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Central Basin Water Ethics Committee to Investigate Board President James Roybal

HMG Exclusive

By Brian Hews and Randy Economy

James Roybal

CBMWD Director James Roybal

(Commerce) Hews Media Group-Community News has received a copy of a response letter written by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey that confirmed that Central Basin Municipal Water District Board President James Roybal leaked a confidential internal document to the Whittier Daily News pertaining to a closed session discussion about former Interim Chief Operating Officer Chuck Fuentes.

See letter here.

The letter was in response to a complaint sent to the DA that alleged improper disclosure of confidential information approved in a closed session, which is a violation of Government Code Section 54956.9.

The letter stated, “based upon a June 3 (2013) memorandum from (CBMWD GM) Tony Perez, it would appear the details of the agreement disclosed to the WDN were subject to confidentiality clause and were not to be released.”

Fuentes was fired from the agency in December by a new voting Board majority that consists of Director Leticia Vasquez, Director Robert Apodaca and Roybal.

In the letter, the District Attorney declined to take action on the disclosure, referring the matter back to the embroiled agency that has been a focal point of a massive investigation by members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the past several months.

The District Attorney cited the California Government Code 54963 that states “violations can result in disciplinary action against the employee who willfully disclosed confidential information and/or referral of the member to the grand jury.”

HMG-CN has learned that, based on the response letter from the District Attorney, the CBMWD Ethics Committee will convene a meeting this Friday Aug 16 at 10 a.m. to investigate the allegations against Roybal.

The Ethics Committee is composed of two District Directors, Phil Hawkins of Cerritos and Art Chacon of Commerce along with General Manager Tony Perez, as well as the agencies Human Resource Manager, Board Secretary, District General Counsel, and other district employees.

If Roybal is determined to have violated any part of the state statues by the group, the matter could be referred to the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the California Attorney General, or back to the District Attorney’s office for further action.
“It is very clear that Roybal violated the code,” said one source inside the CBMWD that declined to be identified.

“I cannot see the Ethics Committee not concluding that Roybal violated the code, and that proper action should be taken against him,” the source said.

If the committee does find Roybal in violation, he can appeal the decision within five business days, according to state code.

Sources also tell HMG-CN that the Ethics Committee “will in all likelyhood submit its findings involving Roybal, along with any dissent, to the Board of Directors for action that could take place as early as next week.”

“At this point I am outraged that an elected Director of the Central Basin Municipal Water District has blatantly broken the law,” Hawkins said in an interview with HNG-CN on Wednesday afternoon.

Hawkins said he will ask the Central Basin’s attorney for “a list of options on what action we can take against Director Roybal.”

“Roybal is an elected official. He is putting the district in jeopardy. We need to take action in this situation as soon as possible,” said Hawkins.

“Once we have the investigation, we will determine if he should resign,” said Hawkins.

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9 Responses to Central Basin Water Ethics Committee to Investigate Board President James Roybal

  1. Steven Seagal Reply

    August 15, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    I’m attending tomorrow’s Ethics Committee meeting at Central Basin. I hope the committee finds that Roybal himself should be held liable for any legal costs/setlements resulting from his Brown Act violation. This clown was aware of the consequences of his big mouth, and his cronic alcoholism IS NOT A DEFENSE.

    Resign drunk or pay up! Go recycle that mountain of empty beers cans in your backyard!

  2. Lee Irvin Reply

    August 15, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    I love the way Harvey Levin spells it out. In plain english. I hope the DA and FBI and the LBC all keep the heat on. This is just another waste of taxpayers money. I’m tired of these fools acting all regal. Put this clown Roybal and all his crime family behind bars and stop stealing and wasting our Tax $$$.

  3. FLF Reply

    August 15, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Now we hear about congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard! I might have known it.. Where ever a democrat is near, there is corruption and criminal activity! It never fails! I HOPE she is implicated as well she should be! Another old time retarded liberal hack of the DUMBOCRAP party! Isn’t it time to retire or tar and feather this 20 year CAREER politician?

    Yes folks she has been sucking at the public trough for well over 20 years – nice work if you can get it! But because she is a LIBERAL party hack it is EASY in libtard la la land of LA, the democrat utopia land.

