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Elvira DeWitt and Yvette Martinez Lead Water Replenishment District Candidates For Albert Robles’ Division Five Seat



Hews Media Group-Community News has learned that the race for the open Water Replenishment District Division Five seat left open by the resignation of Albert Robles is essentially down to two candidates, one of which will be appointed by the Board on Saturday.

WRD Division Five encompasses the cities of Bellflower, Carson, Compton, Downey, La Habra Heights, Norwalk, Paramount, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, and Whittier.

In 2016, District Attorney Jackie Lacey filed for leave to sue Robles under incompatible office statutes, also known as quo warranto.

The lawsuit alleged that holding the job of mayor and director of the water agency at the same time was a conflict of interest and violated state law.

The civil complaint alleged the two positions were “incompatible because the WRD and the city of Carson have overlapping territory, duties and responsibilities, and a clash of duties is likely to arise in the exercise of both offices simultaneously.”

Robles lost the lawsuit and was forced to resign his WRD seat.

Initial Vote Last Week

The candidate voting occurred last week with each of the four Board members given three votes for a total possible vote count of twelve per candidate.

Former Carson Councilperson Elvira (Vera) Dewitt garnered seven votes total, with Division One Director Willard H. Murray Jr. giving DeWitt three votes, and both Division Four Director Sergio Calderon and Division Two Director Rob Katherman giving her two.

Yvette Martinez tallied five votes, two from Division Three Director John D.S. Allen, two from Katherman, and one from Calderon.

HMG-LCCN was told that Compton Councilman Isaac Galvan, who did not attend the meeting, received two votes, one from Calderon and one from Katherman.

Former Downey Mayor Luis Marquez tallied two votes, one each from Calderon and Katherman.

The remaining candidates received zero votes including Jim Dear, Central Basin Director Leticia Vasquez, and Pico Rivera Councilman David Armenta.



It was reported that Armenta did not attend the meeting.

The Board will meet this Saturday for a final vote. HMG-CN has been told that leading candidate Yvette Martinez secured an endorsement from Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Congresswoman Linda Sanchez.

Some controversy comes with DeWitt. In a 2009 YouTube video, DeWitt was at a Compton City Council meeting speaking from the dais leading an effort to recall then-Mayor Jim Dear.

As DeWitt finished speaking, she turned and ”hit” City Commissioner Jan Schaefer, who was a Dear supporter, on the head with some papers.

After being hit, Schaefer is seen on video pausing for a second then letting out a blood-curdling scream, slowly rolling out of her chair onto the floor in apparent agony.

Mayor Dear called for DeWitt to be arrested for assault, with Sheriffs arresting her after the meeting.

DeWitt was immediately released after her arrest.

Current Lakewood Councilman and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Capt. Todd Rogers told the Daily Breeze about the hit, “It was an intentional act of violence against another person. We’re investigating it as a crime.”

Asked whether Schaefer’s reaction seemed delayed, Dear told the Breeze that Schaefer appeared “stunned.”

“It looked like a senior citizen who unexpectedly got hit on the head by a hostile person,” said Dear. “It upset her to the point where she actually fell forward and lost her balance and fell onto the ground due to the hit on the head.”



  • Tony the Tiger says:

    Vera DeWitt is just another Robles stooge. It’ll be like Lit’Al never left. Did you notice that the only honest one on the Board didn’t cast a single vote for her. Unfortunately, an ethical elected official like John Allen is minimalized by the power of special interest and the continued corruption at controls WRD.