Seven work days into Ron Beilke’s job at the Central Basin Municipal Water District, the agency’s governing board placed an item on its next meeting agenda. It called for firing him from his $98,000-a-year job as assistant to the general manager.
Two hours later, Beilke crashed headfirst into a wall on the second floor of the district’s headquarters in the City of Commerce. One employee later said she watched Beilke fly across the frame of her door, arms stretched out, like Superman.
Beilke, who was taken away by paramedics in a neck brace, later collected workers’ compensation and sued for wrongful termination. Central Basin commissioned a report that quoted employees who questioned whether Beilke’s fall had been deliberate.
According to the Los Angeles Times, by the time Central Basin settled with him nearly four years later, the agency racked up costs of nearly $1.5 million.
In the wake of the costly incident, some have questioned why Beilke was hired in the first place. A former Pico Rivera mayor, Beilke had been convicted of political misconduct.
What’s to question, in our opinion, this guy is clearly a scam artist.
The Central Basin Municipal Water District had been mired in years of scandal when it hired Beilke.
The agency has been caught up in so many legal claims that they were a factor in the agency losing its insurance coverage. In one case, the district’s insurance paid $670,000 to a woman who alleged that a board director sexually assaulted her.
A 2015 audit found that the agency was plagued by budget deficits and credit downgrades. A former general manager and board member were fined after steering contract work to a company that gave them almost $8,000 worth of gifts. It hired unqualified staff and illegally created a secret $2.75-million trust fund, the audit said.