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LCCN expose on campaign donations culminates in investigation.
By Randy Economy and Brian Hews
A Los Cerritos Community News investigation has culminated in an official inquiry by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Bureau of Fraud and Corruption Prosecutions/Public Integrity Division pertaining to controversial Central Basin Water District Director Letica Vasquez.
The case against Vasquez was opened on February 27.The focus of the investigation centers on Vasquez “failure to report donations” to the California Secretary of State on a Form 460 as reported in LCCN three weeks ago.
In the letter, obtained by LCCN, District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Head Deputy District Attorney Anne Ingalls confirmed that a “complaint has been assigned” and a case was opened for “preliminary review.”
During the past several weeks, LCCN has published a number of investigative articles that has called into question how Vasquez conducted her successful 2012 campaign and her association with past convicted individuals who according to sources make up her political inner-circle.
Those people in the inner circle include Rick Mayer, a convicted felon, along with political consultant Angel Gonzalez. The two donated huge sums of money and were the two key figures responsible for getting Vasquez and Roybal elected. According to documents filed with the California Secretary of State’s Office both Vasquez and Roybal owe the two more than $40,000 combined.
Vasquez told state officials that she still owes Gonzalez at least $18,399 for campaign signs and mailing costs, more than eight months after being elected last June.
Roybal owes $22,878 to Mayer in expenses.
Los Cerritos Community Newspaper has been told by several sources that both Mayer and Gonzalez could be rewarded for their connections with Vasquez and Roybal by being granted consulting contracts that could bring in hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars.
Since taking office on January 7th, 2013, in less than one month, Roybal and Vasquez joined ranks with long-time Director Bob Apodaca and created a new “voting bloc majority” at Central Basin.
The three changed the Administrative Code and removed President Art Chacon from overseeing the Board just barely one week after he was seated for the position. Roybal is now serving as president of the five-member board.
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.
“I am very much going to cooperate with District Attorney on this matter,” Vasquez told LCCN in an interview on Thursday.
Vasquez said she was “not aware” that a complaint was filed against her.
“I know that I am accountable to the newspapers, I am accountable to the people, I recognize that, and that’s what I am trying do here at Central Basin,” Vasquez said in an interview.
“I am trying to do my job as a public servant,” Vasquez said.
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