Talk with reporter Hector Becerra at 9 a.m. about the Chacon brothers, who are part of a family political dynasty in a corner of Southeast L.A. County known for hard-knocks politics.
Montebello school board member Hector Chacon said he was at his parents' home sorting through some paperwork this year when he noticed a letter addressed to him. It was from a drug and alcohol rehab center and confirmed his enrollment in a program for first-time DUI offenders.
Chacon said he was puzzled because he didn't have a DUI and began investigating.
He discovered he was the victim of an elaborate identity theft: Someone had used his name and birth date when the person was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The ruse continued when the man pleaded no contest to the charges and enrolled in the rehabilitation program, according to court records. This same person had also vandalized the Whittier city jail after the 2011 arrest.
But the real twist came when officials determined the culprit was Chacon's older brother Arturo Chacon, 48, an elected board member on the Central Basin Municipal Water District, according to court records.
For reasons that are not fully clear, neither police, prosecutors nor court officials figured out he was using his brother's name until Hector Chacon, 46, came forward nearly two years after the arrest.
At one point, three Chacon brothers served as elected leaders, including a councilman in the City of Commerce. Members of the family, including a sister and another brother, have also run campaigns, making them go-to people for some politicians and would-be politicians.
Arturo Chacon did not return calls seeking comment. He is one of five board members on a public agency that has been roiled as part of an FBI investigation of state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello). The investigation also involves the senator's brother Tom Calderon, a former assemblyman who had been an influential consultant for Central Basin for years.
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