Photo: 6/23/2013 "Caught on Tape" After filling one of the water districts truck with his own construction debris. Off duty employee Robert McAllister takes a second vehicle back to the "Job Site".

Caught on Tape: Water District Employee Admits Wrongdoing Against Ratepayers.

June 23, 2013


La Habra Heights, CA - A water district employee may find himself in “hot water” after ratepayers spotted him hauling construction debris in an overloaded utility truck to a trash dumpster at Water District headquarters on Hacienda Road.  The Ford F250 Utility truck, District vehicle #7, displaying exempt license plates (exempt from registration), belongs to the La Habra Heights County Water District and is used in an official capacity to service the District’s approximately 2,000 ratepayers.  The driver of the vehicle was identified as Robert (Rob) McAllister, a four-year employee who holds the position of Utility 1, according to the District’s website.
On Sunday morning we followed Mr. McAllister as he headed northbound on Harbor Blvd. turning west onto Whittier Blvd.  As he approached Hacienda Road the heavily laden vehicle bobbed back and forth as he struggled to maintain lane position.  We then observed him turn into the District’s parking lot, reversing direction in order to backup.  McAllister stepped out of the vehicle wearing a red USC sweatshirt with blue shorts to open a locked security gate at the closed District headquarters.
With cameras rolling, we asked Mr. McAllister what he was doing and where the construction debris came from.  He initially responded that he was on-call coming from a job site.  He eventually admitted it came from his own house and that he was not working in an official capacity. McAllister then backed the vehicle to one of two Haul Away trash dumpsters where, for several minutes, he appeared to contemplate his next move.  Now dressed in a La Habra Heights County Water District shirt, but still in shorts, he proceeded to take yet another water district vehicle leaving the loaded pickup next to the dumpster.  As he emerged from a second pickup numbered (0) to lock the gate, we asked him if what he was doing was right and fair to ratepayers? He responded, “No, it’s not”.  We followed McAllister as he made his way through La Habra, Brea and into Yorba Linda where he stopped the Water District’s vehicle in front of a residence at 4433 Avenida Rio Del Oro.  He then exclaimed, “Now you know where I live”.  Satellite images available from Google and Bing appear to show a patio cover that matches the construction debris found in back of the District’s pickup truck.
The Water District has struggled to maintain its fleet of diesel Ford pickups to the point that district manager Michael Gualtieri, at a recent board meeting, stated that the next pickups will be gasoline, not Diesel.  Faced with rising operating cost, the district also agreed to a controversial plan to traffic water for Rowland Water District. In 2012, the water board also imposed a steep water rate increase despite a large protest by its ratepayers.  The resulting windfall provided increased salaries for district employees in 2012 and 2013.  Mr. McAllister was among them.  District officials were not available for comment at deadline.

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(C) 2013

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