Customers sue embattled Compton water district over discolored water

Frustrated by discolored drinking water pouring from their taps, four Compton residents filed a class-action lawsuit late Monday against their water provider, Sativa Los Angeles County Water District.

The lawsuit, filed at Los Angeles County Superior Court, accuses Sativa of failing to provide quality drinking water, misappropriating taxpayer dollars and causing a financial burden on its low-income customers in Compton and Willowbrook. It comes days before a crucial decision by county oversight officials on whether to dissolve the small public water district.

“Sativa mismanaged public funds by failing to use them for the intended purpose of maintaining and improving the water district’s infrastructure for the delivery of potable water,” the lawsuit alleges.

The claims in the suit echo some raised by oversight authorities about Sativa in recent years.

The district has been accused of financial instability, nepotism, poor maintenance and mismanagement. It has fended off two previous dissolution attempts by L.A. County’s Local Agency Formation Commission — the state-appointed body charged with monitoring special districts.

The commission meets Wednesday to consider initiating its third attempt to dissolve the district.

That decision will come amid mounting complaints by residents of discolored water that smells of chlorine or rust. Residents said the water stains white clothes and forces them to purchase bottled water with which to drink, cook and bathe, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs include four mothers who said they are affected by water problems dating as far back as five years.

“It’s a wake-up call for everybody, even for those who [oversee] the district,” said Martha Barajas, one of the plaintiffs. “Maybe people will listen to us now.

“We’ve given Sativa plenty of time to fix the problems,” she added.

The 1,600 households served by Sativa pay a flat rate of $65 a month, adding up to nearly $1.3 million in annual revenue.

Sativa says it lacks the estimated $10 million to $15 million needed to upgrade the 70-year-old pipes it blames for depositing manganese in drinking water, which can make faucets run brown.

The lawsuit states Sativa “miserably failed again and again” to meet state clean drinking waters standards. It points to a compliance order from the State Water Resources Control Board last month that said Sativa violated the state’s health and safety code when it neglected to maintain the minimum water pressure, delivered “muddy water” and did not engage in proper flushing.

The order said water tested from Sativa wells, faucets and hoses contained higher-than-normal levels of manganese and was sometimes cloudier than standards allow. The state water board noted that from March 2017 to May 2018, Sativa received at least 97 complaints of brown water from customers.

In addition to dirty drinking water, Sativa has come under fire after The Times reported allegations that the district had hired paid supporters to attend a forum to address the problem. Sativa’s board and its administrative manager, Maria Rachelle Garza, strongly denied any involvement. Days later, Garza was placed on leave.

The defendants in the lawsuit are Sativa and its five board members: Luis Landeros, Christina Casillas, Juan Aguilar, Roxsana Zepeda and Lucia Castrellon. They could not immediately be reached for comment.

Landeros previously told The Times that the district is working to fix the problem but needs financial help from the state and county.

Another One with the “Keys to the Candy Store” – Tustin Cheerleading booster club member suspected of inappropriate contact with underage girl

A 50-year-old member of the Tustin High School Cheer Booster Club was arrested Wednesday for allegedly engaging in inappropriate conversations with a female juvenile, authorities said.
Patrick Thomas, 50 of Tustin, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of engaging in inappropriate conversations with a female juvenile, authorities said. Thomas is a member of the Tustin Hgih School Cheer Booster Club. (Courtesy of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department)
Mike Patrick Thomas, 50 of Tustin, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of engaging in inappropriate conversations with a female juvenile, authorities said. Thomas is a member of the Tustin Hgih School Cheer Booster Club. (Courtesy of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department)

The suspect, Mike Patrick Thomas of Tustin, is suspected to have made inappropriate contact with an underage girl, including text messages and conversations, an Orange County Sheriff’s Department release said.

During its investigation, the Sheriff’s Department discovered Thomas had been accused of similar activity a few years ago, the release said. No arrest was made in that prior incident.

The department’s investigation is ongoing.

Given his connection to the cheerleading booster club, investigators believe there may be more victims and are seeking additional information. Anyone with information on possible victims can call investigators at 714-647-7064.

Welcome to Tustin California It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – Or – Is It?

Editorial –

In the New Economy – No One will Actually have a Legitimate Business or a Job –  Everybody will Just be Magically Rich – Scamming and Defrauding Each Other – with – Tech – Startup – Real Estate – Development – Fake and Fraudulent Charities – Non Profits – NGOs – Please Donate – Churches – Group Homes – Do-Gooding –  Cyber Begging – and Other Financial – Hocus Pocus.

Defying All Known Economic Fundamentals and Standards – Chasing After the Same Dwindling Supply of Real Money.

Driving Range Rovers – Bentleys and BMWs – Bribing Politicians and Officials – Flying Private Helicopters  – Wearing Rolex Watches – Living in Ten Thousand Dollar a Month Apartments – Condos and Houses.

Dining Lavishly – Going to Disneyland and Ducks Games – Living the Legacy Good Life – “All on Lines of Credit” and Somehow Magically Paying Taxes Too.

While City Hall – Congress – Educators – Reverends – Public Employees and Developers – Feed Each Other Grapes and Drink Up – Licking – Sucking and Masturbating Each Other – Always Using “Your” Money and Land .

Sexting KidsDriving Drunk or Stoned and Crashing Into TreesMolesting Police Explorers – in a Continuous – Corporate – Educator – Religious – Developer and Municipal  – Corruption and Credit Orgy – Group Fuck – and Circle Jerk.

Bank Robbers  – Don’t Call the Police – on Other Bank Robbers.

It’s a Dummied Down – No Child Left Behind – Everything’s OK – Anything Goes  – Walk Away – Bankruptcy – Eat Your Way to 600 Pounds – Dump Toxic Waste – Have it Your Way – it’s not Your Fault –  No Savings Account – Out of Gas – Got Knocked Up and Daddy’s Long Gone – Jesus Loves You – Go Fund Me Page – I’m Overextended and Can’t Make My Payments So I’ll Crap on the Neighbors and Rent Out Everything I Own – Illegal Garage Apartment – Trailer Trash – Airbnb – Sign and Drive – Project X Party – Society.

The New Economy is that – There is No Economy. –

They’re Smokin’ Vapin’ Drinkin’ Huffin’ and Sleepin’ – Library – Civic Center – and Tustin Area Businesses Overrun by Homeless Encampments.  Alcoholics – Vapeheads – Meatheads – Potheads – Tweakers – Huffers – Third Strikers – Losers – Just Like Some of Your Friends!