Former West Valley Water District Assistant General Manager Ricardo Pacheco has pleaded guilty to accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes while he was acting in the elected capacity of Baldwin Park city councilman.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Pacheco accepted the money, some $20,000 of which consisted of marked and/or serial number recorded bills, from a Baldwin Park Police Department officer who was working in conjunction with the FBI. Pacheco accepted the money in a quid pro quo by which he agreed to support as a member of the city council the Baldwin Park Police Association’s contract with the city, the Justice Department announced today.
Pacheco, now 59, was initially elected to the Baldwin Park City Council in 1997 and remained on the council for nearly 24 years until he resigned last June as part of a guilty plea to a federal bribery charge he entered on June 15, 2020.
Tuesday, April 3, federal prosecutors unsealed the criminal charges against Pacheco, as well as portions of his plea agreement. In that latter document, Pacheco agreed to cooperate in ongoing public corruption investigations, which contains a redacted statement of facts to protect the integrity of ongoing aspects of those investigations.
There are grounds to believe that the investigation may have implications with regard to the West Valley Water District.
Pacheco was hired by the district in April 2018 at a salary of $189,592. That hiring came five months after Michael Taylor, the former police chief of Baldwin Park, was elected to the West Valley Water District’s board of directors. Less than two weeks after Taylor’s election, on November 15, 2017, the Baldwin Park City Council voted to rehire Taylor, who had retired the previous year, to return to his role as police chief under a contract that was to pay him $183,368.08 in annual salary, another $8,565.86 in other pay, $54,782.03 in benefits and a $47,878.57 contribution to his pension for a total yearly compensation of $294,594.54. Upon Taylor being sworn in as a member of the water board the following month,in Decem
ber 2017, the water district’s board of directors moved to hire Baldwin Park City Attorney Robert Tafoya. Also in December 2017, the Baldwin Park City Council rehired Taylor, who had  Subsequently, West Valley Water District Board Member Clifford Young, who had supported Taylor in his 2017 board election bid but later had a falling out with him, alleged that a corrupt bargain existed between Taylor, Tafoya and Pacheco by which Tafoya and his firm first received a lucrative contract to serve as the water district’s general counsel, Taylor was given a generous contract to serve as Baldwin Park police chief and Pacheco was given an essentially do-nothing but highly lucrative position with the water district. Pacheco

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