May 29, 2011 9:38 PM
Brooke Edwards

VICTORVILLE • City records show Mayor Pro Tem Rudy Cabriales voted to approve $55,000 in sponsorships over the last eight years to the High Desert Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit headed up by his wife.

Per Vickie Cabriales’ contract as executive director of the HDHCC, she receives a 10 percent commission for each sponsorship she brings in. She also receives an annual bonus equal to 10 percent of the chamber’s net operating income, on top of her base salary of $50,000.

Neither Rudy nor Vickie Cabriales responded to multiple requests over the last several days to discuss the potential conflict of interest.

However, the couple’s connection has raised concerns for Councilwoman Angela Valles, who has asked the San Bernardino County grand jury and district attorney to join the state and U.S. attorney general’s offices in looking into the issue.

State law dictates that elected officials generally have a conflict of interest if they participate in a vote that benefits them financially by at least $500.

Since Vickie Cabriales receives a 10 percent commission, and half of what she brings in would be counted as income for her husband, a sponsorship would need to total $10,000 to meet the state’s minimum threshold for a conflict.

Three times in the last six years, records provided by City Clerk Carolee Bates show Rudy Cabriales voted on sponsorships to the HDHCC in excess of $10,000.

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Staff writer Carmen V. Gutierrez contributed to this report. Gutierrez previously served on the HDHCC’s board of directors.