The brother of Sen. Ron Calderon, left, headed the board of a foundation that received a Central Basin water district contract.

Federal officials serve subpoena at water district tied to Calderon brothers

Published: Saturday, Jun. 15, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2013 - 8:42 am

Federal authorities have served a subpoena at the Central Basin Municipal Water District in Los Angeles County, an agency with ties to former Assemblyman Tom Calderon and his brother, state Sen. Ron Calderon, whose Capitol offices were raided by the FBI last week.

A spokesman for the water district confirmed receipt of the subpoena but would say little about it, including when it was received. He declined to answer questions about what authorities were seeking.

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

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.

FBI agents mentioned probing the Calderon family earlier this year when they interviewed an executive at a water firm, Michael Franchek, who complained about Tom Calderon's role in contract dealings with the district.

Franchek said his firm, Ecogreen Services, lost a contract at the last minute to a foundation affiliated with George Cole, who was later convicted with several other public officials in a corruption trial involving the city of Bell.

The contract went to Steelworkers OldTimers, where Tom Calderon was president of the board in 2010. Cole was the CEO of OldTimers at the time.

Franchek said he had been questioned twice by the FBI in the last six months.

Legaspi previously told The Bee that Tom Calderon's role as a paid consultant for the Central Basin water district was terminated earlier this year.

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

Call Laurel Rosenhall, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1083. Follow her on Twitter @laurelrosenhall.

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