Capitol Alert: Feds subpoena So-Cal water district with ties to Calderon brothers

lrosenhall@sacbee.comJune 14, 2013 

California Lawmaker-FBI

State Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, right, grimaces as a reporter tries to ask him a question at the end of his brief news conference at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday June 10, 2013, Calderon was a no-show last week with an unexcused absence after at least a half-dozen FBI agents carted boxes from his Sacramento offices following a more than six-hour search Tuesday. Calderon did not answer any questions and no details has been given for the search and not charges have been filed. (AP Photo/ Rich Pedroncelli)

RICH PEDRONCELLI — AP

Federal authorities have served a subpoena at the Central Basin Municipal Water District in Los Angeles County, an agency that has come under scrutiny in the past for its close ties to former Assemblyman Tom Calderon and his brother, Sen. Ron Calderon, whose Capitol offices were raided by the FBI last week.

A spokesman for the water district would say little about the subpoena, and did not answer questions about what authorities were looking for and who they wanted to question.

"I can't comment on the particulars of it," spokesman Jospeh Lagaspi said. "This is all brand new to us."

The Los Angeles Times - which has reported on allegations of cronyism in the water district and its ties to the Calderon brothers - wrote today that the subpoena seeks "documents related to contracts awarded by the water district, invoices, purchase orders, voicemails and information related to how officials there accepted or rejected bids."

Favoritism in awarding contracts was a problem Michael Franchek said he saw at the Central Basin district when he lost a bid to a firm with political ties to district board members. Last week, when Sen. Calderon's Capitol offices were raided, Franchek said he had been interviewed by the FBI twice in recent months.

The Central Basin water district covers an area of southeast Los Angeles County that includes the city of Montebello, where Democrats Ron and Tom Calderon reside. Take a look at the Calderon family tree here.

Legaspi said Friday that water district officials plan to "cooperate fully with the authorities."

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