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Water board member's loyalty questioned

Santos may have conflict due to Alviso holdings, grand jury says

The director of a subdivision of the local water district "has failed to uphold his ethical obligations," according to a recent grand jury report.

Richard Santos, District 3 director for the Santa Clara Valley Water District, "has significant property interests in Alviso" -- an area of North San Jose within his jurisdiction -- "that greatly limit his ability to ethically participate in SCVWD projects in Alviso," the report by the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury stated.

The report filed June 18, "Is a Conflict of Interest Guiding the Santa Clara Valley Water District in Alviso," said that "Santos has focused his efforts primarily on enhancing Alviso ... less than 1 percent of his constituency."

Santos is a part of several community action groups focused on improving Alviso and owns multiple properties in town.

It is unclear if water services in Mountain View have been or would be adversely impacted by projects supported by Santos, a spokeswoman from the grand jury said. District 3 does not cover Mountain View. However, money used to fund projects that may benefit Santos, his holdings and his family's holdings would come out of funds available to all cities and areas within the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

Santos denied the implications of the report. While he admits to owning property in Alviso, he said that his holdings in no way prohibit him from faithfully executing his duties as a water district board member.

"Just because I own property there doesn't mean I'm in conflict of interest," he said. Santos said he only acted in the interest of helping the community and his constituents.

"I vote for everybody," he said. "There is no conflict. It is a perception."

"I don't know how you can say that's a perception when the facts are in front of you," said Angie Cardoza of the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury.

The jury's findings can be viewed online at the superior court's website.

Richard Santos

Comments

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Posted by heard it before
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 12, 2010 at 2:21 pm

"Just because I own property there doesn't mean I'm in conflict of interest," he said. Santos said he only acted in the interest of helping the community and his constituents.

"I vote for everybody," he said. "There is no conflict. It is a perception."

Yeah, just like the judge who owns shares in oil drilling businesses had no conflict of interest when he issued a ruling on an oil drilling moratorium....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by le dude
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Yeah, just like the ex-MV superintendent hiring his mistress and promoting her.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ned
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 13, 2010 at 8:53 am

Wow!. I didn't realize the Santa Clara Valley Water District tortured people! You definitely got to be loyal to torture people.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by public commentator
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 13, 2010 at 10:05 am

The water board listened to public comment on how to reduce the > $1,000,000 on a 'public information' gazebo (built next to a water board family members moble home property in Alviso) and yet decided to site it next to the family property. It could have been sited in the nearby county park (Alviso Marina) at a great saving. But then - it wouldn't have helped the family mobile home value that much - would it?

You really have to go down and see the Board Room and "Golden Spigot" building that our public funds have paid for. Our local (Cupertino ex councilman) representative voted for this Alviso back scratching.

BTW, in my opinion this district does do some good flood control and water resource work- but it is really bloated and inefficient !


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