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Dirty Water: DA Confirms Complaints Filed Against Central Basin Directors Vasquez and Roybal

By Brian Hews

Los Cerritos Community News has learned that recently sworn in Central Basin Municipal Water District Director Leticia Vasquez is the subject of numerous complaints filed last week with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, including one surrounding a campaign event held while a teacher at El Camino Compton Center.

Central Basin Water District Board Directors Leticia Vasquez and James Roybal.

Central Basin Water District Board Directors Leticia Vasquez and James Roybal.

LCCN also confirmed that numerous complaints were filed against fellow (Division One Director) James B. Roybal.

The Vasquez complaint alleges that she booked an event on December 6, 2012 at La Huesteca Restaurant in Lynwood as a fundraising event for the college, when in reality it was a fundraising event to pay for her successful water board campaign.

Vasquez did not report the fundraiser on her signed Campaign Statement Form 460. Under government code section 81000, signing false statements is a violation under penalty of perjury that carries heavy fines and prison terms.

The first event, on a document obtained by LCCN, outlines a “special event proposal” prepared by a representative of La Huesteca for Dec. 6. The proposal outlines all costs associated with the event.

The proposal also clearly states that the event was booked by Vasquez for the purpose of an El Camino College fundraiser. Vasquez lists herself and school email as the contact, and the type of event as “recaudacion de fondos” which means fundraiser.

However, LCCN has obtained another document describing an event on the same date (Dec. 6) at the same time (5:30pm-8pm) at the same restaurant (La Huesteca) to “Come Help Celebrate Leticia’s Election to the Water Board.”

See documents here

According to several sources, the two and half hour event was well attended by several of Vasquez’ El Camino political science class students, with one seated at the door checking in guests and collecting donations.

Students in attendance confirmed that their appearance was mandatory for Ms. Vazquez’ class credit.

Those same sources told LCCN that all other people at the event were there “to pay for her water board campaign,” contradicting the calim that it was a college fundraiser party.

The complaints to the District Attorney come on the heels of two articles exposing former felon Ricardo “Rick” Mayer, and political consultant Angel Gonzalez as key figures responsible for getting Vasquez and Roybal elected.

Mayer and Gonzalez donated huge sums of money to Vasquez and Roybal.

An examination by LCCN of the California Form 460 Form F, which documents Accrued Expenses and Unpaid Bills, show that both Vasquez and Roybal now owe the two convicted figures more than $40,000.

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 was 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, Roybal and Vasquez quickly joined ranks with long-time Director Bob Apodaca and created a new “voting bloc majority” at Central Basin.

Within one week of being sworn into office, the three fired Chief Operating Officer Chuck Fuentes, along with Assistant to General Manager Ron Beilke and Attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman. They also ordered all contracts to be reviewed.

They also 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.

They 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, angering LA County Supervisor Don Knabe.

“I’m very upset to see Phil removed from his MWD seat. Phil has been a tireless advocate for the Southeast area on water issues and his tenure means a great deal on such a large Board as the MWD. His experience as Chair of the Real Estate and Asset Management Committee will be missed,” Knabe said.

Roybal as president is now in a powerful position, responsible for forming committee, items that will be allowed on the agenda, and what contracts are vetted and reviewed before they come to a vote.

South Gate Councilman Henry Gonzalez, who is considered to be one of the most respected elected officials in Southeast Los Angeles County told LCCN in an interview on Monday that Vasquez is as “dirty as they come.”

“She was groomed by convicted felon and ex-Lynwood Mayor Paul Richards, she knows how to play dirty, and doesn’t care about rules. Leticia does what she wants,” the South Gate councilman said.

  • Nancy Estrella says:

    Holy Cow! This story is amazing and keeps getting crazier! Excellent reporting Randy & Brian as always. Can youn imagine if no one looked into these two? Where’s the LA Times, The Whittier Daily News, The Wave. Eastern Group Pubnlicatins, and The Downey Patroit?? As much as you guys get criticized, it only because you’re doing actually reporting. If I wanted BS rummage sale stories, I’d read the Whittier Daily News.

