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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.

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