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HMG EXCLUSIVE: Central Basin Water Candidate Stinnett Campaigns While On Probation For Drug And Alcohol Related Crimes

[Far right} Media Specialist for the City of Commerce Jason Stinnett.

[Far right] Media Specialist for the City of Commerce Jason Stinnett.

His claim of integrity rings hollow as history of DUI’s-with the latest in 2011- drug and alcohol convictions, and paternity suit are uncovered by HMG-CN.

By Brian Hews

A months-long investigation by Hews Media Group-Community News has revealed that the city of Commerce’s Media Specialist Jason Stinnett who is also a current candidate for Central Basin Municipal Water District Division 3 has, since 1996, been convicted of drunk driving, reckless driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, knowingly operating a vehicle with a suspended license, and ordered to pay $5,000 in back child support as a result of a heated paternity lawsuit filed in 1996.

The violations and convictions were confirmed by legal court documents requested and obtained by HMG-CN.

In a stinging rebuke of the city of Commerce’s employment background inspection policies, Stinnett has been on and off probation since March of 1996, and is currently on probation until Nov. 8, 2014.

Said one source inside Commerce City Hall who did not want to be identified, “Commerce City Council-members Tina Baca Del Rio, Ivan Altamirano, and Joe Aguilar have known Stinnett had these convictions for years, Stinnett has the votes, which is why he is still employed here.”

Stinnett received donations to his campaign and was endorsed by  Baca Del Rio, Altamirano, and Aguilar raising even more questions as to whether the council members knew of and were concealing Stinnett’s criminal past.

Stinnett was also endorsed several other area politicians including California District 58th Assembly-woman Cristina Garcia, 33rd District Senator Ricardo Lara, Artesia Mayor pro tem Miguel Canales, Cudahy Mayor Chris Garcia, Downey Mayor pro tem Luis Marquez, Maywood Councilmembers Oscar Magana and Eddie De La Riva, El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero, and Long Beach Councilmembers Al Austin and Lena Gonzalez.

Court documents obtained by HMG-CN show that on March 5, 1996 Stinnett was charged with three counts of drunk driving. He was convicted on one count of driving under the influence and sent to alcohol abuse and prevention programs.

He was also placed on three years probation and his license was suspended.

SEE DOCUMENT CLICK HERE

During his time in those programs he failed to check in twice, causing his probation to be revoked and two bench warrants issued in the amount of $28,000.

On July 15, 1996 Stinnett was charged with knowingly driving with a suspended license. He was again placed on three years probation and fined $561.

SEE DOCUMENT CLICK HERE

Three days later on July 18, 1996, Stinnett was charged with failing to appear in court and another bench warrant of $15,000 was issued. He subsequently showed up for another court date and plead guilty to failing to appear with the stipulation he would not miss additional court dates.

His probation was reinstated and the warrant was revoked.

SEE DOCUMENT CLICK HERE

In October of 1996 Stinnett had a judgment entered against him by then district attorney Gil Garcetti and the Bureau of Family Support Operations and ordered to pay $5,015 in child support and begin paying health insurance for his child. The case was filed Sept. 23, 1996.

 

 

 

 

SEE DOCUMENT CLICK HERE

Less than five years later, on March 14, 2011, Stinnett was once again charged with driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.

He pled down and was convicted of reckless driving where alcohol and drugs were involved in the incident. He was once again placed on probation for three years and ordered to pay a $1,500 fine.

SEE DOCUMENT CLICK HERE

When contacted by HMG-CN, CBMWD Director Art Chacon remarked, “If Jason is campaigning based on his integrity, I don’t think the voters will agree with his standard for honesty.  He doesn’t seem shy about bashing his opponents, but given his past that speaks volumes about his character.”

Norwalk Planning Commissioner Scott Collins commented, “This guy is a hypocrite, as well as being a dead-beat dad.  It’s common knowledge that he is aligning himself with “teacher jail” Roybal, “qui tam” Vasquez, and “sexual batterer” and Calderon-surrogate Apodaca.  Given Stinnett’s history, he would be a perfect fit with these criminals.”

