Bryant was born on Aug. 23 and wore the number 24 in his playing days, said Orange County Board Chairwoman Michelle Steel, explaining why she settled on Aug. 24 as the date to honor the former Los Angeles Lakers great who died Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash that also killed his daughter and seven others.
Steel said Bryant, who lived in Newport Beach, was a “treasured member of our community,” who “inspired so many men and women to pursue their dreams and never give up.”
Supervisor Don Wagner, in an apparent reference to Bryant’s 2003 sexual assault civil case in Colorado, which Bryant ultimately settled, said the former NBA star had his ups and downs in his lifetime.
“Kobe Bryant’s life, like each one of us who ever lived, presents moments to celebrate and to condemn,” Wagner said. “Kobe, like all of us, faced challenges, challenges of his own making and challenges thrown at him by life, that he overcome. Today, we celebrate the effort in overcoming those challenges.”
Wagner added, that, “if the bad in any life were to forever disqualify” then no one would be able to celebrate “the good.”
“So we strike a balance, and on balance here the good recognized in the resolution brought here is worth celebrating,” Wagner said.
Board Chooses New Public Guardian
The Orange County supervisors Aug. 11 also hired a new public guardian.
By a 4-1 vote, with Steel dissenting, the board selected longtime Orange County Health Care Agency employee Jenny Qian for the post, which oversees conservatorships for individuals who are unable to care for themselves.
Qian also previously worked at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
In related personnel news, Margaret Bredehoft was introduced to the board Aug. 11 as the new deputy public health director for the county. She takes over for David Souleles, who abruptly retired amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, pandemic in April.
Bredehoft, of Tustin, previously worked for Providence St. Joseph Health and earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in public health from Loma Linda University. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California-Irvine.
Bredehoft said she helped St. Joseph open “28 clinics in 10 months and then COVID-19 happened, so we had to shift gears and figure out how to do this … and what we were able to do was pretty remarkable.”