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Vasquez, Roybal, Apodaca Fall Short In Effort to Fire Central Basin Executive Perez

In a contentious meeting on Thursday, Central Basin Water Directors Leticia Vasquez, James Roybal, and Bob Apodaca came up short in an effort to fire General Manager Tony Perez. Angry supporters showed up with signs denouncing the “Roybal Three.”

In a contentious meeting on Thursday, Central Basin Water Directors Leticia Vasquez, James Roybal, and Bob Apodaca came up short in an effort to fire General Manager Tony Perez. Angry supporters showed up with signs denouncing the “Roybal Three.”

Thursday March 13, 2014, 5:23 p.m.

 

 

By Randy Economy and Brian Hews

In a contentious meeting on Thursday, Central Basin Water Directors Leticia Vasquez, James Roybal, and Bob Apodaca came up short in an effort to fire General Manager Tony Perez.

The three directors called for a special meeting at the Commerce-based headquarters on Wednesday that specifically called for a formal evaluation of Perez’s five year contract.

Sources tell Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper that Perez could have walked away with a settlement well into mid six-figure range if he was to be let go.

After being in a closed door session for more than two hours, Vasquez, Roybal and Apodaca emerged from the meeting with President Phil Hawkins and Director Art Chacon in tow only to have their efforts to ax Perez thwarted at the last moment when Vasquez apparently changed her mind.

CB General Manager Tony Perez.

CB General Manager Tony Perez.

Perez told HMG-CN that he was “relieved” that he was not fired, but said he was “prepared to abide by the decision of the board.”

Earlier in the meeting, Vasquez, Apodaca and Roybal voted to censure Chacon.

The two censure items against Chacon included his alleged “concealing” of his “true identity to members of law enforcement” after he was arrested on drunken driving charges and for accepting car travel per diem while not having a valid driver’s license.

Since the case has not been officially settled with the Joint Powers Insurance Authority, the incident remains on his DMV record. Vasquez, Roybal and Apodaca said that Chacon does not have a valid license, but Chacon said his driver license is “valid” and that he would be providing a copy of his license “only to HMG-CN.”

“I am fortunate to have many friends drive me to meetings and events, Chacon said in an earlier interview with HMG-CN, “I would like to get my license back, but the case is not settled. I am still going to meetings, and incurring mileage on my car.”

The censure comes at a time when Apodaca is involved in three sexual harassment lawsuits that could cost the District millions, Roybal is in “Teacher Jail” and earning money, a violation of LAUSD policy of which Roybal is under investigation for, and the revelation by HMG-CN that Vasquez is suing the District as a whistle-blower and could make millions under the Qui Tam provision.

Earlier in the morning, Vasquez held what could be called an erratic press conference to denounce Chacon.  During her comments, she was frequently interrupted by former Pico Rivera Mayor Ronald Beilke who had a brief employment stint at the embroiled district.

Beilke was joined by more than three dozen vocal opponents of Vasquez, Roybal and Apodaca who all held clever and colorful protest signs that urged to “Recall Vasquez, Again,” to “Teacher’s Jail Inmate Jimmy Roybal,” as well as a signed reading “Ernie Camacho, I Own You Guys.”  Camacho is the owner of Pacifica Services who according to sources is currently being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice in the case involving indicted California State Senator Ronald Calderon and his brother former Assemblyman Thomas Calderon.

Also in attendance was Ernest Camacho who is the owner of Pacifica Services who has help bankroll campaigns in the past for Apodaca, Roybal, and Vasquez.  Camacho was flanked by a personal body guard during the meeting, and sat with a glazed look on his face throughout the long four hour meeting and closed session.

“Ernie Camacho should be in handcuffs instead of sitting here in this meeting,” one attendee told HMG-CN who did not want to be identified.  Sources tell HMG-CN that Camacho was urgently seeking the removal of Perez as General Manager of Central Basin.

 

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