Water district lawsuit expands

first_imgBALDWIN PARK – The Valley County Water District has added more charges to a lawsuit they filed against Director Dolores Holguin. In a complaint filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the district accused Holguin of taking advantage of its meal policy, receiving a stipend for meetings she did not attend and for having the district pay for a cell phone used by her niece. Holguin, running against incumbent Al Contreras for a seat on the Upper San Gabriel Municipal Water District on Nov. 7, said the charges against her are politically motivated. “Everything I have been reimbursed for were approved by the board,” Holguin, 57, said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’“If there were any disagreements they could have asked about them. Everything was a board decision. I have done nothing wrong.” District officials said Holguin was paid a $140 stipend for various meetings she either didn’t attend or only attended for a short amount of time and racked up about $1,000 in meals in addition to the $125 she was given for meal expenses while out of town for business. “She submitted invoices for all sorts of lavish meals,” said Keith Lemieux, the district’s legal counsel. “And at meetings we have had witnesses say she would sign the attendance slip and then take off.” The district filed a lawsuit against Holguin on Oct. 12, alleging she pocketed about $4,750 in district payments that were to be used for medical insurance. They also accuse her of having the district reimburse her $2,900 in attorney fees spent on suing a former district board member and for failing to return a computer that belonged to the district. Holguin said she is making payment arrangements for the insurance money and returned the computer on Friday. Lemieux said the district will be waiting for a response from Holguin’s attorney. “Hopefully, she’ll pay the money back, at this point the ball is in their court,” he said. Holguin is also being investigated by the district for workplace harassment claims and has filed a lawsuit against Guy Mato, the district’s interim general manager, accusing him of not releasing financial documents she requested. District officials said they have complied with some of the record requests but have withheld personnel information she is not allowed. Holguin has been on the board for 11 years and is the first Latina and the first woman elected to the water board. Valley County Water District serves 60,000 customers in Baldwin Park, Irwindale and parts of West Covina. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2109 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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