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Court rejects bid from Water Board majority to stop official from using letterhead

Leticia Vasquez-Wilson
Central Basin Director and President Art Chacon (left). Central Basin Director Leticia Vasquez-Wilson (right).

An L.A. Superior Court Judge has tossed a request to restrain Water Director Leticia Vasquez-Wilson from using the letterhead of the Central Basin Municipal Water District.

The District had filed a lawsuit against Vasquez-Wilson, demanding that she stop giving interviews to community newspapers like our own. The Board also alleged that when she used letterhead to communicate with the cities of Downey, Lakewood, Signal Hill, and others, that she created the impression that the was representing the Board.

The documents are available for download below.

CBMWD - Ex Parte Notice, App & Decs re T
Download • 295KB
CBMWD - Proposed Order Re Ex Parte App r
Download • 159KB
Objections to Complaint & Baker Declar
Download • 604KB
Declaration of L
. Vasquez Opposing App

Vasquez-Wilson has been noted in the community for her very public approach to issues surrounding the affordability and safety of water in Southeast Los Angeles County. She has protested Assembly Member Christina Garcia, who has been criticized for her push to privatize the water in the region. She has also criticized one of the wealthiest cities in the region, Downey, for its do-little approach to high levels of PFAS contamination in its groundwater.

Vasquez-Wilson stated to Political Life, "This lawsuit is meant to intimidate and bully me. It’s meant to silence me about the high levels of PFAS contaminants in our water."

Prior to the resolution of the lawsuit, the District’s attorney, Robert C. Baker, filed for a temporary restraining order to stop Vasquez-Wilson from using the District’s name and letterhead in her communications. Baker is often criticized by Vasquez-Wilson, as well as Director Martha Camacho-Rodriguez, during Board meetings.

Central Basin
Robert C. Baker is the Attorney for Central Basin. He has been called "a criminal" by Director Martha Camacho-Rodriguez.

In responding to Baker's filing alleging a threat from Vasquez-Wilson speaking with media and the public, Vasquez-Wilson's attorney wrote that "The alleged threat is only in Mr. Baker's mind and based on information and belief, not actual admissible evidence. Mr. Baker's unfounded fears do not support injunctive relief denying Defendant's Vasquez's First Amendment Right of Freedom of Speech."

The Court instructed the parties to speak with one another, but did not issue an opinion on the substance of the case.

Vasquez-Wilson's attorney objected to Baker's filing on First Amendment grounds.

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