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DIRTY WATER: Central Basin Municipal Water Board Director Campaigns Financed by Convicted Felon

By Brian Hews

An examination by Los Cerritos Community News of recently filed California 460 Campaign Financial Disclosure statements for new Central Basin Municipal Water District (CBMWD) Directors James Roybal and Leticia Vasquez, both of whom campaigned on ridding the troubled water district of corruption, show extremely heavy financial support from two individuals with substantial criminal backgrounds, one convicted on political corruption charges, and the other a convicted felon.
Vasquez, who defeated Rudy Montalvo in Division Four, declared paying political campaign manager Angel Gonzalez $4,000.00 before the actual June 5, 2012 election and owing him another $18,399.98.

V a R-1

[l] Leticia Vasquez and James Roybal both got a large amount of campaign funds from two individuals with substantial criminal backgrounds, one, Rick Mayer, is a convicted felon.

Gonzalez was prosecuted and convicted by the District Attorney for illegal campaign activities in the past.
Vasquez also owes money to R&M Associates, controlled by former CBMWD Director and convicted felon Rick Mayer. R&M is part of Mayer’s other company Golden State Consultants. A phone call into Golden State confirmed that R&M is operated out of that office and is owned by Mayer.

Mayer served prison time for his felony conviction for lying about his place of residency while running for city council in South Gate.
Furthermore, Rick Mayer’s campaign manager was “Big Al” Robles who was indicted on federal corruption charges in 2004. He was found guilty of 30 felony counts, sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, and ordered to pay the city of South Gate $639,000 in restitution.

Vasquez raised only $4,900.00 before the June 5th election, she raised $31,146 after. Vasquez still owes Gonzalez and Mayer $8,559.
Documents show that some of the $31,146 came from the same special interest groups that she vigorously campaigned to root out.
Tom and Ron Calderon gave $2,250, Vasqez’ own mailer criticized Tom Calderon for taking money from the CBMWD.

Douglas Wance, former CBMWD General Counsel, gave $2,500. Wance was fired in November when facts emerged regarding the expenditure of nearly three million dollars in an off-the-books “Trust Fund” purportedly used for district lawsuits.
James Roybal’s financial disclosure forms showed similar patterns and reliance on Gonzalez and Mayer.

Before the June 5th election, Roybal made payments to Angel Gonzalez and Mayer’s R&M Associates totaling $10,400.00 and still carries an IOU of $28,878.39 to Mayer.
Some say Mayer is going after “outreach contracts” similar to those he is getting from the Water Replenishment District of Southern California located in Lakewood.
Since taking office on January 7th, Roybal and Vasquez joined ranks with long-time Director Bob Apodaca and fired recently hired Chief Operating Officer Chuck Fuentes, along with Asst. to the General Manager Ron Beilke.

Upon his termination, Beilke raised the suspicion of a cover-up by the firings. According to Beilke, “little doubt exists about the direction of the new board majority given who financed their campaigns. A quick look at their 460 disclosure forms speaks volumes about the character of these two supposedly highly educated people.”

Other significant actions taken include the three meeting to amend the CBMWD Administrative Code to permit Roybal to take over the presidency. The meeting could constitute a possible Brown Act Violation.

Director Art Chacon was president barely a week before the three amended the code. Chacon was removed and replaced by Roybal.
The president is a powerful position, he/she forms committees where all agenda items and contracts are vetted and approved for board meetings.
The three also immediately removed CBMWD Director and Cerritos resident Phil Hawkins from his long held seat on the board of the Metropolitan Water District. Hawkins served as chair of the important Real Estate and Asset Management Special Committee.

“The new majority’s rush to deliver on apparent promises to their financial benefactors, they have disregarded rules and regulations, resulting in flagrant abuses of Brown Act requirements,” said Bielke. “This is also reflective in their rush to terminate all those, like myself, who were on to their plans and would not agree to bury questionable findings uncovered since the previous General Manager & Attorney left the agency.”
Supporting documents can be found under this story title at loscerritosnews.net.

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49ers Fan
Guest

Mr. Publisher, what happened to my last post ?Isn’t it odd how some posts never see the light of day? I’m glad I took that screenshot. Lol!!! What happened to freedom of speech? I guess it doesn’t exist at the Cerritos newspaper.

