El Monte Transit Village in more trouble

For many, a massive, billion-dollar development plan for the El Monte Transit Village was always a little bit far-fetched.

But ever since the president of the development company pegged to build the center was arrested on fraud allegations, the proposal has been lost on a growing number of people.

Just last week, city officials considered canning $2.5 million in federal dollars for a green building within the village, because the fraud investigation made it difficult for developers to meet certain conditions, according to reporter Rebecca Kimitch.

That’s in addition to $40 million in state grants that have already been lost as a result of Titan Development President John Leung’s June arrest.

El Monte police took Leung and another Titan executive into custody on suspicion of fraud, embezzlement, and theft. The pair were released and no charges have been filed against them, but the probe has been turned over to the District Attorney’s office.

The entire scandal is doing serious damage to the already shaky project.

Still, city officials are doing what they can to keep their dreams for a transit-oriented, destination spot — and the $2.5 million federal grants — alive.

“We can’t afford to lose what we have going,” Councilwoman Emily Ishigaki said.

  • Just Saying

    How is that arrest investigation going?

    Tania: Don’t you think the real story here might be how after almost 3 months the police department hasn’t quite figured out how to prosecute the wrongdoing they alleged.

    Look back at the quotes from your newspaper when the arrest was made. It was made to sound at the time like this was an ironclad case. Not looking so “ironclad” today now is it?

    Could it be that a botched arrest (rather than a crooked developer) is what has really cost the city money?

    I’m just saying. You might want to look beyond the press release you no doubt recieve and ask what the real truth is here.

  • Anonymous

    The police don’t have time, so they turned it over to the DA’s office to investigate. There is an election coming up, and the police need to focus on getting their candidates elected. The old council stopped doing their catering to all their requests, so they need to replace them with people that will make sure the pay and perks continue.

    If the POA or fire dept. union back candidates, do us all a favor and vote for someone else. They will not back a candidate unless they know they will get a pay back. We can’t afford their candidates. Let’s elect people who will represent US…the citizens of the community.

  • Anonymous

    I could not agree with you more Anonymous.

    But make no mistake, these unions will be going after everyone’s grandmother and grandfather this year scaring them with a tidal wave of robocalls and hit piece mailers.

    We can’t let that happen.

    We can’t let these guys scare and confuse the elderly into voting against their own interests.

    We can’t let them confuse our friends and neighbors with empty buzz-word filled rhetoric like “this candidate is young” or “we offer viable solutions”.

    These guys are spending lots of money on telephone surveys because they firmly believe you are all COMPLETE STUPID and that all they need to do is CONFUSE and MISLEAD with alot of empty blather.

    EL MONTE YOU ARE SMARTER THAN THAT.

    FOR REAL CHANGE VOTE AGAINST THE VERY GROUPS THAT HAVE ELECTED CITY COUNCIL MAJORITY’S FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS.

    THEIR REAL SLOGAN SHOULD BE:

    “NEW CANDIDATES….NEW SHINY WRAPPER….SAME STALE OLD PRODUCT.”

  • JDM

    Please read. Does this sound like something that should be considered “farfetched.”

    Tania: Get dictionary and learn to choose your words more carefully.

    http://transitorienteddevelopment.dot.ca.gov/PDFs/TOD%20Study%20Exectutive%20Summary.pdf

  • Andrew

    JDM, thank you for the attachment. The project is feasible. However, I think what Tania might have meant is that it was far fetched to believe that the City of El Monte elected officials and city staff could make it happen. Making the project come to fruition was made even more difficult because of the involvement of Titan and John Leung. Anyone that has worked for him or with him knows he’s a shady businessman.