George Cardenas, Chief of Staff
(Public Works, Transportation, and Land Use)
George Cardenas serves as Supervisor Spitzer's Chief of Staff. He has over two decades of experience in local government having previously worked at the County of Orange, Orange County Transportation Authority, and City of Anaheim. In addition to managing the overall operations for the Third District staff, he specializes in Public Works, transportation, and land use for Supervisor Spitzer. He is married with three children.
Chris Nguyen, Deputy Chief of Staff
(County Budget, Information Technology, Internal Departments, and OCFA)
Chris Nguyen is a native of Orange County who grew up in the Third District. His first involvement in government was as a summer intern with Assemblyman Todd Spitzer while a student at Stanford University. Upon graduation, Chris was accepted into the California Senate Fellow program in Sacramento and continued for several years as a Legislative Aide in the State Capitol. Chris gained first-hand knowledge of the California fiscal process through his service staffing Senator George Runner on the Appropriations and Environmental Quality Committees. He also developed extensive public policy experience staffing Senator Runner on public safety, education, workers compensation, and an array of other areas. Subsequently, he served in the office of Assemblyman Chris Norby, providing expertise in the areas of municipal budgeting, redevelopment, state bonds, school/education funding, and English Language Learner programs. In addition to his government service, he has served as a political consultant to various local elected officials. In addition to his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Stanford, he also earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California.
Melanie Eustice, Communications Director
Beginning her career in the State Capitol, Melanie Eustice has worked directly for over twenty elected officials at the state and local levels of government. She has extensive government affairs experience holding the positions of Budget Analyst, Public Information Officer, Campaign Manager and Assistant to the City Manager. At a young age in 2004, she ran for a non-partisan political office and was elected to serve on the Board of Trustees of a school district. Melanie has a strong policy and public relations background having worked for the State Assembly, the Placer County Board of Supervisors, and the cities of Hesperia, Los Alamitos, and Costa Mesa. Although she started her university education on a vocal performance scholarship, Melanie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with an emphasis in Public Administration from California State University, Fullerton. She also received a scholarship for the Sacramento Capitol Internship Program.
Dennis Bauer, Policy Advisor
Dennis Bauer was a prosecutor from January 1979 to March 2015, beginning in Los Angeles County where he worked for 6 years, becoming a polygraph evidence specialist, and prosecuting street gang crimes for 2 years. In 1985, Dennis joined the Orange County District Attorney's Office, prosecuting sexual assault crimes for 12 years and serving as the office’s DNA evidence specialist for 11 years. A nationally known DNA expert, Dennis has lectured at the FBI Academy, was on the American Prosecutor’s Research Institute’s DNA faculty lecturing throughout the United States, and authored a chapter in a DNA manual prepared by the National Institute of Justice. In 1998, he was one of five prosecutors nationally to be honored by the FBI for 10 years of efforts promoting the introduction of various forms of DNA evidence. In 2000, Dennis was drafted by the California Attorney General to lead a team in the third re-prosecution of San Diego gang members who murdered a police officer during a turf war between rival drug lords. In 2003, he was cross-designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney to begin a program of joint federal and local prosecution of firearms and explosives cases. Dennis has tried over 100 jury trials involving charges from DUIs to rapes and gang murders, and most recently, workers’ compensation fraud. Sentences for the crimes Dennis prosecuted are some of the longest in Orange County history, including 153 years in state prison for one rapist, and six life sentences plus 122 years in state prison for another defendant. His convictions are endorsed by the California Appellate Courts, California Supreme Court and/or the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Dennis has frequently lectured on Workers’ Compensation Fraud Prosecution Issues.
Martin Gardner, Policy Advisor
(Community Resources, Airport, Health Care, Social Services, and LAFCO)
As an active community member, Martin Gardner has devoted significant time to local organizations, including Crime Survivors, Crime Stoppers, Holiday Hope and Hope School. He is also a former board member for the YMCA of Orange. Previously, Martin served as a District Representative for then-Assembly Member Todd Spitzer. He was also a staffer for the Spitzer campaign for supervisor, coordinating volunteer activities and helping oversee Spitzer's schedule of events. Martin also served on past campaigns for Spitzer, including his re-election efforts while serving in the California Assembly. In addition to his political involvement, his private sector accomplishments include being a small business owner, providing inventory to retail stores.
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