A federal grand jury is investigating payments to consultants and council members involved in cannabis licensing in Baldwin Park and two other San Gabriel Valley cities, according to published reports.
The federal investigation into Baldwin Park’s rocky cannabis rollout became public last year when agents raided the homes and offices of Baldwin Park City Attorney Robert Tafoya, Compton City Councilman Isaac Galvan, and former San Bernardino County Planning Commissioner Gabriel Chavez. At the time, Tafoya’s attorney, Mark Werksman, indicated the probe was into corruption in the cannabis industry. However, the subpoenas are the first real indication of the investigation’s scope.
Estrada, who became the city’s first new mayor in decades following the election last year, has pledged to clean up Baldwin Park’s cannabis regulations in light of allegations that the process was more favorable to certain companies than others.
“We should be focusing on making this a socially equitable industry and politicians seem to have turned it into a moneymaker for themselves,” he said. “Myself and my newest of colleagues are not involved in any of this. We welcome these external agencies to come to Baldwin Park and solve this issue.”
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