In a letter to Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility asked the state’s top lawyer to look into whether Irma R. Muñoz broke the law by sitting on the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board while the group she founded and runs, Mujeres de la Tierra, was receiving tens of thousands of dollars from Boeing Corp. between 2016 and 2018.
PEER additionally raised suspicions about the circumstances leading up to the Water Board dropping $128,500 in fines assessed against Boeing for water pollution violations stemming from the Woolsey Fire in 2018. Muñoz was helming the board when those fines were waived in 2019, PEER said. The group said violating the state’s conflict of interest laws could result in a misdemeanor and $10,000 fine.
“Beyond the misdemeanor conflict of interest penalties, however, there remains the distinct possibility that the Boeing payments to the nonprofit run by Ms. Munoz was part of a deliberate scheme to curry official favor from the Board,” PEER said in its letter. “If that were to be the case, that would constitute bribery, a felony offense punishable by a jail or prison term of up to four years.”