Press Releases

James Ruth Appointed CEO

County Executive Office - Press Release

October 28, 2003
  Contact: Diane Thomas

James Ruth Appointed CEO

(Santa Ana, CA) - The Board of Supervisors this morning appointed James D. Ruth as County Executive Officer. Ruth,67, who has been Interim CEO for the last nine months, was appointed Feb. 5 by the Board to serve as interim following the departure of Michael Schumacher. In today’s action, Ruth will sign a contract which contains a 12-month commitment.

"In the nine months that Jim has been here, we have been faced with numerous challenges, not the least of which is the impact of the State budget," said Tom Wilson, Chairman of the Board. "While the Board was interviewing many fine candidates as a result of our nationwide search, Jim was addressing those challenges and moving us forward. His demonstrated talents and his resolve to remain another 12 months will provide the continuity and stability needed to complete some projects now underway and to prepare a fresh start for a long-term CEO. Jim is a man of proven vision and leadership. We appreciate his commitment to working with the County for the upcoming year."

Ruth worked for the City of Anaheim for 21 years and served the last 11 years as City Manager. While at Anaheim, he was chief negotiator for the construction of The Pond. He also worked with the California Angels and Disney Sports, Inc. to keep major league baseball in Anaheim, and he led the city’s efforts in protracted negotiations with Disney to expand Disneyland.

Ruth’s lengthy history of public service includes positions at the cities of Long Beach, Downey, Lynwood, Maywood, Huntington Park and the County of Los Angeles.

Highlights of Contract Provisions:

  • Continue current base salary of $200,000
  • Continue to work on limited contract
  • Contains 12-month commitment from Ruth with the ability to extend that time by mutual agreement with the Board
  • Includes ability to terminate at any time with no severance
  • Does not include regular employee benefit package, but does contain modest enhancements to help offset Social Security requirements and health care costs.