Mike Tyson
Guest
Mike Tyson

I believe that Central Basin has fallen to a new low with the hiring of a totally inappropriate ghetto woman this week who apparently represents the “new direction” of CBMWD? It won’t be long now, this is amateur hour on steroids. I’m certain that lawsuits will soon fly, employees with either resign, get fired or trip in the parking lot. We’re certain that indictments will be delivered any day and body after body will be flung under the oncoming Central Basin train wreck. It was always staff’s opinion that Apodaca was unhinged, but this Roybal guy is scary. We honestly… Read more »

Jason
Guest
Jason

Mike Tyson if you had anything resembling courage or credibility you would have used your real name. I had nothing to do with money going to Roybal or Vasquez. Read the 460’s it’s all there. If you don’t have the guts to state your name your words aren’t worth the web page they are printed on. No one including myself has suggested organizing CBMWD. I have lived in the district most of my life and dedicated much of the last 15 years of my life cleaning up corruption, which I will continue to do even when corrupt cowards like you… Read more »

Mike Tyson
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Mike Tyson

You are a serious piece of work Jason Stinnett (of course I’m assuming “Jason” is Jason Stinnett?). You’re so quick to hurl insults at “corrupt cowards” like me who won’t use our FULL names of course. But then again, “Jason” isn’t a FULL name either. I would like to compliment “Jason Herrera” who posted earlier for using his FUILL name unlike the coward who hides behind just “Jason”. Enough now of such foolish mudslinging over names….and that goes for Chris, Jen, David & Rocio who wrote such nonsense and disgusting things about Mr. Beilke and Mr. Fuentes. That was truly… Read more »

Jason Stinnett
Guest
Jason Stinnett

I am Jason Stinnett and I haven’t hid from that in any of these posts…I was the first person to poston this story. After that your facts are wrong…I’m not a member of 1902, I’m a member of AFSCME District Council 36, which does not represent water district workers. As for the value of a strong Union, that’s a choice employees make, not elected officials. As a proud public employee I’d much rather have a contract that is enforceable by the word of law then have my job security threatened by a change in elected officials, who of course are… Read more »

Victor
Guest
Victor

When they walked in and caught Bob Apodaka finger [email protected](/<ing his step-daughter, who was working for for central basin, instead of questioning Bob Apodaka they forced his step-daughter to resign all the employees and board members sat back to see The victim get shafted one more time. Everybody knows Rudy Montalvo was the "Lap Dog" of the Don of Bell criminal Cartel , former mayor of city of Bell, former GM of Old Timers Foundation , former Central Basin board member , and now on trail for the biggest public corruption in history of LA county George Cole , of… Read more »

Victor
Guest
Victor

good job

Mike Tyson
Guest
Mike Tyson

BOOM! I’d say Jason Stinnett is officially down for the count now! But I do feel compelled to make one slight correction to Brian’s bitchslapping….Stinnett isn’t an activist or someone looking for job/contract. No, Stinnett is trying to kiss some major Roybal/Vasquez/Apodaca ass hoping to gain support to run for Art Chacon’s seat in 2014. Yep, earning his stripes I fear. Paying his dues. Carrying the water in hopes of being remembered come endorsement time. Wake up fool! Jason Stinnett was the character who landed about $10,000 in union support for Roybal and Vasquez portraying himself as a union-king maker.… Read more »

Jason
Guest
Jason

1. My understanding is you did not attempt to contact Roybal for comment. I don’t know about the other two directors. 2. No it is not but you haven’t finished reporting the story. 3. It’s indefensible to publish a comment from a source that lacks credibility. Own up to an error in judgment. I believe that’s all it is…I don’t think you’re being partisan (I base this assumption on the excellent reporting you did on Noguez’s criminal activities) but quoting him without disclosing important information is a mistake. The information on the 460’s is great but Bielke’s comments should have… Read more »

Jason
Guest
Jason

Brian Hews/LCCN: I’m concerned when any newspaper uses an ex elected official convicted on corruption charges as a “credible” source. Any journalism professor would have handed this story back to the author bleeding red ink. You printed valid information as to the sources of campaign debts and services yet you do not show a statement from Roybal or Vasquez or that they declined to comment, which prompts a question…Did you make any effort to contact them? If you did not, then this report is either biased or negligent. Other points: 1. Chacon and Bielke are old news? If so then… Read more »

49ers Fan
Guest

Bravo Jason! You have said what a lot of people in Cerritos and probably Norwalk have been thinking for months! This paper is not a reliable source of accurate news. I made a comment on another story and got a response from the publisher who assumed I was a man. Was it because of my screen name? Only a man could be a 49ers fan? How presumptuous of you Mr. Hews. There is very little journalistic integrity in this paper’s reporting and now people are finally calling these guys on it. What kind of unbiased paper creates a PAC and… Read more »

