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California State Assembly Speaker John Perez Implicated in Central Basin Water Scheme

October 24, 2013

By Brian Hews

Note: Audio tapes at end of this article.

“Here’s the deal, we need to be proactive, if we are not, if we do not put a plan together that we can all support, the Mutuals (Maywood Water) can be dissolved with a stroke of the pen, it can be done.”

-Tom Calderon, July 2010 meeting with Maywood Water District Officials.

(Maywood, CA) Hews Media Group – Community News has obtained an audiotape that details how the Office of California State Assembly Speaker John Perez collaborated with former Assemblyman Tom Calderon and officials with the Central Basin Municipal Water District in an attempt to coerce three Maywood Mutual Water Districts (MMWD) into taking on unwanted projects that if they did not accept, the districts, as Calderon said, would be “dissolved with a stroke of a pen.”

The “stroke of a pen” meaning legislation that would be championed by Speaker Perez and passed in Sacramento to “dissolve the water companies.” The entities would then be taken over by CBMWD.

Even more disturbing, the projects would have landed Calderon, and his allies, as well as the CBMWD a lucrative $25 million dollar consulting contract to “fix problems” that one MMWC General Manager insisted twice in the audio recording “we don’t have, or we were already working with the WRD to fix.”
Further, HMG-CN has determined that several figures currently under probe by the FBI in a complex political “pay to play scheme” at the CBMWD also played active roles in pushing for the legislation that targeted the tiny MMWD.

HMG-CN has also been told by sources that investigators with the FBI have been given a copy of the audio tape.

It was back on June 7, 2010 when Calderon is heard on the audio recording saying he was “summoned” by Speaker Perez and the Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to call the meeting that included Enrique Gasca, one of Perez’s top staff lieutenants, CBMWD General Manager Art Agiular, Sergio Palos, General Manager of MMWD #1, Gustavo Villa, GM of MMWD #2, and Bob Ruhlf, who is the GM in District #3.

Villaraigosa and Perez are cousins and are considered to be close political allies.

Two parties who attended the meeting recorded the conversations. HMG-CN was provided a copy of the recording two weeks ago. HMG-CN was also told by sources that the Los Angeles Times was given a copy of the same audio recording but ‘refused’ to print the contents of the meeting.

At the time, records show that Calderon was being paid $11,000 per month by CBMWD for ‘public affairs’ earning, as reported by HMG-CN, more than $750,000 in consulting fees with the besieged agency during a six year period.

Aguilar begins the meeting with an explanation of why they were “summoned” by Perez and Villaraigosa and then says to the MMWD GM’s, “anything can happen if the money is there.”

One of the MMWD GM’s later asked who Calderon was, with Calderon answering, “I was a State Assemblyman, my other brothers were Assemblymen too, so (laughing) we got the politics covered.”

Almost three minutes into the meeting, Enrique Gasca enters the room and is introduced as Speaker Perez’ Director by Calderon.

Calderon goes on to say, “if we can’t make this (the project) happen we are all in a lot of trouble, in terms of things you want from Sacramento and his (Speaker Perez) ability to retaliate or encourage things… I have never seen a Speaker who does not get what he wants.”

He goes on to say, “here’s the deal, we need to be proactive, if we are not, if we do not put a plan together we can all support, the MMWD’s can be dissolved with (Calderon snapping his fingers) a ‘stroke of the pen’, it can be done.”

One of the GM’s angrily says, “and this is your solution to better quality water?”

Calderon answers him, “it (the water quality) doesn’t matter, the (goal of the project) does not matter.”

The bill that Calderon was talking about was Assembly Bill 240, first carried by Perez after he became Speaker nearly three years ago and revived this year almost verbatim by Assemblyman Anthony Rendon. Perez touted the bill as his “first legislative bill after his election.”

The bill was being pushed by Calderon too, and only targeted the MMWD.

