reviewing the report.

Headrick, who is the chief executive officer of the detoxification center and sees about 800 patients a year, said cocaine use can affect the brain, emotions and judgment for months after use.

“Cocaine gets you excited, agitated and some people even go into hallucinations, but eventually it drops you down,” he said. “People can get suicide depression when they use any type of drug, especially cocaine.”

Maybe now the unions will blame his cocaine use on job pressures caused because taxes aren’t high enough to pay for increased pay for government workers.

May 30, 2011

(Hat tip to Martha Montelongo.)




  1. [Image]:
  2. I reported here last week:
  3. Reports the Orange County Register:

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