  • Jason Herrera says:

    We should all be so thankful that complaints have been filed against Roybal and Vasquez. These two individuals will land in a courtroom just like the Bell 8 and will be found just as guilty. Did they think they lived in a bubble and believe they were bullet proof? This pathetic abuse of Vasquez’ place of employment is so typical of those seeking to exploit a poor community and ignorant people. Her students should all demand her resignation and demand better of their school! The community of Lynwood that recalled Vasquez knew exactly what they were doing and now the residents within Division Four of Central Basin need to do the same damn thing! So why isn’t Jason Stinnett rushing now to defend Mother Theresa Vasquez? Well, there goes his guaranteed endorsement!

  • Victor says:

    Is LCCN out of touch with reality.?????
    “Councilman Henry Gonzalez one of the most respected elected officials in LA county”, . Where do you get your facts from? This guy is the Jimmy Hoffa of LA county.
    I know you won’t post my comments , cause fame and power is getting to Randy And Brain’s head . Say hi to Calderon Bros looks like LCCN is becoming their FRIEND and friends have each others back.

    • LCCN says:

      We have never deleted your comments, if we did it probably had some expletives or did not make sense. You seem to always want to put Randy and Brian down and not stick to the story. By the way what is your real name? Let our readers know if you are credible or not.

      • Victor says:

        Your stories are spot on but when you paint people like Henry Gonzalez as an hero that’s when I see LCCN might want to get good with Henry G. to get in to news paper business in South gate.
        Look at list of Henry G’ s best friends George Cole, Rudy Montalvo, Fernando Perdoza” convected” and the list goes on. And when LCCN says Art chacon was removed after one week as president and make him like this poor qualified water board member Art Chacon is only there because” soon to be convicted “George Cole needed two puppets on board to control the Central Basin water board .
        And on my credibility you just need to watch and see .

        • LCCN says:

          You are pointing out what everyone knows, and we just pointed out they fired Chacon, nothing else. Why won’t you tell our readers your real name, looks very suspicious…

        • Jason Herrera says:

          I still don’t get it, why do people who blog here always attack the people who are NOT the ones being accused of crimes and wrong doings?? It’s obvious they can’t defend their friends, in this case Roybal and Vasquez, so they attack other people. In regards to this story, Henry Gonzales dropped the dime on Rick Mayer which resulted in Mayer’s seven felony convictions and an eight month prison sentence. He was also the subject of Angel Gonzalez’ illegal hit pieces that resulted him being convicted as well. I think Henry has a right to offer an opinion on Leticia Vasquez given her association to Rick Mayer and Angel Gonzalez via her massive campaign IOU’s.

          By the way, Henry is retiring next month after 20 plus years on the South Gate City Council so I really don’t think he’ll still be influential in getting LCCN published in South Gate. Just my opinion Victor. Also, Art Chacon is anti-Calderon which means he’s not pro-George Cole.. Remember Tom Calderon served on Oldtimer’s Board for years and years. It was Montalvo who is close to Cole and company. Just a little clarification Friend.

    • Jason Herrera says:

      Henry took a bullet to his head while fighting to rid South Gate of corruption! He was on the council when Big “Al” Robles and Rick Mayer went to jail -both close friends of Leticia Vasquez. How could he be Jimmy Hoffa if he’s not buried in cement somewhere? What an ignorant comment. Looks like Jason Stinnett’s back.

      How can you still stick up for Vasquez after the scam she pulled with her La Huesteca water board fundraiser, opps, I mean her El Camino College fundraiser for a tuition fund for poor underprivileged kids?

  • Jason Stinnett says:

    I’ve not even commented this story and some of the posters above seem to have made it a priority to attribute comments to me that I haven’t made. I believe that Jim Roybal is making good decisions that are affecting the negative influences at Central Basin. The principle one is curtailing the negative influence of members of the Calderon family who have enriched themselves through political influence at the Central Basin and parts of Southeast Los Angeles. One brother makes over $300,000 a year for “consulting fees,” not to mention the nearly $1 million dollar contract that was placed on the Central Basin agenda for Water2Save, a company that Tom Calderon has a financial interest in. Fortunately, that item died for lack of a successful motion. As for all the applause about these articles the news elements are that two Directors have an unclear relationship with a convicted felon, as well as the latest allegations regarding Vasquez. These are legitimate questions, however the rest of the story is not completed. The DA acknowledging receipt of a complaint isn’t a news story, which is why other newspapers are not all over this. Anyone can file a complaint with the DA, which prompts that agency to acknowledge receipt of such a claim…again not a conviction or even charges filed. It may come to that and if there is wrongdoing, anyone guilty of such should be punished to the extent of the law. I don’t think I can be clearer…corruption should never be tolerated.

