Hedrick: Ken Calvert’s shady land is an ‘embarrassment’


Correction: Congressman Probed story

October 19, 2009 — In an Oct. 17 story about an alleged improper sale of publicly owned land, The Associated Press erroneously reported that a newspaper said the FBI was investigating Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif. The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported the FBI had sought information on a lawsuit against an agency that sold land to Calvert’s investment group. However, the FBI did not say if it’s investigating Calvert.

There is more news on the shady land deals of Republican Congressman Ken Calvert. We have received the following press release from the Bill Hedrick campaign.

Hedrick: Ken Calvert’s shady land is an ‘embarrassment,’ local residents deserve better

Riverside, Calif. – After local investigations, a grand jury finding, the revelation that the Jurupa Park District is having to spend $1.7 million taxpayer dollars, and a zoning change benefiting Ken Calvert’s bottom line, it seemed like Calvert’s shady land deal couldn’t generate any more headlines. Yet now, the news was revealed over the weekend that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the situation. “Ken Calvert got a sweetheart political insider deal to buy prime property without any competitive bidding and thought no one would notice, but now the FBI is investigating allegations of wrongdoing.  This embarrassment for Inland Empire residents has gone on far too long and it is an insult that local taxpayers have been forced to foot a massive legal bill since Calvert refuses to come clean. Enough is enough; Inland Empire residents deserve better.”

In 2007, Calvert was a partner in a deal to acquire a plot of land near new residential construction, close to the freeway, to build self-storage units.  But a Riverside County grand jury found that the law was violated when the land was sold to Calvert and his partners because it wasn’t first offered to other public agencies, as a way to ‘further curry political favor, relations and influence.’

The FBI investigation into Calvert’s land deal is not the first time the law enforcement agency has reportedly looked into Calvert’s activities.  Several years prior, Calvert reportedly came under investigation by the FBI over allegations about Calvert-sought earmarks benefiting his property holdings.

Here is the AP story:

FBI probes SoCal congressman

Saturday, October 17, 2009

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A Southern California congressman is being investigated by the FBI over an alleged inside deal to buy publicly-owned land.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports agents are probing whether Rep. Ken Calvert improperly bought land from a government agency that was earmarked for a park. State law requires surplus public land to be first offered to other public agencies before it is sold for private use.

Calvert, who represents parts of Orange and Riverside counties, is part of an investment group that wants to build mini-storage units on the site in Jurupa.
The investigation follows a 2007 grand jury probe that concluded the sale violated state laws.

Calvert says the FBI probe is part of “a desperation effort” to force him to sell the land to the Jurupa Area Recreation and Park District.
Calvert’s lawyer says the Republican from Corona is cooperating with agents.