One local city councilman is being accused of hurling racist insults at a water district office worker. Desert Hot Springs Councilman Karl Baker says the accusations are just dirty politics.
Baker wanted to transfer water service to his new home. But, when he went to the Mission Springs Water District office, it turned ugly. Employees claim Baker became angry and intimidating when they asked to him to show several forms of identification.
Baker says he got frustrated with the horrible utility service. He allegedly threw papers at a water district employee and told the Hispanic woman, “I know you are just doing your ‘yob.'”
Water district attorney Susan Rusnak added, “This included several racial slurs in which the councilman insinuated that a woman of Hispanic descent could not perform her job. And, he made these remarks in an effective Hispanic accent.”
Baker counters, “It’s a common expression, ‘Not my ‘yob.” I’ve heard that from hundreds and thousands of people. To imply that it was a racist remark, that’s hogwash, pure hogwash. She was just as rude to me as I was to her. Now, fighting fire with fire, yeah, that’s probably not good. Being a prominent citizen, maybe I shouldn’t be so vocal and lost my cool, but I did.”
Managers of the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control Board accused Baker of sexual harassment years ago. No proof ever came to light and the managers who tried to kick baker off the board got involved a sex scandal themselves.
Baker says the real issue is how he’s investigating why the water district is raising rates when citywide water usage is down, “Their reaction by having an attorney write presumably a $1,000 or $1,500 letter and sending it to everybody in the city because I’m a councilman, that’s dirty pool. And if you’re going to play dirty with me, I know how to throw sand back in the sand box.”
Mission Springs Water District demands Councilman Baker apologize for his comments.