HMG-CN first reported that Director Jim Roybal was drawing an illegal salary from Central Basin while also assigned to Los Angeles Unified School District’s “teacher jail”.

Director Leticia Vasquez is pursuing a qui tam whistleblower lawsuit against former contractors and employees of CBMWD which could net her over $2-million if she prevails, and has cost the District over $270,000 in legal fees.

Director Bob Apodaca was the target of a sexual battery lawsuit by a former contractor that was recently settled for $670,000.  Additionally, Bob Apodaca was formerly employed by Senator Ron Calderon and voted to hire Ron Calderon’s brother Tom as a consultant for Central Basin.  Ron and Tom Calderon were both indicted in February of this year on multiple federal criminal charges including money laundering, bribery and tax fraud.

One Commerce community activist who knows Stinnett well commented, “Stinnett is a co-owner of a bar in Fullerton, and is well-known for his “party-hearty” attitude.  During a party at Stinnett’s house, things got out of hand and a person was shot and killed.  Doesn’t the District have enough problems without adding another act to the circus?”

When contacted by HMG-CN a former State Democratic Party official said, “no doubt Stinnett mislead the endorsement panel and failed to mention his convictions and current probation status. This is a big black eye for the party at a time when all three indicted and convicted State Senators are members of the Democratic Party.  This is a huge embarrassment in my opinion.”

Commerce activist Jaime Valencia commented, “what does it say that Stinnett would add his mother’s maiden name of Gardea solely for the purpose of seeking the Latino vote? That action wasn’t done out of sincerity, it was for his own selfish personal benefit.  If he loses this election, I’m sure the Gardea reference will disappear once and for all. If this guy really wanted to honor his Latino heritage, he would have added his mother’s name years ago.  Stinnett’s as genuine as a $3 bill.”

After being confronted with the evidence Stinnett issued a tersely written statement and sent it to HMG-CN late Thursday afternoon. In his prepared remarks Stinnett said the following:

“Let me begin by addressing the so called “heated paternity suit” you mentioned because that directly affects my daughter. As a young father, I wasn’t able to afford representation to address the welfare fraud committed against Los Angeles County by my daughter’s mother. Her mother left when she was less than a year old. I was a single parent and the sole provider for my daughter from childhood to adulthood. There was a custody agreement that was settled amicably in mediation without a hearing which ordered her mother to pay child support to me as the parent with primary custody.”

He went on to say, “it’s sad the Los Cerritos News is writing a story about incidents that occurred almost 20 years ago. I am not going to talk about something that happened in my youth. However, if and when the Los Cerritos News wants to have a discussion about the future of the Central Basin Municipal Water District, by all means, let’s have it.” 

© 2014-Eastern County Newspaper Group-Hews Media Group, reproduction by attribution only.

[email protected]

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@cerrritosnews

  • Captain America Calling says:

    Man, ain’t karma a bitch! For a couple of years now this joker has attended Central Basin Board meetings in his crisp double-breasted suit while typing away on his ipad like he was corresponding with some top foreign government official about how important he was and so on. Turns out he’s just an ordinary drunk and a dead beat dad. Tell me, what kind of idiot runs for public office knowing he’s serving PROBATION and thinks no one will find out???

    Cristina Garcia, Ricardo Lara and the State Democratic Party all look like total fools! Couldn’t they see this clown for the hack and wannabe he is? Come on, just look at the stupid goatee and receeding hairline, that dumbass slick willy look screams con man.

    Good job Brian and Randy, took another bozo off the political hayride before he crashed and burned on the public dime. Oh, and did I mention Pico Water District’s resident numbnuts Mark Grijeda donated $250.00 to Stinnett? That’s what Grijeda gets for doing everything that child molester James Roybal says. Why doesn’t Grijeda understand that he’ll NEVER get to be General Manager at Central Basin no matter how many 12 packs he buys that drunk? I mean Roybal, not Stinnett….I know it’s getting hard to tell?!