  4. Steve Smith Reply

    August 15, 2013 at 1:53 am

    I was curious, what % of the ethics committee that is investigating Roybal was hired or appointed by Roybal?

    • Harvey Levin Reply

      August 15, 2013 at 8:22 am

      100%

  5. Harvey Levin Reply

    August 14, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    ATTENTION CENTRAL BASIN WATCHERS-FOLLOW CLOSELY: Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard is the mother of Central Basin Attorney Rick Olivarez. The Congresswoman aggressively supported and endorsed both James Roybal and Leticia Vasquez in 2012. She actually appeared on mailers for both candidates. As soon as Roybal and Vasquez took office, they fired the District’s General Counsel and hired Lucille’s son Rick. FOLLOWING SO FAR?

    Since he’s been with Central Basin, Olivarez has attempted to HIDE and COVERUP so many misdeeds of Roybal, Vasquez and certainly Bob Apodaca. Olivarez is trying to sweep under the rug Apodaca’s most recent sexual harrassement claim and is working behind the scenes to fire the newly hired General Manager. He was against suing Pacifica Services for fraud and deceit and is doing all he can to get the case dropped and to “negotiate”. Of course Ernie Camacho, Pacifica’s President is a longtime friend and financial supporter of the Roybal Family. In fact , Rick Olivarez sits on the White Memorial Hospital Board of Directors with Ernie Camacho…small world isn’t it?

    Now it seems that Olivarez kin James Roybal has his teet in a ringer with this documented Brown Act violation confirmed by the District Attorney. Being the blabber mouth alcoholic that Roybal is, he went straight to the press revealing the terms of a CONFIDENTIAL settlement agreement just hours after the ink was dry. Hey, Big Drunk James is a special ed teacher so how bright could you expect him to be, right? So this violation has the potential to cost the District hundred’s of thousand’s if former COO Chuck Fuentes sues (which he’d be a fool if he didn’t).

    A special meeting of the Central Basin Ethics Committee is meeting this Friday to discuss this violation..yeah SURE!! And by the way VICTOR, James Roybal, being the King James that he is, appoints people to these committees. So blame Roybal, not Chacon for being on the committee. Oh and by the way, Roybal is the alternate on this committee and should absolutely recuse himself from participating.

    The agenda for Friday’s meeting has just posted and Olivarez is demanding that all items be discussed in closed session. NO WAY! The Brown Act violation is an administrative action that MUST BE DEALT with in FULL PUBLIC VIEW! These are the actions of an elected official being discussed and whatever action this committee takes to remedy this issue is as DESCRIBED IN THE GOVERNMENT CODE. There is no secret agenda here. Attempting to move this item to closed session is merely a means of whitewashing the matter and concealing the influences trying to protect the King. Hogwash, Roybal needs to be held accountable. He should simply resign and save the District a lot of time, money and embarrassment!

    The public needs to attend this meeting and protest if the attorney’s present try to argue that this is a closed session item. It’s time that the corruption stops at Central Basin and drunks like Roybal go back to passing out on face first on his couch everynight. Can’t life just get back to normal around here!

  6. Victor Reply

    August 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Art chacon Ethics WT??????

  7. FLF Reply

    August 14, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I have lived in So CA for over seventy years and the Roybal family had been involved in politics for a LONG LONG time. This investigation is most likely warranted and HOPEFULLY will produce something of substance! If it is related to the water district you KNOW it is suspect now to criminal irregularities! LONG LONG overlooked and never paid any attention to by authorities SUPPOSEDLY in charge of this!

  8. Jason Herrera Reply

    August 14, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Ok, I have had enough. James Roybal claims to possess two Master’s Degrees but his actions are that of a total and complete idiot. As a result of Roybal’s initial refusal to pay Fuentes as his contract demanded, he made his so-called “majority of fools” side with him to refuse to pay him. As a result, $13,000 turned into $55,000. These clowns are definitiely NOT smarter than a 5th grader!l

    It is time for Roybal to resign. Please allow this newsp[aper to publish information on where to sign the recall petitions. Roybal needs to go back to taching his special ed kids (who can probably teach him a few things).

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