Sen. Ron Calderon speaks; FBI investigation continues

June 11, 2013

By Katy Grimes

Ronald-Calderon

Following the June 5 FBI raid on his Capitol offices, Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, made a really brief appearance before the Senate convened for session.

However, Calderon revealed nothing about the raids, part of an ongoing corruption investigation, according to the FBI. Calderon instead referred all questions of substance to his attorney Mark Geragos, famous for his representation of Scott Peterson, now on death row, convicted of murdering his wife, Laci, and their unborn baby.

“My family and I have gone through a lot in the last several days,” Calderon said. “It’s been very stressful. It’s been very hard on all of us. We’re all very anxious to put this behind us and to carry on normal life.”

Calderon spoke for about 60 seconds.

“I have a lot of my own questions,” Calderon said. “My intention at this point is to do my job I was elected to do, attend my hearings, get my bills passed out of committee to the floor and do the work of the state.”

He said he remains committed to his work as a Senator.

 The investigation

More details of the cases have been revealed. In April, the FBI also searched Pacific Hospital of Long Beach and Industrial Pharmacy Management in Long Beach, which had hired Calderon’s brother Thomas Calderon as a consultant. Thomas Calderon is a former Assemblyman.

cbserviceareasmall

Additionally, another consulting client, the Central Basin Water District, paid Thomas Calderon $10,000 a month as a consultant and another $140,000 per year as a consultant to a subcontractor, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Central Basin Water District has its own troubles. The water district is made up of 44 cities and water utilities in southeast L.A. County. The cities have been in a dispute with the Central Basin Water District over management issues which allegedly impact water rates.

Last year, Downey Mayor Mario Guerra testified before the Joint Legislative Audit Committee about the mismanagement. But the committee, led by then-Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, D- Bell Gardens, turned the tables on Guerra and ordered an audit of Downey’s Department of Public Works.

Lara is now in the Senate and rumored to also have been subpoenaed in the FBI case.

U.S. Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Calif., pushed for an investigation and audit of the Central Basin Water District in 2009, the LA Times reported.  Napolitano said she has heard complaints for more than a decade from cities she represents about the agency’s lack of transparency and questionable spending of public funds,” according to the LA Times.

“In particular, Napolitano questioned how the district spent $5.6 million in federal funds she helped secure to build infrastructure for a regional system to recycle water.”

But the audit did not happen, and Napolitano blamed Sen. Calderon for thwarting efforts to make it happen.

And there have been charges of corruption of board members. “Central Basin Municipal Water District Board Director Leticia Vasquez is using her newfound -and possibly illegal – majority voting bloc status to benefit longtime personal associates including Maurice Chenier, the law office partner of her fiancé Ronald N. Wilson and another close personal associate Jasmyne Cannick,” the Los Cerritos News reported.

“CBMWD Director Phil Hawkins was even more outspoken telling LCCN, ‘The very first board meeting, after she was elected, I said her whole plan was basically to hire all her (Vasquez) campaign team, friends, and relatives and put them on staff so they would be ready for her next campaign, and it is all coming true now.’”

Sen. Calderon has carried legislation that would benefit the water district.

Calderon is also well-known in Sacramento for accepting gifts, tickets to sporting events, and exotic trips from lobbyists, including first class accommodations in Hawaii, Las Vegas, and the AT&T Pro Am in Pebble Beach. Some estimates of the gifts from special interests are between $45,000 and $60,000, since 2000, significantly more than any other legislator.

8 comments

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  1. Hondo
    Hondo 11 June, 2013, 08:09

    The whole mess of them are crookeder than a barrel full of snakes.
    Hondo…

    Reply this comment
  2. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 11 June, 2013, 09:33

    When Ms Grimes first broke this story, I thought…….how odd…..why would Calderon engage Mark “The Client is Obviously Guilty” Geragos as representation? One would think Calderon would want this to go away as quietly as possible, and keep it far away from media scrutiny. On the other hand, if you want to fan the flames of an investigation, there’s nothing like a big celebrity lawyer to make that happen.

    Puzzling….

    Reply this comment
  3. loufca
    loufca 11 June, 2013, 09:41

    And the voters keep putting these people in office. Ignorance is not an excuse for stupidity.

