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RESIDENT FILES COMPLAINT WITH DISTRICT ATTORNEY AGAINST COUNCILMEMBERS SEEKING TO FIRE PICO RIVERA CM BOBADILLA

By Brian Hews
March 13, 2018 1:10 p.m.

Hews Media Group-Community News has obtained a complaint  filed last night with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office of Public Integrity pertaining to Pico Rivera Councilmen David Armenta, Bret Tercero, and Gregory Salcido’s attempt to terminate Pico Rivera’s City Manager Rene Bobadilla.

Last week, Hews Media Group-Community News was first to report that Pico Rivera City Manager Rene Bobadilla would be forced to resign by three city councilmembers that include disgraced El Rancho Unified teacher Gregory Salcido.

According to the sources, a lunch meeting was held two weeks ago at Pico Rivera’s Dal Rae restaurant attended by Bobadilla, Assistant City Manager Ben Cardenas, Mayor Gustavo Camacho, Armenta and two “potential city vendors.”

David Armenta

The two vendors were first identified yesterday in a follow-up story by HMG-CN as Xavier Ortiz and Eduardo Leon.

During the meeting, Armenta reportedly ordered Bobadilla to terminate the city’s contract with LEBA Inc., the long-time operators of the Pico Rivera Sports Arena (Arena).

Bobadilla evidently objected to the termination because LEBA was not in violation of their contract.

Armenta angrily stood up from the meeting and said, “if that is the way you want it, then we will do something else.” Ortiz and Leon left with Armenta.

Days later an “emergency” meeting was called to announce Bobadilla’s formal termination with Armenta indicating that Mayor pro tem Brent Tercero and Councilman Salcido, along with Armenta, would vote to terminate.

 

Mayor pro tem Brent Tercero and Councilman Greg Salcido.

 

 

The HMG-CN article caused such an outrage in the City that it forced the three Councilman to back off on the resignation and “wait” until the next Council meeting.

That meeting occurs at 6 p.m. tonight when the Pico Rivera City Council will convene and possibly force the resignation of Bobadilla or move to terminate him outright. Sources are telling HMG-CN that the three votes remain in play.

A Bobadilla termination or resignation will prove extremely costly to the city.

Two elected officials, Mayor Gustavo Camacho and Councilman Bob Archuleta, are firmly opposed to tonight’s efforts.

Archuleta, currently a candidate for State Senate in the 32nd District, is a staunch fiscal watchdog and feels that if the Bobadilla is removed tonight, the residents of Pico Rivera should unite to hold those on the Council accountable.

“Money doesn’t grow on trees is what my mother always taught me,” stated Archuleta in a phone interview today.  “I’ve worked side by side with Bobadilla to build a healthy $40 million rainy day fund for this city. We recently formed our own energy company PRIME to save the City and residents money on their electric bills. Squandering upwards of $400,000 on tonight’s action to settle petty feuds and to strong-arm support for shady deals is not what anyone in this community elected us to do.”

Archuleta is referring to Council member Greg Salcido’s and Brent Tercero’s ongoing battles with the Bobadilla over the direction of the City.

“Yes, they didn’t vote last year to support Bobadilla’s five-year contract extension, but those two disagree with just about everything, yet look at all that’s been accomplished over the years.”

Archuleta added that his philosophy is that you have to learn to work with people and find common ground.

“I’ve asked those two many, many times how they would like to do things differently, they offer very little in solutions other than firing the City Manager.”

Archuleta offered a simple solution.  “Now that those three control the majority, set new standards as they prefer and hold Bobadilla accountable.  If he doesn’t perform per their direction, then let him go.  You don’t junk a whole car just because it needs a new tire.”

Archuleta’s opinion of fellow councilman Armenta’s motive to fire the Bobadilla is even more pointed.

“Threatening and then carrying out efforts to force out a city employee for refusing to do something so obviously corrupt and illegal is simply unimaginable,” stated Archuleta.

Archuleta is referring to Armenta’s open threat made at the Dal Rae Restaurant to terminate Bobadilla, making a bombshell statement calling out Armenta.

“According to reports from those present, Armenta literally told Bobadilla to either commit a crime or lose his job, and he did this in front of a room full of witnesses,” added Archuleta.

As a result of all these shenanigans, longtime city activist John Albitre says he has had enough.

Yesterday, Albitre filed a two-page complaint with the District Attorney asking the Public Integrity Office to investigate Armenta’s “do or die” threat.

He also asked to investigate Salcido and Tercero’s leveraging of Armenta’s threat to settle their own personal grudges against Bobadilla as well as the blatant Brown Act violation as evidenced by all three working together to fire Bobadilla before discussing the action at an open meeting.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve taken on the crooks in city hall,” stated Albitre, a 5th generation descendent of the last Mexican Governor of California, Pio Pico.

