Questions Emerge Over Adelanto Councilman’s Vote Favoring Girlfriend’s Employer

(December 16)  Whether or not the November 19 vote by Adelanto City Councilman Ed Camargo to approve Geo Group Inc.’s proposal to establish a privately-run prison to hold 1,050 inmates from the California Department of Corrections constitutes an illegal conflict of interest will turn on whether he and his girlfriend have commingled their financial affairs, legal experts said.
Camargo’s girlfriend is an employee of Geo Group Inc.
Geo Group Inc. already operates two detention facilities in Adelanto, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility and Desert View Modified Community Correctional Facility. Geo Group’s latest proposed prison facility would be located at the northeast corner of Holly and Koala roads.
Camargo acknowledged after the vote was taken that his girlfriend works for Geo Group. That prompted those opposed to Geo Group’s bid to open a third facility in the cash-strapped city to charge him with a conflict-of-interest, particularly a violation of California Government Code 1090, which prohibits a public official from participating in a decision in which he or she has a financial interest.
Camargo said he has kept his finances separate from his girlfriend’s, and that they do not cohabitate.
The 3-2 November 19 vote in favor of the Geo Group’s project must be confirmed with a second vote to be finalized. That vote is tentatively scheduled for the council meeting on January 28

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