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Los Angeles Times Withheld Information, Facts on Central Basin Water Scheme Involving Calderon, Speaker Perez, and Villaraigosa

November 22, 2013

By Brian Hews

Note: Documentation can be found at the end of this article.

Hews Media Group-Community News has obtained documentation that clearly shows the Los Angeles Times withholding a story and incriminating audiotapes from a 2010 meeting that detailed Speaker John Perez, former State Assemblyman Tom Calderon, and Central Basin Municipal Water District GM Art Aguilar pressuring the tiny Maywood Water Mutuals to take a $25 million infrastructure project or risk being legislated out of existence by Speaker Perez using Assembly Bill 240.

The source tells HMG-CN that LA Times Senior Editor Kimi Yoshino, reporters Ruben Vives and Hector Becerra were all given the audiotape of the July 2010 meeting this year, yet they did not publish the full version, instead the LA Times chose to withhold crucial information and published a watered-down version written by Sacramento beat reporter Patrick McGreevy.

Other sources told HMG-CN that Vives and Becerra had the story written  “but it was killed by the editors in Sacramento and they ran with McGreevy’s version…it looks like there was a turf war going on between Sacramento and LA over the story…..and Sacramento won.”

When HMG-CN obtained the audiotape of the meeting, a full version was published, both in print and online October 25 and got over 10,000 hits.

Several media outlets and prominent local online news sites slammed the LA Times for watering the story down and not publishing the full version, including RonKayeLA, WatchOurCity, and MayorSam, and CalWatchDog.org

CalWatchDog article: What is Being Ignored in The Calderon Scandals.

After receiving the audiotapes back in July of this year, McGreevy inexplicably wrote his version saying:

“Sergio Palos, general manager of Maywood Mutual Water Co. No. 1, said that in 2010, Central Basin officials tried to exert control over their operations. Palos and managers of the other Maywood water companies say they were called to a meeting in July of that year with Art Aguilar, then general manager of Central Basin, and Tom Calderon, the senator’s brother, who at the time was a consultant for the district.”

The Maywood managers said Tom Calderon told them at the meeting that more than $20 million was available from the state to help their companies.

McGreevy went on to say in his article, “we (Maywood Water) were directed to hire the same consultant(s) Central Basin employs if we wanted to eliminate the threat of retaliatory legislation.”

See McGreevy article click here.

Nowhere in the article was it written that the LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a close political ally of Perez, had sanctioned the meeting.

McGreevy also failed to mention that Enrique Gasca, then Speaker Perez’ Chief of Staff was present at the meeting, nor the part about the Perez sponsored AB 240 and Calderon threatening to wipe the water companies out “with a stroke of a pen.”

Said one local online publisher, “the left-leaning LA Times is in bed with the Democrats and the union bosses in Sacramento, that’s why they ran with McGreevy’s watered down version, what other explanation is there?”

Also left out by McGreevy were several incriminating statements implicating Perez knew about the meeting and the strong-arming by Calderon to take the project:

In the meeting Calderon said, “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.”

Calderon went on to say, “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. 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 also omitted the statement by one GM: “you want me to take money I don’t need for a problem I don’t have.”

McGreevy also left out the fact that AB 240, first carried by Perez after he became Speaker nearly three years ago, was revived this year almost verbatim by Assemblyman Anthony Rendon.

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, 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.

HMG-CN contacted via email LA Times Publisher Eddie Hartenstein, Editor David Maharaj, reporters Hector Becerra, Ruben Vives, and McGreevy asking them to comment on why they withheld this and other crucial information, with no response.


HMG-CN October 24 story : Speaker John Perez Implicated in Central Basin Water Scheme


Los Angeles Times Withholds Evidence

  • Smitty says:

    From the Al Jazeera story:
    1. Senate Insurance Committee
    2. Banking and Financial Institutions committees 3. 4. Environmental Quality committee
    5. Governmental Organization committee
    6. The Rules Committee
    7. Select Committee on California’s Film and Television Industries

    Wow 7 committees, like the Bell city council, do they pad their income with each committee membership?

    Does Calderon have a wife running a publicly funded slush fund or charity like Mayor Villar’s wife?

  • FLFF says:

    They are all very liberal democrats, what else can we expect? The LA Times and old Tony Villa La Raza failed lawyer and ex gang member being some of the WORST on record! Coverups, graft and corruption are their stock in trade.. When is Calderon gonna get his come uppin’s ? The LA Times still plays fast and loose with stories and facts. They stopped being creditable or truthful a LONG LONG time ago..

  • Paperboy says:

    A great example as to why we need to support and promote local “independent” papers that publish investigative reporting not fluff pieces.

    An even better reason why citizens need to get involved, read their local news and VOTE!

  • Burt Rodriquez says:

    You would think this story would have exploded on the wire? You have Tom Calderon literally acting as the “muscle” for corrupt politicians just like the mafia. Government shakedowns happen all the time, but are very rarely caught on tape. In Pico Rivera, David Armenta is the master of this yet he’s never been taped yet. You would think that when they have one caught “live”, the DA, FBI, AG etc would be all over it! What gives here? Makes you realize just how rigged the system really is.

  • Victor says:

    Talking about Los Angeles Times withholding information . Back in 2010 LA Times published an article about David Mango of city of Maywood going Under cover and collecting bribes from AAE ,which was a consulting Co.in Maywood, for himself and two Maywood council members . LA Times withheld the names of two council members and mentioned in the same article that they would reveil there names soon. Over two years later still waiting for La Times publish that article and tell the public these two crocks names and there relationship with the players mentioned above in this article about Maywood Water Co.
    Mastermind behind all of the problems in southeast cities is one person and one person Only “Pedro Carrillo” .Look at City of Bell ,Cudahy ,Maywood,Huntington Park George Cole’s Old Timers Foundation wher there is corruption there was Pedro Carrillo???