    Reply this comment
  4. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 11 June, 2013, 11:59

    Just so you don’t think that the Republicans are all sweetness and light:

    “Former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson collected nearly half a million dollars in questionable payments from four federally funded nuclear labs after she left office, the Energy Department’s inspector general says in a new report.”

    Reply this comment
  5. ECK
    ECK 11 June, 2013, 21:17

    Steve, baby! I see. It’s no big deal since the other guys do it. What a piece of ____ you are. Get some real arguments.

    Reply this comment
  6. JV
    JV 6 July, 2013, 14:18

    The Calderon family has always been around corruption. From Chuck to Tom to Ron to the Son of Chuck it is digusting how they have taken advantage of the poor communities they represent to enrich themselves… Ron you can kid most people but many of us know for a fact how disgusting you and your brohers have been. I was at Chucks retirment party after he termed out. I remember his speach saying how he has been a public servant and now was entering “OUR WORLD” a good world with opportunity… That snake couldn’t cut it in the “REAL WORLD” and crawled back into his world where the real opportunity for you snakes. I wish all the truth about your family came out so the world can see all you guys for what you really are.

    God let these guys pay for what they have been doing…

    Reply this comment
  7. Kyle
    Kyle 21 May, 2015, 15:51

    FED’s needs to find out HOW MUCH MONEY the Calderon’s got from HSUS=FBI # 1 Domestic TERRORIST org,

    http://patch.com/georgia/loganville/hsus-charity-rating-revokedlike-a-snowball-headed-for-hell

    May 19, 2011
    California Senate Passes Bill to Strengthen Cockfighting Laws
    SB 425 now moves to Assembly
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Humane Society of the United States commends the California Senate for passing SB 425, authored by Sen. Ronald Calderon, D – Montebello, to upgrade California’s weak anti-cockfighting laws. This bill received overwhelming bi-partisan support, passing with a 36 -1 vote and will set mandatory minimum fines and allow for profit forfeiture following cockfighting charges.

    Calderon also authored SB 426, which is expected to be considered on Monday, seeking to allow landlords to evict tenants using their property for animal fighting, or keeping animals for use in animal fighting. Both bills were unanimously approved by policy committees.

    “This vote by the California Senate brings us closer to stopping this cruel bloodsport where roosters fight to the death with knives tied to their legs,” said Jennifer Fearing, California senior state director for The HSUS. “We hope that the Assembly will follow the Senate’s lead

    Reply this comment
  8. Kyle
    Kyle 21 May, 2015, 15:55

    http://www.newswithviews.com/Nelson/kelleigh197.htm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXtpQ1qMrx8

    New twist in HSUS

    There is a new and interesting twist in the saga of this ostensible animal-loving organization, which has historically boasted about its 4-star rating from Charity Navigator: the Humane Society was recently downgraded to 3-stars, and then had its rating totally revoked.

    Now, instead of a rating, there is a “donor advisory” warning that urges donors to think twice before donating to the HSUS.

    Ouch.

    According to HumaneWatch.org, the American Institute of Philanthropy gave HSUS a “D” grade in April 2012, its sixth consecutive “D” rating, reflecting its high operational costs and inefficient fundraising. But the Charity Navigator service continued to give the Humane Society a four-star assessment — until now.

    “The Humane Society of the United States scandalously only gives 1% of its budget to local pet shelters, and doesn’t actually run any rescue pet shelters of its own,” reported by HumaneWatch.org. Humane Watch is the watchdog of the Humane Society.

    Even more telling is buried in HSUS’s latest tax return is the non-profit’s admission that it made “investments” totaling $25.7 million in the “Central American and the Caribbean” region, according to the 2012 IRS Form 990 for the Humane Society.

    HumaneWatch.org. filed an official IRS complaint against the Humane Society for inflating revenue on its tax return. Charity Navigator initially downgraded the Humane Society’s score to a C-, and eventually revoked any recommendation or rating for charitable contributions.

    IRS troubles

    The 2012 tax return shows the Humane Society spend $10 million on marketing, $7 million on direct mail, more than $3.5 million on fundraising consultants, $1.8 on “print management” (brokers), and the CEO received $400,000 in salary and benefits.

    The top staff and non-profit officers were paid more than $3.6 million in salary and benefits.

    Total staff salaries and benefits paid for 2012 were more than $44.5 million, out of $125.7 million of revenue — nearly 30 percent of the total revenue.

    Total expenses for fundraising are more than $4 million.

    Reply this comment

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