Jul 01, 2009
Calvert Line Item to Cost Riverside Taxpayers $1.7 Million
As the case surrounding Representative Ken Calvert's shady land deal drags on, now the cost to Riverside County taxpayers is becoming clear - a whopping $1.7 million!
"Times are tough and local budgets across the Inland Empire are stretched, but the $1.7 million Calvert line item in next year's Jurupa Park District budget means local taxpayers are on the hook for a bundle because of Ken Calvert's shady land deal," said Andy Stone, Western Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "With California about to cancel payments to local government agencies, the Calvert line item is an especially raw deal for Riverside County residents who will be forced to shoulder the additional cost."
As if the revelation that the Jurupa Area Recreation and Park District has stretched to plan for $1.7 million in legal costs related to the Calvert property acquisition wasn't enough, it comes on the heels of a vote to change the zoning on the property, increasing the value of the land - and Calvert's bottom line.
With the zoning change, Calvert and his partners can now build their planned storage facility in an ideal spot close to the freeway and nearby residential growth. In fact, according to press reports, the value of the land has likely now risen.
Calvert says he was a silent partner in the $1.2 million deal to acquire a plot of land near new residential construction to build self-storage units.
But a grand jury found that the Jurupa Community Services District sold the property to Calvert and his partners without first offering it to other public agencies, as required by law. That means Calvert and his partners were able to buy a plot of land, close to the freeway, in a booming real estate market - with no competitive bidding.
And the lawsuit goes even a step further calling the land sale "actual fraud, corruption and actual malice" and alleges that the land was sold to Calvert - who had previously supported federal legislation benefiting the Jurupa Community Services District - and his partners as a way to "further curry political favor, relations and influence."