Official for Compton water district is suspended after reports of fake supporters at town hall

The general manager of a small public agency under fire for delivering brown, smelly water to parts of Compton and Willowbrook has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately, the water district board’s attorney announced Thursday night.

Maria Rachelle Garza’s suspension comes days after The Times reported allegations that the embattled Sativa Los Angeles County Water District hired people to pose as supporters and attend a local congresswoman’s town hall regarding complaints of dirty water.

Garza could not be immediately reached for comment. In previous interviews with The Times, she strongly denied knowing anything about hiring people to attend the forum.

After the town hall, the water district issued a statement denying that it paid people to attend the forum and support the district. However, water board President Luis Landeros told The Times on Thursday that the statement was not authorized by the board.

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