“When someone smears the good name of this City that was once literally my decedent’s backyard, I will speak up.  I did it when Salcido attacked our men and women of the military and I’ll do it when I see good money being wasted.”

Albitre added, “our funds need to be spent on putting Sheriff’s deputies on the streets, not being squandered by petty politicians.”

 

ALBITE’S COMPLAINT IS BELOW

Ms. Jackie Lacey
Los Angeles County District Attorney
Public Integrity Division

March 12, 2018

Dear Ms. Lacey,

My name is John Albitre and I am a lifelong resident of the City of Pico Rivera. I am a 5th generation decedent of Pio Pico, the last Mexican Governor of California. I have a long history of civic involvement and activism in my city dating back 40 years.

I am requesting that your office open a fair and independent investigation into the ongoing actions of three members of the Pico Rivera City Council, Councilmen David Armenta, Gregory Salcido and Brent Tercero.

The allegations that I am concerned about surround an effort to retaliate against, terminate and/or remove by forced resignation Pico Rivera’s City Manager Rene Bobadilla for reasons I suspect are either illegal or unethical.

On or about Thursday, February 27th a lunch meeting was request by Councilman Armenta at the Dal Rae restaurant here in Pico Rivera. At this meeting City Manager Rene Bobadilla, Assistant City Manager Ben Cardenas, City Attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman and Mayor Gustavo Camacho were present as well as Armenta and two individuals described by Armenta to be “businessmen” Eduardo Leon and Xavier Ortiz.

During this meeting Armenta detailed his intentions for the city to fabricate evidence in an effort to terminate the city’s contract with LEBA, Inc., longtime operators of the Pico Rivera Sports Arena, a property leased by the city from the Army Corp of Engineers, a federal agency.

Furthermore, Armenta introduced Leon and Ortiz as the individuals he intended the city to award LEBA’s contract to once LEBA vacates the property without any apparent vetting process.

It is my understanding that Bobadilla protested and questioned the legality of Armenta’s plan whereas Armenta responded by stating to all present that Bobadilla would be terminated in the coming days for defying his demands. At that point Armenta, Ortiz and Leon left the restaurant.

On or about Monday, March 5th, Armenta summons Bobadilla to a meeting at a city park at approximately 8:30am. Upon arriving at this meeting, Bobadilla encountered Armenta as well as Councilman Greg Salcido. It is my understanding that Salcido explained that he and Armenta had secured the crucial third vote of Councilman Brent Tercero which enabled them to demand the immediate resignation of Bobadilla or they would proceed with a vote to terminate him.

I believe the actions taken at this March 5th meeting in the park to be a clear violation of the Brown Act in that Armenta, Salcido and Tercero discussed the terms and strategy of removing the City Manager in an intentional effort to deny public participation and knowledge as required at a lawfully posted public meeting.

On or about Thursday, March 8th, Armenta, Salcido and Tercero called a Special City Council meeting at 5pm with the sole item on the agenda being a Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release. The position or title of this employee is not even named in an attempt to avoid community attention.

I attended this meeting and was only one of two residents to speak. The agenda clearly stated that this “special meeting was called by Armenta, Salcido and Tercero.” I inquired about the circumstances of the calling of this meeting and if it was Armenta, Salcido and Tercero’s intentions to “hide” their efforts from the community given that a regularly scheduled meeting was to be held on March 13th, just days away.

I asked Councilmen Salcido and Tercero if they were aware of Armenta’s efforts to force and possibly extort Bobadilla to fabricate evidence in order to void a legally binding contract or face termination? I then asked Armenta “if he had accepted any funds from the men he was seeking to give the Sports Arena contact to?”

I believe as a result of my opposition, no action was taken at this meeting but now the item appears on the agenda for the meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 13th and this time the employee title City Manager is now displayed.

I humbly request that the District Attorney investigate the circumstances as I have described today. I believe the residents of Pico Rivera have a right to be concerned whether a City Manager that Armenta supported for a five-year contract extension barely nine months ago should be removed under the circumstances that have been described to me and that I am now providing.

I thank you for your consideration and am available to offer assistance as requested.

Sincerely,
/S/ John Albitre

 

 

 

 

 

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Concerned Ctzn
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Concerned Ctzn

“Archuleta,is a staunch fiscal watchdog.”
Archuleta approved The waste of taxpayer dollars in a give away of nearly $800,000 subsidy, to bring a Don Chente Bar and Grill to the Village Walk shopping center. Lets not forget his $1,500 fine by the Fair Political Practices Committee. Archuleta is No Watchdog.

Ray C.
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Ray C.

I see BIG changes coming to Pico Rivera. That ghetto never had a chance with Armenta and Salcido serving for decades. Let’s find some real leadership like we had back when Bielke was getting things done.