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Dirty Water: Directors Roybal and Vasquez Major Campaign Donor Rick Mayer Threatened Director Chacon’s Life

By Brian Hews and Brian Hews

A Los Cerritos Community News investigation has revealed that Art Chacon, a Director at the Central Basin Municipal Water District in Commerce, had his life threatened by former convicted felon Rick Mayer just 24 hours prior to a controversial meeting that resulted in the firing of three top executives at the District in January of this year.

In an interview with LCCN on Wednesday from his Commerce home, Chacon said that Mayer, who is the owner of Golden State Consultants and R & M Associates, and who funded Leticia Vasquez’ and James Roybal’s campaigns, came to his home in January.

Mayer handed Chacon a type written document instructing him to vote for the firing of then Acting COO Chuck Fuentes, Attorney Arnold Alvarez Glasman, and Assistant Ronald Belike.

“Rick Mayer came to my home and handed me a piece of paper and instructed me to vote in favor of several items that were appearing on the agenda,” Chacon said.
“After he handed me the document, Mayer told me ‘if I don’t vote this way…remember what happened to that guy in South Gate, and then he looked me in the eye and turned around and walked back to his car,” Chacon said.

Chacon said, “Mayer could have possibly been reminding me of what happened to former South Gate Mayor Henry Gonzalez who was shot in the head after he left a city council meeting.”

The document contained certain agenda items calling to “review, amend or terminate the COO’s position (Chuck Fuentes), the Assistant to the General Manager (Ron Bielke) and the Public Affairs Manager.”

The document also called to “terminate all existing and current contracts to include service providers, consultants and other contracts deemed necessary by board. All contracts then terminated will be reviewed immediately by committee appointed by board president for recommendation for restatement.”

See document here.

Chacon said that he decided to talk about the situation after LCCN called him about the investigation and plans to file a report with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as early as Thursday morning.

“I got really concerned about my safety, and frankly, I am still scared about what Mayer said to me,” Chacon said.

LCCN called Mayer at Golden State Consultants on Wednesday afternoon to response and as of press time on Thursday he had not responded.

Director James Roybal said that he “had no knowledge” of what “may or may not” have taken place between Chacon and Mayer.

“This is the first time that I have heard about this situation,” Roybal told LCCN on Thursday.

Mayer along with political consultant Angel Gonzalez 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 convicted figures 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.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe was angered about the recent decision to remove Hawkins from his key slot.
“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.
“When reached by phone, Hawkins was equally as angry, “They removed me for no reason. It’s all about egos. We were doing a good job there; we were actually making money. Roybal was going to take my seat, but his school commitments prevented that, so now Leticia will be taking the seat, and she has zero experience.”
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.

  • Mike Tyson says:

    How can Roybal say that this was the first he heard about the Mayer letter to Chacon when Chacon brought it up at an open meeting on 2-15-13??? This creep is not only dangerous, but a liar as well.

    It is obvious that the letter is from Roybal, Apodaca and Vasquez because all those demand actually did happen. The Sheriffs need to check that letter for prints!

    Now will the public wake up and speak up. People’s lives are at danger here.. Please help!

  • Roybal Neighbor On Maris says:

    About time. This loudmouth has made our lives miserable for decades. He pushed environmental causes down our throats and when many of us tried to explain that we were not interested, he told us that we were stupid Mexicans! He goes on and on about his degrees and how smart he is but he lives in a broken down house with beat up cars in the driveway. He dresses like a total bum and he haul 12 packs of beer into his place 2-3 times a day. I couldn’t believe he got elected, but he makes people believe his degrees are his tickets tot power.

    A couple of years ago Roybal got into it with his old friend and fellow Pico Water District Director Rick Mercado after Mercado had worked day and night to get Roybal elected. These two guys were friends for years and I use to watched Roybal stumble back from another day of drinking all of Mercado’s beers. Mercado lives on the block behind us. Now these two are bitter enemies and Roybal blamed Mercado for the City of Pico Rivera finding out that his garage is converted into a bedroom (talk about a Mexican!).

    What I find most interesting is that Roybal would have Ron Beilke over to his house when he was on the city council and would brag to everyone on the block. Ron was always nice to everyone so we didn’t feel it was that big of a deal, but Roybal would brag and brag. Now he votes to fire Ron? What a backstabbing SOB! He did the same to Mercado too. I’m loving the heat Roybal’s getting now and can’t wait till the recall is announced. I’m amazed that everyone in Pico Rivera is talking about him since your paper doesn’t drop in our city. Thank God for email. I know I’m blasting it out to everyone I know.

  • Smitty says:

    what are the “consultant” contracts for?

