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Central Basin Municipal Water District Sues Vendor

The Central Basin Municipal Water District, which has been tied to an ongoing federal investigation into Sen. Ron Calderon, filed a lawsuit on July 25 alleging that a contractor overbilled the district more than $850,000.

“As a public agency, it is a top priority of Central Basin’s that we act in a fiscally responsible manner,” the district’s general manager, Tony Perez, said. “As the district moves forward, we are reviewing all expenditures with the goal of reducing costs.”

The lawsuit contends that Pacifica Services billed the district for services relating to a “professional services” contract without authorization. District officials said they were preparing to accept bids for a new contractor that will eventually be selected to replace Pacifica.

Pacifica officials could not be reached for comment.

Federal investigators served a subpoena at the Central Basin Municipal Water District’s offices last month in connection with a probe that included a search of the Sacramento offices of Calderon, D-Montebello. Calderon’s brother, Tom, was a longtime consultant for the water district.

“Moving Central Basin forward requires that we seek to protect the district’s financial stability,” Perez said. “Providing the highest level of service to our constituents requires that we hold our consultants to the highest of professional and ethical standards.”