The mighty Westlands Water District has been caught by the Securities and Exchange Commission for cooking its books on bond measures. The district was fined $125,000. Westlands general manager Thomas Birmingham was hit with a $50,000 fine.
According to the SEC, when the accounting shenanigans were going on, Birmingham boasted at a board meeting they were only doing “a little Enron accounting,” a reference to the energy company that famously collapsed after cooking its books.
Westlands is the water district where a prominent grower derisively referred to President Obama as “Blackie,” according to a story in The Bee. Now the worm has turned.
Still, with its army of lawyers, consultants, lobbyists and public relations spin doctors, Westlands is brazenly trying to pull off one of the greatest rip-offs in American history, getting Congress to forgive $375 million in capital construction cost debt that Westlands still owes for its Cadillac water-delivery system.
Stay tuned for the next Westlands escapade. I wonder what Westlands supporter Sen. Dianne Feinstein must be thinking? Is she still backing a Congressional bailout for crooks? And by the way, how is that Westlands drainage solution working out on all those salty, marginal soils?
Lloyd Carter, Clovis