Watchdog: La Puente Lawmaker Earned $350K In Rent From Kaiser

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A public watchdog group is calling for a La Puente lawmaker to resign his post as chairman of a California senate health panel over charges that he earned over $350,000 from one of the largest health providers in the state.

KNX 1070′s Pete Demetriou reports Consumer Watchdog wants State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-La Puente) to step down over his alleged business ties.

Hernandez, who helped defeat legislation that would require state approval for health insurers to raise their rates, owns a business that leases an office building to Kaiser Permanente in Baldwin Park, according to the group.

Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, said while not illegal, the relationship does call into question Hernandez’s objectivity when dealing with legislation pertaining to health care rate regulation.

“The State Senate Health Committee regulates health insurance plans, health insurance companies, every aspect of Kaiser’s business,” said Court.

Kaiser allegedly paid Hernandez rent of an estimated $7,000 per month for their office space.

The group is set to run cable TV ads calling for him to step down from his post and are calling for Senate Pro Tem Daryl Steinberg to remove him from the chairmanship at once.

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