LM _______________________________________ _______________________________________ ST. NORBERT OC

EDITORIAL: Central Basin Water Director Vasquez Refuses to Acknowledge Her Role In Whistleblower Lawsuit

Vasquez-web

Threatens defamation lawsuit against HMG-CN despite overwhelming evidence she is “party plaintiff” to Central Basin Qui Tam whistleblower lawsuit that has cost the district over $100,000.

By Brian Hews

On August 26, 2014 HMG-LCN received a communication from Central Basin Municipal Water District (CBMWD) Director Leticia Vasquez demanding a retraction for an article published on August 22nd titled “Central Basin Director Leticia Vasquez Continues Questionable Legal Fight for Multi-Million Dollar Payday.”

See Vazquez’ communication click here.

Vasquez’ communication accuses HMG-CN of continuing to “…print false statements indicating that I (Vasquez) am suing the Central Basin.”

Vasquez goes on to say “They are false and malicious statements intended to hurt my standing in the community. This is one of numerous examples of false information you have printed in your newspaper. Please retract your statement.”

HMG-CN stands by its story and will not print a retraction. HMG-CN interests are to serve the community by honestly and accurately reporting the actions of a corrupt and incompetent politician, whose history has been to collude with criminals, violate the law, bully, harass and lie to her fellow Board members to achieve a multi-million dollar payday. These are tactics that were first exhibited during her recall from the City of Lynwood, and are now in full display once again in her latest stint as a CBMWD Director.

HMG-CN’s story dated August 22nd stated “In August 2013, Vasquez filed a Qui Tam “whistleblower” lawsuit with the State Attorney General alleging that the law firms of Buchalter Nemer and Sedgwick Detert Moran & Arnold, attorneys Doug Wance and Curtis Parvin, former GM Art Aguilar, and 50-“does” had illegally formed a secret trust fund to defraud the CBMWD out of $2.7-million.”

The fact is that Vasquez did indeed file a Qui Tam lawsuit against the defendants listed above (copy of the complaint attached for the reader’s reference). Her name is shown on page 1, 2, 19, and 20 as the “Qui Tam Plaintiff.” HMG-CN contacted an attorney who confirmed she is a “party plaintiff” because she brought the action on behalf of the governmental agency.

Where is the false statement, Ms. Vasquez?

See first complaint click here.

The story goes on to state “…Vasquez chose to pursue the lawsuit by herself, which could net her over $2-million if she prevails.”

Vasquez’ amended complaint filed by attorney Jimmie Johnson states:

“41. As a direct and proximate result of the actions and omissions of the Defendants as alleged herein the Plaintiff is entitled to damages in the amount of no less than $1.75 million. Additionally, Plaintiff is entitled to treble damages pursuant to Government Code § 12651(a). Costs and expenses of this action, a civil penalty of not less than five thousand five hundred dollars ($5,500) and not more than eleven thousand dollars ($11,000) for each violation of the California False Claims Act .

42. As a direct and proximate result of the actions and omissions of the Defendants as alleged herein the Qui Tam Plaintiff Vasquez is entitled to a percentage of the damages as provided by law.

43. Plaintiff is also entitled to reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees incurred in initiating and prosecuting this action.”

See amended complaint, click here.

The fact is that if Vasquez prevails, she would be entitled to a percentage of the damages which could exceed $5-million, plus attorney’s fees. Vasquez’ portion of the award is conservatively estimated to be over $2-million.

Where is the false statement, Ms. Vasquez?

Finally, HMG-CN August 22nd story questions former Assistant to the GM, Ron Beilke as to why Vasquez continues to pursue this weak lawsuit. Beilke responds:

“Vasquez is desperately working to unseat Apodaca and Chacon and have her slate elected to regain a Board majority. With a Board majority, she feels she will have the votes to settle the suit with a favorable award.”

It is indisputable that Vasquez, along with political ally James Roybal (assigned to “teacher jail”), are working tirelessly with reporter Mike Sprague of the Whittier Daily News to write defaming and inaccurate articles about Director Arturo Chacon.

It was Chacon who first dubbed the trust fund a “slush fund” when it was uncovered by Beilke and former GM, Charles Fuentes and Chacon who voted to retain Arent Fox to conduct an independent investigation of the trust fund.

It was Chacon who adamantly refuses to agree to hire the unqualified political friends of Vasquez such as convicted felon Rick Mayer and Angel Gonzalez. Mr. Beilke speculates that Vasquez must acquire a third vote to regain a Board majority, and the circumstantial evidence appears strong.

Where is the false statement, Ms. Vasquez?

When CBMWD was made aware of the trust fund by Beilke and Fuentes, they were abruptly fired by Leticia Vasquez and her then-Board majority.

But after being alerted, the Board did vote to conduct an independent investigation. That investigation has been concluded, and the findings have been summarized and posted on the District’s website.

In addition, federal authorities have been conducting a year-long investigation into the District’s involvement with the Calderons, and presumably the trust fund.

Why is Leticia Vasquez insisting on continuing her lawsuit given that an internal investigation has been concluded and the District is cooperating with law enforcement, unless it is to line her own pockets?

District officials have estimated that the cost of responding to the Qui Tam suit has cost the District tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Should Vasquez’ suit fail, which seems extremely likely, the District would be exposed to an additional hundreds of thousands of dollars by the defendants seeking compensation for their legal fees. Vasquez has been very vocal in her criticism of the District’s lawyers, accusing them of frivolous and unnecessary billings.

The district could also get dragged into long and costly defamation lawsuits brought by the companies Vasquez named in her whistleblower case.

As we have done in the past, this paper will continue to shine a light on the sordid and illegal dealings of any corrupt politician taking advantage of their position and the people they were elected to represent.

This paper was not deterred when pursuing stories on John Noguez, the Bell Scandal, and the Calderons.

And this paper will not be intimidated by the threats of Leticia Vasquez and her cronies.

Vasquez demands a retraction because she claims the information written is false. HMG-CN doesn’t think the information is false; we just think the truth hurts.

And Ms. Vasquez, our sources are telling us there’s more to come.

Have a Comment?