Nancy Estrella
Guest
Nancy Estrella

OMG, now I’m Randy Economy’s alter ego?? Wait, I think I have a pirate’s eye patch from a couple Halloween’s past somewhere in the garage:) I don’t understand what has happened with this story, there’s so much hatred here. I felt the story was interesting. It was another example of corrupt politicians who are puppets for people more corrupt than them. Ok, I judged the story on the evidence which in this case was the 460 reports. Isn’t that why they call it reporting? Why is everyone else being attacked because these fools Roybal & Vasquez got elected on IOU’s???… Read more »

Brian Hews
Admin

I dont have time to keep arguing with you. One last time. I dont get your arguments 1.Robles, Vasquez, Mayer and Roybal would not return our phone calls.I had to “fool” the secretary at Golden State to get her to tell me R & M was owned by Meyer, I call people not afraid to do that. 2. So it is ok to take money from a felon? What is he going to give Mayer back for the money? 3. I did not use Bielke as a source just for commenting…I found the 460’s myself (along with Randy)and exposed these… Read more »

Nancy Estrella
Guest
Nancy Estrella

OMG…these attacks speak volumes about the character of Roybal and Vasquez. I know everything I need to know now. PLEASE, I pray the LCCN runs more stories about these two. There’s obvious behind these guys if they’re trying this hard to deflect their critics. I want more. Dare I say that John Noguez may just be a saint compared to Roybal and Vasquez?

chris
Guest
chris

My cousin is friends with Ron Beilke and told me that his wife who used to work at his weinerschnitzel just recently cheated on Ron with a man her own age because Ron could no longer get an erection due to the stress of being fired twice in a span of 3 months. This must explain why Beilke is not thinking correctly.I guess neither one of his heads are working properly these days. Also Beilkes wife is only 25 years old and Ron is in his 50’s. the rumor is that He had a love affair with her when she… Read more »

chris
Guest
chris

I think whoever wrote this story was wearing an eye patch and was only using one eye. Telling lies and misleading the very few readers that you have is only going to lessen your credibility. No wonder no one buys newspapers anymore with crap like this being published.

Brian Hews
Admin

Misleading? Check the paperwork on the site please. PDF for all to see.

David
Guest
David

My Cousin Tony used to date chuck. He told me that chuck gave him an STD so im glad he got fired from the central basin.

Rocio
Guest
Rocio

Ron is a total joke and whoever is dumb enough to believe him deserves to be wearing an eye patch

Jen
Guest
Jen

Why did you delete my comment??? was it because it was completely factual???Is this a gossip blog or are you trying to actually deliver real news. Doesnt seem like you guys care at all about the residents and only type stories for political gain.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Proof that this article is politically motivated is the fact that i commented with actual facts about the sources in this article and they were deleted by the coward who is managing this website. Grow a backbone you coward and speak the truth

Brian Hews
Admin

May we ask what you are talking about? We delete nothing. Again the story was about Vasquez and Roybal not Bielke. He gave us a quote and we ran it. We knew about his past transgressions. Do you see the LA Times not quoting President Clinton when he bashed Romney?

And again it is quite interesting-like Jason yesterday-that you are more concerned about Bielke and not that Roybal owes a convicted felon 18K and Vasquez received a large amount of money from him. We are not the bad guys just reporting the facts!
LCCN

Rocio
Guest
Rocio

Ron Beilke is a pervert. I had a summer job working at his weinerschnitzel and he would constantly make inappropriate sexual comments towards me. It got so bad that my husband went to the weinerschnitzel to confront him about it and Ron ran away and hid like the womanizing coward that he is. I dont believe any story that Ron says. The guy is a coward and a womanizer and the author of this article should really be ashamed of himself for giving a guy like Ron Beilke this kind of credability

Jen
Guest
Jen

Wow Interesting Article and comments. Isn’t Ron Beilke a convicted felon??? I live in Pico Rivera and remember seeing him every week in the news paper when he was running for re election. He even made the cover of the whittier daily news in handcuffs when the cops raided his house. LOL! WOW isnt this the pot calling the kettle black.