  • Elba from HP says:

    I am so disturbed by the quality of candidates seeking water board seats. Why would this man even consider running for political office while he carries such lethal baggage? Stinnett’s candidacy is simple arrogance on the part of Mr. Stinnett and an example of his disrespect for voters hoping they remain ignorant when voting. Mr. Stinnett should immediately resign as an employee of Commerce as well as suspend his Central Basin Water campaign.

    He is now nothing more than a distraction at this point. The fact that Central Basin Director James Roybal is supporting Stinnett should have been a pretty good indication of the type of person this man was, but Roybal has been trying to downplay his involvement due to his disturbing longtime “teacher jail” status. Birds of a feather….

    Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia and State Senator Ricardo Lara should also publically withdraw their support for this man and apologize for their ignorance as well. It is shameful that these two respected elected officials would provide their support and endorsement for Stinnett without proper vetting. Perhaps their staffs are to blame.

    I am encouraging voters to do their research and vote for the candidate with the most water experience!

  • Luis Viega says:

    I have done my research Elba and will be voting the candidate with the most water experience… Arturo Chacon. Thanks for the advice!

  • Union Blues says:

    As a former union member and once loyal brother, I’ve grown disgusted with the notion of supporting jerkoffs irregardless of their qualifications or character. Yes Jason Stinnett has been a loyal trooper, standing along side every union supported candidate fortunate enough to have been ordained by the Union Gods of the Moment, but WHY?

    The startling fall of Stinnett once again serves to remind people that just being the loyal union flunky should not be the basis for running an unqualified and unexceptional candidate. The audacity of Stinnett to think that he didn’t have an obligation to inform his supporters that he was on active probation just goes to highlight his sense of entitlement and arrogance. Typical union wannabe BIG SHOT!

  • AndyAmerican says:

    I can overlook a colorful past and a thick criminal record… As long as it doesn’t involve children, theft and fraud. We’ve all partied way too hard in our lives and have done some stupid things. Hell, there’s still photos of me of circling the internet trying to get backstage at a Ricky Martin concert as I sport my “where’s the beef” t-shirt. The point is.. No one is perfect. However, all is see from Stinnett’s bio is a bunch of committee’s he’s joined, clubs and departments he’s worked for. I joined the French club, science club, math club and A-team fan club too back in high school. Not because I loved those things, but because I wanted to be in the yearbook multiple times! He has NO education in water, such as possessing a D1 or D4 water cert. Not that it’s required, but I want someone who literally knows about safe water chemicals, safe levels, what to physically do to make water safe and that won’t just give me “I’m running because I want to make water safe for families”. Ya, we’ve heard similar promises like that before! Does the campaign “Change” ring a bell?! Give us a candidate that won’t spend millions on creating assemblies of skilled & knowledgable ppl that will tell a politician what is acceptable! I want the candidate to be “THE” person who makes it happen. Honestly, Mike Diamond (as seen on tv commercials) the plumber is a far better / qualified candidate than anyone running so far!

  • Herlinda Octavio Martinez says:

    I just received a telephone call from someone telling me that Congresswoman Linda Sanchez is endorsing Jason Stinnett. I asked the person why she was doing so and he replied that she supported him because of his integrity and good reputation! I was shocked to say the least. I asked if he knew that Stinnett was on probation for drug and alcohol offenses and the young man told me I was crazy. I am crazy? He told me not to believe the press and that Elba Romo was spreading lies about Stinnett. He also said that Gloria Molina was supporting Romo and that nobody likes Molina.

    I was confused. Again, I asked the man why Sanchez and Assemblyperson Cristina Garcia and Senator Ricardo Lara would be endorsing Stinnett without verifying his criminal record and other allegations I have learned from this newspaper? He siad that Jason Stinnett was the “unions” candidate and that all democrats are suppose to endorse him because he is a union guy. I told the man that I don’t like unions, that I feel that unions have destroyed good jobs in this country and he responded that I was not a real American and that I was probably an illegal.

    I am so mad. This man must know that I vote and he still calls me an illegal. How dare he? My last name might not be white like Stinnett, but I’m a Mexican just like Ms. Elba Romo and Gloria Molina! Are these women illegals too?