    To be clear I’m not offering a defense or condemnation of anyone other than what I’ve stated above. I don’t fear personal attacks from corrupt politicians or their lackeys nor do I hide from them. I’m a voter and a resident of Commerce, which is in Division III of the Central Basin Municipal Water District. I am also a candidate for the Division III seat because I have every intention of ensuring honest and transparent representation for the members of the public served by Central Basin. I hide behind no one and I am running on my own merit.

    If you must continue to rattle your sabre so bravely through this comment section feel free to do so, but it might be a little more enlightening for constituents to attend a Board Meeting. It might help separate fact from speculation and fiction.

    LCCN if you’re going to call out some anonymous commenters, why not call all of them out. That a newspaper attacks commenters critical of its reporting but not others gives the appearance of bias. Perhaps I’m mistaken. If so I’m more than willing to have a respectful discussion about these issues. LCCN has my email.


    Jason Stinnett
    Commerce resident

    • LCCN says:


      It is interesting you bashed LCCN about Bielke and then excuse Roybal as “fighting corruption man”even though he owes a convicted felon $20K. And we have more breaking tomorrow online Friday IN PRINT.
      A person filed a complaint, a legitimate complaint, and again you attempt to excuse it. All legitimate complaints. And we have more on that.
      You will see soon that the very first meeting with Roybal and Vasquez as directors was influenced.
      You presume your comments are correct, they are not and we have proven that. We DEBUNK incorrect comments not attack.
      Please come back on Friday after we post our latest story.

  • Mike Tyson says:

    Mr. Stinnett,

    I think your intentions are good, but you’re circling your wagons around the wrong factions. This is obviously driven by your desire to replace Art Chacon. Maybe you should consider the idea of running as an independent, not with the support and on the coattails of this latest incarnation of a majority? This is where you are losing credibility. Maybe you should have waited to see if they were for real before you jumped in bed with Roybal and his partners?

    If you attended the last Board meeting like I did on Monday (which you didn’t), you will see a James Roybal controlled by the special interests that paid to get him elected and by the debts he owes to his equally corrupt allies Apodaca and Vasquez. He isn’t objective, he’s following a script. Come on Jason, how else would you describe Roybal supporting a “vital’ contract renewal for Leon Garcia and Southwest Management? Leon does absolutely ZERO for his $3,000 a month except serve as Bob Apodaca’s “lackey” (to borrow your expression). When this contract was being discussed, Art Chacon spoke up and demanded to know what Leon did for his money besides drive Apodaca around and take him to the movies! Say what you will about Chacon, but he was write and everyone employed at CBMWD knew it. So please explain why Roybal would support Leon if it wasn’t for his loyalty to Apodaca. Even Vasquez voted no!

    Then the infamous “Water2Save” contract came up (but that’s not what it’s called). Again, Chacon called the totally illegitimate bidding process “fishy”. Prez Roybal criticized Chacon for using that bad, bad word?? To be honest, if that so called “process” doesn’t make it’s way to the District Attorney, I’d be shocked! Without question, it was the most hokey thing I’ve ever heard of and it failed on a 3-2, with only Roybal and Apodaca supporting it. Jason, do you understand that Pacifica already has the contract to be the Project Manager of that entire $3 million grant? You’d better believe they want that money awarded before it expires? In other words, KING Ernie wants his money and if you look at Roybal’s recent 460 form, Ernie Camacho wrote $5,000 in checks to Roybal’s campaign on October 24, 2012. Don’t you think if Roybal was ethical, he’d abstain?

    Believe me Jason, divorce yourself from Roybal if you even hope for a chance of running against Chacon. Your ignorance is sweet, but you’re face is going to be covered in egg when all the dirt on Roybal is exposed.

    Just remember to apologize to Randy and Brian when your eyes are opened…