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June 27, 2022

County’s public works director fired

County Public Works Director Jerry Lo has been fired but
officially was placed on administrative leave Monday, according to
a press statement released Friday.
HOLLISTER

County Public Works Director Jerry Lo has been fired but officially was placed on administrative leave Monday, according to a press statement released Friday.

Janelle Cox, currently a senior management analyst, will be appointed as acting public works administrator. She has been with the county since 2007.

Lo’s official departure is scheduled for Dec. 4 and after his leave is over, he will receive a six-month severance payment as well – which was written into his contract.

Lo could not be reached for comment before press time.

County Administrative Officer Susan Thompson on Friday declined to comment about why officials took the action. She also did not confirm whether Cox would remain in the position permanently, saying that “at this point in time, she is in an acting position.”

“Part of the job for her is doing a thorough investigation of the position,” Thompson said.

Thompson added that until Cox is done with her review of the job, the CAO will not be recommending that the board of supervisors do a full position search.

Supervisor Jaime de la Cruz said that with the addition of Cox, county leaders can “start looking at the long-term needs of the public works department.”

He voiced a similar view as Thompson in that some engineering and management issues will be addressed before officials move forward in hiring someone permanently.

Supervisor Anthony Botelho declined to comment on the firing of Lo but said that Cox is “a very capable analyst.”

Regarding Cox, the press release states: “Cox has over 30 years of administrative experience with the City of San Jose including over eight years working with capital projects, private construction contractors, project planning and management. She also has experience in management and budget, human resources and working with elected councils and boards.”

Thompson said Cox will be a “perfect fit given the existing circumstances in our public works department.”

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