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OP/ED: Three Strikes You’re Out…Central Basin President Apodaca Allows Illegal Vote to Clear Way for Director Vasquez’ Whistleblower Lawsuit

By HMG-CN Publisher Brian Hews

When I opined last week about Central Basin Water District’s (CB) Three Bozos, President Bob “Tag Team” Apodaca, James “Teacher Jail” Roybal, and Leticia “Qui Tam” Vasquez, I made what I thought was a good case for them being psychopaths.

Turned out I was wrong.

Several people corrected me and said I should have called them sociopaths, that I actually complemented them because psychopaths are “smart.”

You can still be thrown in LAUSD Teacher Jail and not tell anyone why you are in jail (Roybal), you can leak an FBI subpoena to injure another Director (Vasquez), and you can sexually harass women and cost CB $670,000 (Apodaca) and be smart right?

Maybe not, because after what happened this past week, they are now officially dumb sociopaths.

Yesterday, after an unprecedented third special meeting was held at CB and after a series of stupid moves, the three voted on agenda items that could bring in local and state regulators, and possibly the FBI, to take over the embattled Commerce water agency.

Stupid Move One
In a brazen display of stupid arrogance, the Three Bozos voted 3-0 to waive attorney-client privilege for CB as it related to “Qui Tam” Vasquez’ whistleblower lawsuit. CB Directors  Arturo Chacon and Phil Hawkins did not participate and walked out in protest saying the vote was illegal.

The vote, never before affirmed by an elected official in any other public agency, removed the protective shield that ensures confidentiality between client (CB) and its legal counsel.

The vote paved the way for “Qui Tam” Vasquez to proceed with her whistleblower lawsuit filed against the very agency she was elected to represent.

Vasquez’ award could be upwards of $2 million if she wins her case.

Vasquez has continually denied she was a party to the lawsuit, but HMG-CN contacted three different attorneys who said she was a “party plaintiff” to the lawsuit.

Based on those articles, she also called me a liar for insinuating she filed the lawsuit, telling me at one point to “get a lawyer Mr. Hews.”

Well I did and this is what they said: Armenta ex rel. City of Burbank v. Mueller Co., supra, 142 CA4th at 641, 47 CR3d at 835 said, “The result is that the “qui tam plaintiff” (Vasquez) has a personal stake in the action, and standing to sue on the governmental entity’s behalf as well as his or her own.”

I think it is clear that Vasquez is party to the lawsuit.

Against strong opposition by current CB counsel Arnold Glasman, threats of lawsuits against CB, and admonishments from interim General Manager Richard Aragon that CB will be sued for damages, the three voted to move ahead with the attorney-client waiver.

Glasman, along with another law firm representing CB, were outspoken in their view that a substantial conflict of interest existed due to the potential for Vasquez to personally benefit financially from the outcome of her vote.

Who knows if judge Deason at the October 14th hearing scheduled in downtown Los Angeles will allow Vasquez’ illegally obtained attorney-client waiver to stand or dismiss the case.

Stupid Move Two
In what seems to me to be an outright pay-to-play scheme, the next vote gave the Los Angeles-based law firm of Tafoya and Garcia $100,000 to “investigate” previously suspended General Manager Tony Perez. They also voted to give the law firm an unheard of $20,000 upfront payment. That contract was approved on a 3-2 vote, with Chacon and Hawkins voting no.

Chacon vehemently argued that it was not district policy to pay “a deposit” and said that those funds will finance certain Directors’ campaign in the November 4th board election.

 

 

Chacon is probably right based on history.

Garcia (of Garcia and Tafoya) and Water Replenishment District’s (WRD) ‘Lil’ Albert Robles are close friends. Robles and his allies at WRD funded a significant portion of Vasquez’ and Roybal’s successful CB campaigns and sources are telling HMG-CN that they have plans to take over CB if the state legislature acts.

Tafoya and Garcia were brought in by Robles as special counsel to “investigate” the cyberquatting lawsuit file by CB in 2011. They were paid over $100,000.

Sound familiar?

Stupid Move Three

After they hired Tafoya and Garcia to “investigate” GM Perez, the Three Bozos continued down their sociopathic path to destruction.

In what seemed to be a contradiction, in closed session they voted to fire GM Tony Perez “for cause” claiming that Perez had “abandoned his job” and breached his contract.

I wonder what Tafoya and Garcia were hired for? Sources are telling HMG-CN they are looking into the $16,000 paid by Perez to Chacon for the now infamous 2010 accident.

Well that makes sense, paying $100,000 to investigate $16,000.

The Three Bozos then backed off and offered Perez a 12-month buyout. That is $195,000 in taxpayer dollars to get rid of a guy who just closed the largest sale in the agency’s history and was turning the agency around.

The Bozos then handed Perez a document to sign releasing CB of all claims he had against the agency.

So….we are “firing you for cause and abandonment,” yet we want you to sign a document saying you won’t sue us later?

Perez indicated he had to talk to his attorney and that he would respond as soon as possible.

It was only later, on his way home, that Perez learned he was once again fired and did not know if the offer was still good.

Sources tell HMG-CN that Perez has hired the famous attorney Tom Girardi to represent him in a wrongful termination lawsuit that could cost the district millions.

“One person who attended the meeting commented, “This board is acting like a bunch of rabid dogs, they need to be put down by the (Los Angeles) DA.”

Former CB candidate Scott Collins commented, “These three have an agenda and they know after the November 4th their days will be numbered. I would suspect that they will hire some hack as their new GM and could also possibly bring back Pacifica Services for engineering projects. They know Apodaca cannot be re-elected given his history of sexual harassment and battery so it’s feeding time for the next few weeks.

 

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