Chris
Guest
Chris

I cant believe Ron Beilke is trying to play Savior. This is the same Ron Beilke who was investigated and convicted by the FBI for illegally using city funds to Improve his own business in pico rivera while he was on the city council. So I find these allegations hard to believe. To me it seems like whoever wrote this story was either a reckless rookie journalist who didnt properly do his reserach or he was paid off by ron Beilke and chuck fuentes so that they could get revenge for being laid off from jobs that they were obviously… Read more »

Jason
Guest
Jason

LCCN: First, thank you for the response, as well as the coverage and breaking the story. Many of the points made in the story were relevant, however to print Bielke’s comments criticizing other elected officials leaves the public without a critical piece of information. The company’s history was not necessary, but failing to mention Bielke’s recent conviction on corruption charges leaves the story missing context, thus portraying Bielke on a white horse instead of the pot calling the kettle black he more closely resembles. I’m grateful for the report and sincerely believe local papers are one of the few resources… Read more »

Jason Herrera
Guest
Jason Herrera

Why is little disclosure witnessed before these crooks get elected? It is a shame that the public never learns what political machines are behind these opportunists. I understand that Leticia Vasquez has a checked past having been successfully recalled in Lynwood and I understand that this James Roybal is not related to the Roybal dynasty like he purports yet rather is a raging alcoholic. Of course, we all know about Tom Calderon and what his character is like. He is the poster child for abusive and manipulative politicians. He’s a world class hack! How can we get these guys out… Read more »

Jason
Guest
Jason

Roybal isn’t the problem…in fact he’s the cure. The Real problem is the Calderons’ influence on elected officials like Chacon, who was behind giving Bielke the job from which he was fired. Here’s some facts on Bielke’s conviction: www.whittierdailynews.com/breakingnews/ci_22225633/ron-beilke-hired-by-central-basin-muncipal-water And on Art Chacon: www.whittierdailynews.com/ci_20394178/district-attorney-launches-inquiry-into-central-basin-municipal?IADID=Search-www.whittierdailynews.com-www.whittierdailynews.com articles.latimes.com/2012/apr/14/local/la-me-chacon-20120414 This article, which has journalistic elements, misses the mark by completely leaving out the information available via the links above through a simple web search. The information fed to this writer, is clearly political payback for the firing of Bielke and others, as well as the review of numerous questionable contracts at Central Basin. If… Read more »

Jason Herrera
Guest
Jason Herrera

No problem, so let’s keep this simple and please explain why a man convicted of SEVEN felonies like Rick Mayer would front Roybal’s campaign on an IOU? Is Mayer just a Saint with a heart of gold, perhaps he just loves clean water?? Roybal a cure?? Just what does what appears on these 460’s have to do with Bielke or Art Chacon? Im sorry, I think the facts of where Roybal and Vasquez’ campaign financing came from is the ONLY ISSUE here and Bielke isn’t the boogeyman anymore. Roybal’s campaign was financed with $28,000 in Rick Mayer’s funds. Oh, by… Read more »

Brian Hews
Admin

Jason: We knew all this, Bielke and Chacon…it is old news almost 1 year old. The article is about the two new people who were financed by a convicted felon. Are we suppose to include the entire history of the company? If we did that we would have investigated Auerbach when we were exposing Noguez. Doesn’t make much sense does it? I am curious why you do no comment on the actual story, call it “journalistic elements”, then move on to Bielke and Chacon. As usual when we expose something our credibility is called out and we are called shoddy… Read more »

Harold Beckon
Guest
Harold Beckon

This describes everything that is wrong about politics. The fact that it surrounds water just makes it all that much worse. The question has to be asked, how can we eliminate all these corrupt water boards like Central Basin and Water Replenishment District? These agencies do not need elected boards! Creeps like James Roybal, Leticia Vasquez, Bob Apodaca and Albert Robles make that perfectly clear. These four are bottom feeders are all looking to make a quick buck off running for an obscure elected seat and using the dollars of crooked vendors to foot the bill of running. Dropping Tom… Read more »

Jay Gray
Guest
Jay Gray

If the City of Cerritos City council didn’t have their own ethical issues they’d be leading the charge to clean up the Water District!

But, they are too busy globetrotting and getting fat off the residents to care.

McMahon, J.
Guest

Subject | Water Corruption | Reply to Mr. J Gray. From| McMahon | 37 yr Cerritos Resident | Board corruption does not only stop at Headquarters, as trickles down to the city councils, mainly City of Cerritos. Both Council | Mayor Grace Hu and Councilperson | Mayor Laura Lee |, campaigned on plumbing all of 90703 with the Cerritos Water, to date, have not transpired for out 40+ yrs of complaining!!!!! When RDA Housing funded the (( Emerald Villas Senior Affordable Housing Project)):; Cerritos Island communities were promised by CCC to be hooked up to Cerritos water…….well the budget was… Read more »