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California

West Valley Water District’s Era of Corruption

Last up to date on October 28, 2022 by BVN

Gail Fry | IE voice

Recently unsealed federal grievance agreements reveal that West Valley Water District (WVWD) taxpayers have been unwittingly concerned in a corrupt “quid pro quo” conspiracy that originated within the city of Baldwin Park, the place then-Councillor Ricardo Pacheco is getting ready acknowledged WVWD President Dr Michael Taylor’s marketing campaign for the Water Board and Pacheco secures the job of Assistant General Manager within the Water District.

In December 2017, newly elected WVWD board member Michael Taylor and late WVWD board member Dr. Clifford Young, Sr. Taylor’s electoral victory at a December 7, 2017 political occasion disguised as a WVWD Christmas occasion so Young may search reimbursement from the Water Board for her bills.

Former WVWD board members Dr. MichaelTaylor and dr Clifford Young (now deceased) together with former City Councilman Baldwin Park and former WVWD General Manager Ricardo Pacheco allegedly conspired to defraud WVWD taxpayers. (Source: theievoice.com).

After the late Don Griggs filed a criticism on behalf of the WVWD Ratepayers Association in mid-September 2018, supported by reporting from Black Voice News/IE Voice, the Water District employed the legislation agency Milon Pluas LLP to analyze. The investigation concluded that the allegations in opposition to C. Young have been legitimate.

At that point, Griggs’ phrases, on behalf of Hardy Brown Sr., Editor Emeritus, stated, The IE Voice and Black Voice Newsoffered a glimpse into what has since been revealed by a number of unsealed federal indictments – that WVWD was “pay to play”.

Brown noticed how WVWD’s senior administration appointments gave the impression to be based mostly on who they knew, not the perfect certified, and have been actually political appointments, together with these of former Director General Robert Pacheco, Public Affairs Director Naseem Farooqi and Deputy General Manager Jeremiah Brosowske, then changed by Logan Olds.

(L) The late Don Griggs, President of the WVWD Ratepayers Association. (R) Hardy Brown Sr., Editor Emeritus, Black Voice News. (Source: theievoice.com, picture by Hardy Brown courtesy of Benoit Malphettes©).

The WVWD incurred exorbitant authorized charges and settlements

Griggs complained concerning the rising authorized prices WVWD are incurring as a result of of their poor employment choices. By the time that “pay-to-play” period was over, eight lawsuits had been filed in opposition to WVWD by its staff, together with former common managers Matthew Litchfield and Clarence Mansell; Shanee Smith, former govt secretary of WVWD; former Chief Financial Officers Marie Ricci and Naisha Davis; former board secretary Patricia Romero; former water sources supervisor Nadia Loukeh and former wealth supervisor Diana Gunn.

In February 2022, WVWD General Counsel Robert Tafoya estimated the entire quantity paid out in severance funds to numerous former staff at roughly $900,000.

Plea agreements inform the entire story

Federal court docket paperwork in a legal bribery case, unsealed Oct. 7, reveal WVWD General Counsel Robert Tafoya named as “Person 1” in former San Bernardino County Planning Commissioner Gabriel Chavez’s plea settlement, the place Chavez joined his Pacheco pleaded responsible to involvement within the supply of a bribe in trade for the approval of metropolis marijuana permits.

Chavez’s plea settlement reveals not less than 17 names of officers, firms and people concerned.

A separate federal grievance settlement entered into by Pacheco reveals a number of pay-to-play schemes wherein he (Pacheco) solicited a number of bribes from a police officer, land builders and businessmen in trade for his assist of the deal earlier than the Baldwin Park City Council and political campaigns , which he supported.

Court paperwork present that Ricardo Pacheco, Baldwin Park City Councilman and former WVWD common supervisor, with WVWD board members Dr. Michael Taylor and Dr. Clifford Young invented to defraud WVWD taxpayers. (Source: theievoice.com).

Pacheco accepted bribes from a police officer to assist the City Police Association’s $4.4 million, 3-year contract with town of Baldwin Park, in addition to bribes from marijuana firms for his endorsement of marijuana -Development Licenses.

Another pay-to-play program orchestrated by Pacheco, in accordance with Pacheco, was his potential to lift funds to assist political campaigns, together with the marketing campaign of ultimately ousted Baldwin Park City Police Commissioner Michael Taylor to have an elected member of the WVWD board will . In return, Taylor ought to safe a job for Pacheco at WVWD.

At a later date, Taylor added one other situation to his settlement to assist Pacheco safe a job at WVWD, a requirement that Pacheco – as a member of the Baldwin Park City Council – be chargeable for the City Police Association’s contract for 4, 4 million US {dollars} ought to vote.

Pacheco’s plea settlement revealed that he was in management of a number of political motion committees to which he made donations and managed which political campaigns would obtain funds.

It was additionally revealed that Taylor enlisted the assist of WVWD board member C. Young to additional assist his (Taylor’s) efforts to safe a job for Pacheco at WVWD, the place the three agreed that they’d do it if Pacheco would assist Taylor and C. Young flip Pacheco would assist.

Pacheco enforces his will for compensation at WVWD

In a February 2022, interview with The IE Voice/Black Voice News, Taylor shared that he and Young have been neighbors and as soon as associates, and at one level had disagreements concerning the district.

On March 29, 2019, WVWD appointed Pacheco as Assistant General Manager and Chief Financial Officer.

Pacheco’s federal legal settlement reveals textual content messages between him and Taylor demanding to be named second assistant common supervisor and obtain $180,000 in compensation plus advantages. In response, Taylor replied, “I’m working on it.”

Pacheco ultimately negotiated an annual wage of $189,592 and use of a water district automobile. The board voted 4 to 0 in favor of the contract.

On December 13, 2018, FBI particular brokers executed a search warrant at Pacheco’s house and automobile. WVWD put Pacheco on six months of paid go away.

In November 2019, Pacheco’s employment with WVWD was terminated.

Who is Pacheco?

Pacheco holds an engineering diploma from California State University, Los Angeles. He has served as director of public works for the City of South Gate, California, as an assistant engineer for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and as a venture supervisor for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Energy. Pacheco is in his fifth time period as a councilor at Baldwin Park, the place he was instrumental in redeveloping the city.

A supply informed Black Voice News and IE Voice that Taylor left Rialto and moved to Arkansas in July 2021. The board moved to switch him with Dan Jenkins.

For an entire image of what occurred at WVWD throughout this era, see Retrospective: West Valley Water District-A Chronology of Corruption, Cronyism, Malfeasance and Mismanagement.

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