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Baldwin Park Financial Director Resigns Amid Criticism

Residents and even a Council member criticized the data provided by Lorena Quijano on the actual costs of the Police Department.

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Baldwin Park Finance Director Lorena Quijano presented her resignation last week, amid heavy criticism over the way Police department costs were presented recently, now that dismantling the organization is being discussed by city officials.

Patch attempted to interview Quijano for this story, but calls to her office and a visit to the City Council went unanswered.

According to Councilwoman Marlen Garcia, Quijano said the official reason for her resignation was a job offer in a city west of Los Angeles. Her last day of work would be later this month.

However, Greg Tuttle, a resident of the city, said that the reason behind Quijano's resignation was her refusal to correct the numbers presented recently as operating costs of the Police Department.

According to Tuttle, who prepared a formal complaint with the California Board of Accountancy, there was evidence that Quijano had altered reports on the city budget, inflating Police costs.

Councilman Ricardo Pacheco also questioned and expressed concern on the numbers that were presented, during a council meeting in November.

Yesterday the Councilmember reaffirmed his position. "I have a real concern and I brought up question about the way they were costing the Police  department. I think it was inaccurate," said Pacheco to Patch.

Pacheco also expressed concern about the Finance Director leaving at "a critical time like this" and when the city is going through several economic challenges.

Currently, the city is conducting a study to contract the services of the Los Angeles County Sheriff and dismantle the police force, to address a projected budget deficit of more than $1 million for the coming fiscal year.

According to a preliminary report submitted by the administration (attached to this story), the costs of maintaining the police department could amount to $19.4 million for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, while the Sheriff's services would cost $14.7 million.

Quijano's resignation follows William Galvez's, the Public Works Director who left his position in June.

City Administrator Officer, Vijay Singhai, told Patch that Galvez cited personal matters as the reason for his departure. To date, a new Public Works Director has not been hired.

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Joseph Barrios December 07, 2012 at 12:58 PM
The reason public works director left was because he refused to sign off on illegal documents the city manager wanted signed. The finance director fell into the trap of believing the city would back her after she signed documents that she knew were wrong and inaccurate. The only option she had was to resign and hope this doesn't go to a full investigation. Let this be a lesson for all the employees still left Vijay Singhal will use you and lie to you but don't believe him that he will stand up for you he will fire you after he uses you. This is what he did in Barstow and Hesperia and was fired from both places for ruining moral and using employees and then firing them.
Marlen Garcia January 17, 2013 at 11:47 PM
First of all, Greg Tuttle IS NOT A RESIDENT OF BALDWIN PARK! And if this Patch is going to rely on this individual's information, you might as well call yourself 'The Baldwin Park Inquirer'! Lorena Quijano left for a better career opportunity still within the municipal arena. She was offered more money, greater exposure to city operations and closer to home for her. PLEASE BP Patch...fair and accurate journalism is lacking at your end.

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