    • Mike Tyson says:

      Consultant do work for us that we don’t have the expertise for…like designing a computer program or designing a website for example. Some are very legit. And then others are complete hogwash, such as:
      Tom Calderon’s $11,666 a month. Baldy’s contract is as BS as they come! He literally is paid to find ways to pay other consultants who kick back money to him. It’s insane. The idiot know nothing about water and cares less than that about water. His big accomplishment is finding fools like the old Board to keep paying him. Of course, he accomplishes this by dangling his two brothers in front of us like they have some super powers…now he’s doing that with his nephew Ian and by telling everyone his brother Ron will resign early from the Senate so he can win the seat easier at a special election. I mean, these guys are scum.

      Leon Garcia’s $3,000 a month pays for his gas to drive fatso pervert Bob Apodaca around town and to the movies. Now to Leon’s credit, I’m sure he pays for the movies and meals because Apodaca wouldn’t be satisfied without pushy Leon around all he can.

      Bob Garcia double dips at $7,500 for his company (Golden State Advocacy) and another $3,000 for himself personally. Nice enough guy, but this guy has been peddling Calderon driven BS in Sacramento for years and let’s face it, who would still take him seriously up there. Plus, this guy also has Bob Apodaca on top of his Christmas gift list. Got to feed the pig!

      These are just a few examples Smitty, but let me tell you about the biggest crime that survives at CMMWD to this day. Gil Cedillo Jr. makes $115,000 a year plus benefits and the District has pre-paid his college tuition for TWO YEARS for him to take Master courses! They guard this gift closely but I believe the tuition payment was for $50,000. I’ve been looking for it monthly when the Board votes to pay it’s bill, but it’s being hid (like everything else around this place). The bad thing is is that Cedillo literally doesn’t do a damn thing here. He’s Business Development Mgr. but he hasn’t delivered a thing in over a year and a half. He sits in his dark office and plays on the computer all day. Of course, he doesn’t come in until 10:30am and takes a two hour lunch and leaves around 4pm, BUT HE IS GIL CEDILLO’S SON!

      This place makes me sick, but we don’t have to do much with all the consultants hired to do our jobs:) Wait till you hear about Dir. Vasquez’ girlfriend Jasmine doing “crisis management”. She just got a $3,000 consultant gig on Monday and is laughing all the way to the bank.

      • Scott Collins says:

        It is time that we clean this BS up. Where I come from people need to justify their means. Gil Cedillo Sr. has been living off of taxpayers for too long and now his son is doing it. As for the wanna-be Kennedy’s, Calderons, it is time to end their free ride too! Unfortunately, Ian was just elected to the Assembly, but we need to make sure that is the last cancer cell that stays around.

        We need a water board that works for us and not their cronies. I have spent the last few weeks looking into the Central Basin Municipal Water Board and it sickens me to see the money that is wasted. Not to mention the money that they are wasting is our hard earned rate fees. Instead of worrying about water they are worried about another handout for their friends.

        I am just going to put this out there now. Bob Apodaca enjoy your last year on the water board because I intend on running for your seat and beating you. We need accountability on the water board and an explanation for all of the contracts/consultants. Again, Bob enjoy your last year!

        Scott Collins

      • Victor says:

        Mike Tyson thank you for your inside info. Why would you call Bob Apodaca a pervert? Is it because he is pig of a step-father? Is James”Roybal” uncle of the new central basin lawyer Rick , son of congress woman Lucille” Roybal ” Allred?

  • Dexter Morgan says:

    Another shoes dropped at Central Basin today!

  • getmeout says:

    Do you know what the problems is? Lets start with the following? The voters are the blame for this. We keep voting for these low class people. For example in the City of Huntington Park. You have a Mayor that can barely speak english. You have a counsel member who does drugs, but yet he gets elected everytime. John Noguez again a good example of this also.

    Bottom line people, as long as the voter continues to vote these people in the abuse will never ever stop. Voters! Wake up! We are the problem. We need to vote them out.

  • John says:

    All these people gripping about Roybal and Chacon(the gang member & convicted crook) saying he’s scared -ppppleasssee. He’s just trying to get the L.A. DA off his behind. Wake up people!

  • Charita Wojtak says:

    oo often, managers do all the talking in a feedback situation, something I like to call the dreaded Manager’s Monologue – and that is guaranteed to cause trouble. It is vital to engage the employee in open dialogue; to seek to understand their thought processes and reasons. If you don’t listen to them, you may not get a clear understanding as to why the employee is behaving in this manner (do they lack skills, knowledge, etc). You will also increase the likelihood that they will not listen to you..

    The latest piece of writing from our personal web blog

  • Steven Seagal says:

    This is the same Rick Mayer that Jason Stinnett is telling people who will be running his Central Basin campaign to take out the very guy Mayer threatens in this story. Mayer ran Roybal and Vasquez’ campaigns too. Unbelievable! Why doesn’t the County just take over Commerce and combine it into East Los Angeles.

  • Barry Jay says:

    Don’t know if I should let my family drink the water that these scumbags are responsible for. If it’s as clean as they are we’ll have lots of sick people in the South Bay.