Compton councilman linked to cannabis business probe

By 2UrbanGirls

Contributing Writer

COMPTON — City Councilman Isaac Galvan continues to attend City Council meetings after the FBI recently raided his home concerning activities not related to the city of Compton.

It was initially reported that Galvan and former Baldwin Park Mayor Mario Pacheco were arrested in connection with cannabis businesses in the cities of Baldwin Park and Maywood.

Galvan reportedly became entwined in the case after the FBI interviewed Pacheco.

Subsequently, Baldwin Park City Attorney Robert Tafoya and Gabriel Chavez, a San Bernardino planning commissioner also have become involved in the the investigation centered around alleged corruption in the awarding of cannabis-related licenses.

There have been conflicting reports on whether the men were arrested.

“I stand by my sources,” said Brian Hews, publisher of the Los Cerritos News, who first reported the alleged arrests.

An FBI spokeswoman confirmed that addresses attached to Galvan and Tafoya were among those searched Oct. 28 but declined to comment further, saying a judge had sealed the supporting affidavits.

The spokeswoman said neither man has been arrested “despite reports stating otherwise.”

The raids come amid controversy over Baldwin Park’s approval of licenses for cultivation, distribution, manufacturing and testing cannabis and a lawsuit filed against Maywood Mayor Eddie De La Riva, where the common thread was seeking bribes from cannabis companies seeking to do business in the city.

Jose Mendoza owns a cannabis testing company, L.A. Labs, and claims Mayor De La Riva attempted to extort $350,000 from him to open his business.

In Baldwin Park, Pacheco made demands from the new police chief, Steven McClean, to ensure he was hired.

In September, a former Baldwin Park police officer said in a sworn declaration that he had received complaints from three cannabis operations alleging “questionable business practices, which included paying as much as $250,000 cash in a brown paper bag to city officials.”

The declaration, signed by a retired police lieutenant who had helped oversee regulating cannabis businesses in the city, was filed in defense of a former police chief the city accused of unrelated wrongdoing. The declaration’s allegations about cannabis businesses do not mention Tafoya, Galvan or Chavez.

Pacheco was arrested by the FBI on that matter, and after questioning, Galvan became involved.

Galvan confirmed his apartment was raided and has continued to decline making an official statement on the matter.

“I am doing OK,” Galvan told 2UrbanGirls but declined to provide a full statement on the matter.

He continues to evade constituents’ questions and concerns by refusing to deliver closing comments during the weekly council meetings.

2UrbanGirls reached attorney Anthony Willoughby, who declined to comment on the investigation.

“Our firm has spent 30 years representing minorities in Los Angeles,” Willoughby said. “In that time, our firm has watched the pendulum of justice swing out of the reach of minorities time and time again. 

“The inequities of our society are most often put on display by the selective application of the law and our failure to examine all the facts, in both their immediate and big picture context. The rush to place guilty banners above the heads of those who catch the eye of a system rooted in inequality only hurts the move toward progress.

“With this in mind, I believe patience is an underserved virtue in these situations.”

2 Urban Girls is a freelance reporter for Wave Newspapers who covers the Compton and Inglewood area. She can be reached at 2urbangirls@gmail.com.

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