Rendon carried the bill through the halls of Sacramento during his first ten months in office and touted the bill as being able to “address the water quality problems in the 63rd Assembly District.”

The bill, Rendon said in a press statement issued by his office this past week, now requires “mutual water companies like those that deliver water to Maywood’s residents to comply with the Brown Act and the Public Records Act—two icons of public agency law.”

Rendon and Perez have been close personal friends and allies for several years.

High-ranking officials in Sacramento tell HMG-CN that Rendon now has the “personal backing and support” of Perez to be the next Speaker of the California State Assembly. Perez is termed out of office in 2014 and is in the process of running for state wide office.

Perez and Tom Calderon have also been strong allies for more than twenty years back before Calderon was elected to the State Assembly in the 1990’s and when Perez was working for a local labor union and working as a political activist in Los Angeles County.

The recording goes on and details how Calderon tells the group that “the quality of the water is not an issue, but painting a perception that the water is bad is the intent and if the water is presented as being bad, then the money will be there.”

He goes on to say, “if we can do that, then that will make him (Speaker Perez) feel comfortable enough to go ahead and move forward (to disburse the $25 million). He (Perez) will want to have an independent agency receive the disbursement-Calderon indicates that CBMWD as the agency-and would be the appropriate entity to control the process.”

Calderon also said that the data will have to be “proved-up by CBMWD and our (Calderon’s) engineers to justify getting money.”

Twenty minutes into the meeting one of the MMWD GM’s asks “what do you want us to do?” Calderon’s response was, “as long as it is agreeable to us (Calderon, Aguilar), I don’t think the Speaker (Perez) is going to care how it is done, as long as it is getting there.”

Aguilar then prompts the GM’s for a “needs list” and tells them that, “it is in the best interests of you and your owners to cooperate with us and Speaker Perez.”
In what was probably indicative of the entire meeting, one GM says to Aguilar, “so you want me to give you a list of things that I need to replace to solve a problem I don’t have.”

Aguilar’s response was a loud laugh followed by “yeah.”

The meeting ended with all parties agreeing to submit the “plans” to Aguilar in one month, in as “non-technical format as possible, I am not dealing with technical people,” said Aguilar.

“With Rendon, Tom (Calderon) followed through on his threats,” one of the Maywood water executives who did not want to be specifically named due to possible retaliation and “safety concerns for his family” told the newspaper in a phone interview during the past month.

Rendon championed the bill this past year and touted its passage as “AB 240 makes $1 million available from the state to help fund efforts to provide clean water to the residents of Maywood.”

“The residents of Maywood have had to drink, cook and bathe in dirty water for too long. AB 240 gives local residents the ability to monitor the companies that deliver their water and brings $1 million into the district to make sure our residents get cleaner water,” Rendon stated.

One lawmaker in Sacramento, who did not want to be named publicly, told the newspaper that the bill “flew under the radar.”

“No one really paid much attention to it, since it was narrowly crafted,” the lawmaker continued.

“As far as I was concerned, it was a District bill that was important to Anthony. Now, I wish I would have known more about the background, since the Calderon criminal investigation is on everyone’s mind in Sacramento,” the same elected state legislator quipped.

Just hours before this article was published, Tom Calderon told the Sacramento Bee that he would not be a candidate for his brother Ron Calderon’s state senate seat.
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Below is the audiotape in three parts, part one is 7:09 in length, after which the tape is silent. Please click on tape 2 after 7:09.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

  • Smitty says:

    There’s a bigger story here, the Los Angles water reclamation district agreed to build “worthless make work projects” without extortion.

  • Smitty says:

    Looks like these projects had federal protection and funding too, no doubt “donations” flew to DC, these projects would have to be approved by Speaker Boehner’s office as well as have sponsoring local Senators and Congressmen.

    The feds have to be in coverup mode, these politicians are Obama’s base.

