_____________________________ ST. NORBERT CHURCH           RATES ________________________         EBOOK


BREAKING: Central Basin President Mike Gualtieri Cedes Board Seat, Juan Garza Out as Vice-President

Sign up for local news and alerts; we will not sell your email, who does that?


May 7, 2024

By Brian Hews

At the end of last week’s CB Board meeting, after strong objections by other board members, Central Basin (CB) President Michael Gualtieri defiantly stated, “There is an Attorney General’s opinion about me resigning, and I am not resigning, I am staying until 2027.”

Gualtieri, who the Fair Political Practices Commission is currently investigating, was mandated under AB 1794 to leave his seat on May 4 due to his retirement from his employer, La Habra Heights Water.

After the meeting, Los Cerritos Community News asked for the AG’s opinion and immediately received a document from Los Angeles-based Burke Williams Sorensen attorney, Zachery Lopes.

But the opinion was not about Gualtieri’s situation; it was about a 2018 incident involving the city of Huntington Park, which proposed a candidate for a purveyor-appointed CB board seat; the candidate was disqualified for living out of the district.

Gualtieri was not mentioned anywhere, directly contradicting his statement at the board meeting, “There is an AG Opinion about me saying I can stay until 2027.”

With Vice President Juan Garza at his side, Gualtieri asserted that the president has “ultimate authority” over placing items on the agenda and indicated he was staying and would not allow a board reorganization vote at the next meeting.

Los Cerritos Community News broke the news in print and online about Gualtieri’s defiance last Friday, May 3; by yesterday’s special board meeting, Gualtieri evidently changed his view, announced he was vacating his seat, and immediately left the meeting.

Now stripped of his short-lived board power, a silent Garza watched as the board moved for a reorganization and appointed Art Chacon as president and Martha Camacho-Rodriguez as vice-president. 

The meeting concluded with the board completing the entire agenda; it was the first time in months since the board finished a meeting agenda.