|Craig Graves - Finance Director of Baldwin Park|
Craig Graves became a permanent hire around December of 2013 to January 2014. After working about 18 months as the permanent finance director - he's resigned.
Rumors abounded on Friday that the City Council was ready to fire him. Rather than have that on his record, the director just resigned. This is the second person who has left the employment of Baldwin Park within the last two months. Something's happening that we're not seeing.
The resignation comes during a sensitive time, where the non-profit entity is being investigated by the California Attorney General.
The City is not stating the official reason of why it wanted to fire Craig Graves. Four theories have been proposed. The first one is that Craig Graves was fired for falsifying the budget - which showed that the Chief of Police, Michael Taylor and the police could get huge raises. After certain Council Members discovered what he did - the deception incited them. The second theory is that the City can blame Craig Graves for all the financial impropriety it's been involved in. The third one is that with Craig Graves gone, it'll be more difficult to get information from him, while investigations are being conducted. The fourth theory is that Roger Hernandez, California State Assemblyman, and his wife, Council Member, Susan Rubio, want to put one of their own friends in. Perhaps, getting rid of him, meets all of the above too.
I've stated that he was no good for a long time. Forced to resign by the City of Palm Springs, Craig Graves wasn't qualified for the job. He wasn't even competent enough to pass the exams for becoming a Certified Public Accountant.
The City, needing someone who would falsify books, heard about Graves through the desert networks. The Council Members, Mayor, and former City Manager Vijay Singhal hired him on contract, until they could trust him.
One of his first assignments was to falsify the budget, to make it look like the City was in dire straights because of the Baldwin Park Police Department. Then, the City wanted to fire all the police officers and bring in the Los Angeles County Sheriffs.
After a new Council majority was elected, however, the new Council voted for the police to stay. Under the control of then acting city manager, Michael Taylor( now Chief of Police), and Council Member Ricardo Pacheco, Graves was asked to falsify the books once again in the self-interest of Taylor. Taylor wanted the biggest raise he could get.
Yet, when the Police Union discovered that Graves had lied to the police about how much Baldwin Park could afford, anger erupted within the police force. They weren't going to get the raises promised to them. It was then, Graves was already asked to look for another job.
I always found him to be a sketchy character that couldn't be trusted. I told the council and mayor and city manager on a number of occasions to find someone else, but they liked him because he falsified the books for a hefty salary.
Before he was hired permanently, it was discovered that Graves removed evidence that the City made payments to him as a contractor. It was suspected he did so, so that the IRS wouldn't receive proof of the amount of money he received. So, what the IRS doesn't know, he doesn't have to report (not the law by the way). And what he doesn't have to report, Graves doesn't have to pay in taxes.
It's still not clear, however, if the city submitted a 1099 (proof of payment) to the IRS regarding all the money he made. And let's not forget that earlier in the year, the IRS fined Baldwin Park dearly for not matching the social security and medical payments for its employees.
Well - good riddance to bad rubbish. Getting rid of him, however, is not enough to hold this man accountable for the harm he's done to the community. That's why, I'm not dropping him as a defendant in my pending lawsuit against him. Well, another one down. Who's next?