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EXCLUSIVE: Central Basin President Bob Apodaca Identified As ‘Elected Public Official’ In Calderon Corruption Case


CBMWD Bob Apodaca

CBMWD President Bob Apodaca

By Brian Hews

An investigation by Hews Media Group Community News has identified the “elected public official at a local agency,” cited in the latest court filing by U.S. Attorneys in the Calderon corruption case, who was hired as an employee of Senator Ronald Calderon’s staff in 2007 and 2008, as current Central Basin Municipal Water District (CB) President Robert “Bob” Apodaca.

Several sources are “100% sure” that Apodaca is the elected public official, one telling HMG-CN that “he told me several times that he worked for [Ron] Calderon in 2007-2008.”

Ron Calderon is accused of accepting $80,000 in bribes from a medical company owner to influence legislation. Thomas Calderon is charged with money laundering. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Apodaca is now under a much larger federal microscope as an important connection in the federal corruption case of Ron and his brother Tom Calderon.

And the disclosure will certainly have Central Basin officials as well as other area politicians demanding a recall of the embattled Central Basin President.

Sources inside Central Basin tell HMG-CN that since Ron and Tom Calderon were indicted, the FBI has interviewed Apodaca five times and also subpoenaed all of his Central Basin personnel records.

The FBI investigation could also lead to an Apodaca indictment in a “pay-to-play” scheme for steering no-bid contracts to Tom Calderon and his Calderon Group and receiving kickbacks in the form of paid salary as a staffer for Ron Calderon.

It also shows intent to commit fraud by Ron and Tom Calderon using Apodaca as the middleman.

When contacted by HMG-CN, U.S. Attorney Spokesperson Thom Mrozek said, “the U.S. Attorney’s office cannot confirm or deny that Apodaca is the elected public official at a local agency named in the latest court filing.”

The HMG-CN investigation also found Apodaca in violation Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) rules of filing a “Form 700 Statement of Economic Interest.” The FPPC rules require public officials to “disclose income which may be materially affected by their official actions.”



Apodaca was paid while he worked for Calderon in 2007 and 2008, and was also a Director at Central Basin, but a public records request via the Freedom of Information Act by HMG-CN revealed Apodaca did not file any Form 700’s from 2007-2009.

Inside sources who worked at Central Basin during 2007-2008 told HMG-CN that, “Apodaca was working for and getting paid by Ron Calderon and everyone knew it, but since he was a Director, no one said anything. Ron and Bob [Apodaca] go way back to Bob’s days while he worked at Coors, they have been good friends for years.”

“According to a confidential source,” the U.S. Attorney court filing stated, Ronald Calderon continued to pay him [Apodaca], “even after other members of his staff complained that the local official [Apodaca] rarely showed up for work.”

Prosecutors allege that Ron Calderon kept Apodaca employed in a pay-to-play scheme because his brother Tom, “feared that his company, the Calderon Group, would lose its consulting contract with the agency [Central Basin] where the local official [Apodaca] worked” if the Apodaca was fired. Tom Calderon had a $130,000 annual consulting contract for years with CB.

But after months of missing work, Apodaca was fired by Gil Cedillo, Jr., who was, at the time, working for State Senator Ron Calderon as his District Director.

Ironically, Cedillo Jr. was subsequently hired as a Business Development Director as a favor to former CB Director Rudy Montalvo with only Apodaca objecting.

HMG-CN published exclusive articles on Cedillo Jr.’s overblown pay, documented three martini lunches, and showed that CB paid $22,000 to pay for his education at Asuza Pacific.

The revelations by HMG-CN forced Cedillo Jr. to resign.

Records show that after the firing, Apodaca proceeded to vote no on all Calderon Group contracts with Central Basin.

Apodaca chose not to comment in an email sent to CB PIO Joseph Legaspi.

Former Central Basin Candidate Tom Malkesian, who came in second place behind Apodaca in the 2014 election told HMG-CN, “the latest round of allegations are a huge disappointment, especially in light of the current drought. Our elected officials should be held accountable for their actions.”