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Vazquez-Wilson Group Harassing Central Basin Board Members Where They Work

August 30, 2023

By Brian Hews

Los Cerritos Community News has learned that Central Basin (CB) Board Member Letica Vasquez-Wilson, along with her husband Ron Wilson, are attending city council and water board meetings, bringing associates with them to harass specific CB Board Members in an attempt to coerce them into voting with Director Camacho-Rodriguez, Juan Garza, and Vasquez-Wilson and form a majority bloc.

The two targets of the group’s harassment are Michael Gualteri and Thomas Bekele.

Gualteri is the General Manager of La Habra Heights Water District; Bekele is the Director of Public Works at Signal Hill.

It is similar to the harassment Vasquez and her board ally Martha Camacho Rodriguez committed on Central Basin employees, which cost the agency over $2.25 million in a settlement agreement.

Sources are telling LCCN that they are harassing Gualteri and Bekele to coerce the two into voting with Vasquez-Wilson, Camacho-Rodriguez and Juan Garza so the three gain a majority and advance their agenda; for example, at a recent meeting, Garza proposed giving all contracting powers to the board – evaluate, award and terminate – bypassing the staff, the GM, CB’s Administrative Code, and California state law.

At a July Signal Hill City Council Meeting, Vasquez-Wilson is seen on video attacking Bekele during public comment because Bekele would not vote to place current CB GM Alex Rojas, who has maintained his innocence after an indictment by Los Angeles County District Attorney, on paid administrative leave.

Pointing at Bekele from the dais, Vasquez-Wilson threw out unsubstantiated and defamatory allegations, “Mr. Bekele has served a short time on the Central Basin Board, however, he has fallen in line with a lot of the corruption that continues to control the agency.”

Vasquez-Wilson continued her allegations, “I have worked to expose [Rojas] and his no-bid contracts, contracts that come to our board for approval that cost three times the amount that cities and school districts pay for the same services.”

LCCN has confirmed that Rojas is not involved in the contract process; CB’s staff evaluates and scores bids, prepares summaries and submits to the board for approval. By state law, the board must accept the lowest responsible bidder.

Vasquez continued, “There seems to not be any interest in investigating the conduct; in fact the board considered placing the [Rojas] on paid administrative leave recently, not only based on his conduct at Bassett Unified but also based on evidence uncovered recently at Central Basin.”

The “recently uncovered evidence” cited by Vasquez-Wilson involved, according to her husband, “at least $790,000 in missing money that we know of…… we have the checks.”

LCCN has asked for the alleged checks three times without response. Given that Vasquez-Wilson and her husband have a side-door entrance to Whittier Daily News reporter Jason Henry’s office, if true, the two would have certainly produced the checks for Henry.

Vasquez-Wilson continued her ruse, “Unfortunately, Mr. Bekele would not [vote for] an investigation, a paid admin leave investigation and his reasoning behind it was…” Vasquez-Wilson was told her time was up by an angry Mayor Tina Hansen, but Vasquez persisted with Hansen finally cutting her off.

Sources are telling LCCN that the Signal Hill City Council was not happy with Vasquez-Wilson bashing Bekele and told Bekele that they trusted him in his capacity as Central Basin Director.

But La Habra Heights Water General Manager Michael Gualteri’s actions are a different story. After a visit by Wilson and his associates to a public LHHW Board meeting, Gualteri, apparently afraid of losing his job – or angling for another job – capitulated to the coercion of Vasquez-Wilson and her associates.

Speaking at a LHHW meeting were the same people who attend every CB Board meeting and committee meetings: Juan “Joey” Martinez, Rodolfo Cortez, Lee Squire, Ron Wilson, and Maggie Moe.

Martinez and Cortez, as reported in LCCN, were alleged to have visited former CB Board Secretary Cecilia Pulido’s house to harass her; Pulido was months into her pregnancy.

At the same time, in an email between Director Camacho-Rodriguez and Vasquez-Wilson, Camacho-Rodriguez called Pulido a [sic] “heffer.”

Email from Camacho-Rodriguez calling Pulido a [sic] “heffer.”

Pulido was part of the massive aforementioned $2.25 million employee harassment lawsuit that Central Basin paid out.

Lee Squire has cost the district tens of thousands in questionable records requests while getting warned by the Fair Political Practices Commission for failing to report gifts.

Moe is said to be running for the vacant seat on the CB Board, while Ron Wilson showed up as an “attorney at law.”



As they did to Bekele, the five speakers verbally assaulted Gualteri for failing to vote to place CB GM Rojas on paid administrative leave in front of the agency’s board; at the next CB Board meeting, Gualteri joined in voting with Vasquez-Wilson, Camacho-Rodriguez and Garza.

Sources are telling LCCN that there is another reason Gulateri switched; he is angling for Rojas’ CB GM job.

But the new cabal needs more than four votes to release Rojas; a policy placed in CB’s Administrative Code after the 2015 California State Audit mandated six out of the seven current board members are needed to fire the GM.

This was put into place after Vasquez-Wilson and her majority fired three GMs since 2012.

Now, with Gualteri backing down, it is clear Vasquez-Wilson’s intentions were not to fire Rojas but to gain the majority, and Gualteri obliged.

LCCN has sent several texts to Gualteri for comment without response.