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LA County Grand Jury Requested To Investigate Central Basin Water President James Roybal

By Brian Hews  (3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, 2013)

The Central Basin Municipal Water District Ethics Committee has voted to ask the Los Angeles County Grand Jury to investigate Director James Roybal’s involvement in leaking confidential documents to reporter Mike Sprague who works for the Whittier Daily News.

The vote for the review was made by Central Basin Water Board Directors Phil Hawkins of Cerritos and Art Chacon of Commerce.

Hews Media Group-Community News 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 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 first reported on the situation back on August 6th.


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