“Money goes where water flows” is the campaign of a statewide initiative to help educate the public about the benefits of and need for irrigated agriculture. The same saying takes on a different meaning when applied to the Central Basin Municipal Water District (CBMWD).
CBMWD Director Leticia Vasquez and President James Roybal have recently come under fire for shaking up the agency hierarchy. After their election to the board, Vasquez and Roybal formed an alliance with Director Bob Apodaca. The Vasquez/Roybal/Apodaca voting bloc then suspended the district’s Administrative Code, allowing the trio to circumvent the proper selection of a Board President.
This alliance was further used to politically maneuver their opponents off and themselves on all the committees but one.
Vasquez and Roybal have since accepted large sums of money for attending these regularly-held meetings.
From the Los Cerritos News Group:
According to Payroll Disbursement Records from CBMWD, since Vasquez gained her new committee appointments, she has garnered over $47,000 in 12 months, taking in as much as $5,600 per month.
When contact, Vasquez replied, “as a Director on both Central Basin and Metropolitan Water District boards I spend countless hours representing my constituents and understanding the needs of the communities I serve.”
The CBMWD is no stranger to controversy. In fact, the district has been awash in political malfeasance for some time.
Vasquez’ campaign for the CBMWD was supported by Ron and Tom Calderon, two of the former LA-area legislators under investigation by the FBI. She was also supported by at least one convicted felon and the district’s former general counsel. Roybal’s campaign was also financed by many of the same sources.
Vasquez herself hails from a questionable background. A former Lynwood councilwoman, Vasquez was recalled in 2007 after years of corruption probes and investigations. According to the LA Times, “the recall comes four months after five current and former council members were charged by Los Angeles County prosecutors with using public funds to boost their salaries and pay for personal expenses.”
Vasquez on her colleagues on the council had gone as far as firing the city clerk in an effort to block the recall vote.
Meanwhile, Apodaca has been accused of sexual harassment while on the job at CBMWD.
Read the full article at the Los Cerritos News Group.