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Central Basin Water Ethics Committee to Investigate Additional Allegations Against Apodaca

By Brian Hews and Randy Economy

CBMWD Director Bob Apodaca

CBMWD Director                   Bob Apodaca

Hews Media Group-Community News has learned that a special meeting of the Central Basin Municipal Water District Ethics Committee focusing on long time Director Bob Apodaca, already the subject of legal action as a result of a sexual harassment complaint, will convene on Wednesday, September 25th to review another complaint filed by a member of the public.

The Ethics Committee has been very active lately with Apodaca being the second CBMWD Director to come under scrutiny within the past few weeks.

Earlier this month, the Committee took action to refer Board President James Roybal to the Los Angeles County Grand Jury.

According to sources at the embattled water agency, the complaint received against Bob Apodaca was submitted by a resident in Apodaca’s district and could potentially land in the Grand Jury’s hands.

According to a copy of the complaint obtained exclusively by HMG-CN, three allegations were made against Apodaca, all could potentially result in criminal charges being filed.

The first complaint alleges that Apodaca violated Government Code Section 1090 by knowingly voting to approve payments to Caroline Medrano for floral arrangements provided to the District between the period of 2003-2013, including one as recently as August 26, 2013.

HMG-CN broke the story on August 9th that Apodaca’s widely acknowledged common-law wife Medrano, along with another Whittier area firm that sources claim Medrano also owned, had earned over $10,000 providing lavish floral arrangements to the agency.

One $1,500 invoice for Apodaca’s 2006 reelection party described 52 separate pieces being delivered, including flowers to decorate both the men’s and woman’s restrooms.

Invoices show that Medrano, who is also a Whittier City Commissioner, lists her business address at 7937 Sargent Ave. in Whittier, the same address where Apodaca resides.

The complaint explains that a 1090 violation exists when an elected voting member knowingly receives financial benefit from a vote they participate in.

Given that Apodaca and Medrano share the same physical residence, Medrano’s financial gain would potentially benefit Apodaca.

The second complaint filed against Apodaca alleges he committed fraud by illegally electing to enroll Medrano onto his CBMWD provided medical insurance program.

The third complaint is asking the Committee to investigate whether Medrano received compensation from Pacifica Services, Inc.

Pacifica’s contract with CBMWD was recently terminated when a HMG-CN investigation revealed six allegedly unauthorized extensions.

Apodaca voted on Pacifica’s lucrative contract and approved its multiple extensions. Medrano is known to be related to Pacifica’s President Ernest Camacho.

Hews Media Group will provide an update following Wednesday’s meeting of the Committee’s actions.

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