  • Luis B. Hernandez says:

    Holy Crap! This story says it all! Calderon, Aguilar and even Speaker Perez himself all deserve to be in jail. These Mexicans are now running California State politics like they’re living in Mexico. How long until kidnappings and beheadings become the norm. Extortion is just the tip of the iceberg.

    If the FBI isn’t preparing arrest warrants as we speak I’d be shocked. Worse still, the new Central Basin being run by Bob Apodaca and James Roybal is no better. These water agency’s all need to be consolidated. WRD is no better with Lit’ Al Robles being in charge.

    Thank you Randy and Brian for always delivering the goods. This is prize winning work!

    • gilman says:

      You hit the nail on the head. It is time that the myriad of water agencies operating throughout the state be consolidated into a mere handful.

    • Teresa Marquez says:

      Luis, There is more Mexicans that should be on the list, they just do this without regards to any consequences, LAPD has reduce crime, but apparently the crime has escalated to the political levels. The reason EXIDE Techonologies still open for business, after infesting 250,000 latino families with high levels of arsenic, lead and benzene, I am sure someone is getting the money. Why would the State of California general attorney could not keep EXIDE close? It is a very sad time for California, who ever is helping EXIDE stay open must be getting pretty good returns. It is probably better than buying Twitter stock, not taxes on the gain of corruption. Where is the IRS on this money movement, oh I forgot, they are call non profit for political movement and cover up.

  • steve smith says:

    So who owns the copyright on that recording, the FBI?

  • No On Rendon to be SPEAKER says:

    Assemblyman Anthony Rendon is the HAND PICKED candidate of SEED BAG SPEAKER JOHN PEREZ to take his place as the NEXT SPEAKER OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY.


    “With Rendon, Tom (Calderon) followed through on his threats,” one of the Maywood water executives who did not want to be specifically named due to possible retaliation and “safety concerns for his family” told the newspaper in a phone interview during the past month. Rendon championed the bill this past year and touted its passage as “AB 240 makes $1 million available from the state to help fund efforts to provide clean water to the residents of Maywood.”

  • River Cat says:

    John Perez is a piece of work, along with many others. Tape recordings of the bastards, the FBI needs to hammer these a holes.

  • steve smith says:

    Wow really bad timing for Perez and the state of CA and their giant bond offering.

    Look whos hosting the “democracy lab” in LA this weekend.


    This is perverse, I’d send a photographer and videographer.

  • Victor says:

    Assemblyman Rendon , speaker Rendon, GOVENOR Rendon 2014?

  • Wayne Carter Sr. says:

    This is insulting. This level of corruption is seldom exposed to this degree. In my mind, everything that has been alleged about Central Basin and the influence of the Calderons has now been made certain. This is one of those ready-made cases for the feds. Let’s hope they act quickly.

    And let us not forget that Rendon is a true pawn for the Calderon. He “relocated” three times before settling on the area he now represents. First he was running for the Assembly area that Ian Calderon eventually won. Then he was pushed out of the Assembly area that Tom Calderon ran for (and lost to Cristina Garcia). Finally, with no Calderon’s left to bow to, he claimed the seat he eventually won. Isn’t that amazing?

  • Stead Fast In Chicago says:

    Yes, I checked, he’s a ……are you sure your sitting down ……… This might be quite a shock………a Democrat.
    It seems Chicago politics has reached Cali, or perhaps this is just how socialisms work? If you can call this ” working ” that is. For in my book, this is theft and blackmail, and fraud, and highly illegal, amoral, and unrighteousness. But in the minds of the pathetic common socialist, their system is sooooo much better that they must destroy a perfectly functioning Nations government, usurp it, by watch ever means necessary so that their system ruled by thousands of petty little John Perez’s can enrich themselves at our expense.



    ‘So you want me to give you a list of things I need to replace to solve a problem I don’t have?’

    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/10/state-assembly-speaker-implicated-in-water-scam/#32C1Z9AF3KwQIOdW.99


  • Smitty says:

    Where is the criminal prosecution? http://ricoact.com/?page_id=21