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Central Basin Water GM Orchestrates Takeover of Water Agency, Appoints Board Members

By Brian Hews

Hews Media Group-Community News has exclusively learned that Central Basin Municipal Water District (CB) General Manager Kevin Hunt, who is under investigation for allegedly manipulating the selection process for new Board members,  has initiated what can only be called a coup d’etat, orchestrating an attempt to take over of the board of directors and seize control of the Commerce based water agency.

It is a move reminiscent of the board takeover that Directors Leticia Vasquez, Bob Apodaca, and James Roybal pulled off in 2012.

Back then, Vasquez and Roybal won their respective seats, and, with the help of Apodaca, immediately removed then President Phil Hawkins and VP Art Chacon to take over the Board.

After that, the “Roybal Three” started down a trail of corruption and political pay-to-play schemes that have cost the agency millions of dollars.

And GM Hunt is trying a similar maneuver in a desperate attempt to secure power and keep his job.

The events unfolded after yesterday’s special board meeting called to “discuss the future employment status of Hunt.”

Sources have told HMG-CN that Hunt had manipulated the selection process of the newly created Board seats as outlined in Cristina Garcia’s AB 1794 and was “getting called to the carpet for possible dismissal” at the meeting.

The Board ended up voting to investigate Hunt for his questionable actions, with current President Phil Hawkins, VP Pedro Aceituno and Director Art Chacon voting yes, and Hunt allies Vasquez and Apodaca voting no.

CB then hired Culver City based Anthony Willoughby to investigate Hunt and paid Willoughby a $25,000 retainer.

Hunt was so incensed by the investigation that he immediately “summoned” the three new applicants and proceeded to swear them in as Central Basin Board members.

Immediately after that, Hunt’s new board called for a special meeting next Monday February 27 to “reorganize the board.”

The meeting will likely remove current President Hawkins and VP Aceituno and replace them with Bob Apodaca and Leticia Vasquez cementing Hunt’s position.

But the meeting might not happen.

Hunt and CB has violated Section 54950 et. seq. of the Ralph M. Brown Act making the swearing-in of the new board members illegal.

Hunt and CB did not give proper public notice or opportunity for the action to be heard by the public.

The Brown Act mandates that an agency must post an action to an agenda and schedule a public meeting in order to give notice to the public of what the agency intends to do.

Hunt’s actions after yesterday’s board meeting was not posted, nor did the public have an opportunity to comment, which violates the Brown Act.

In addition, Hunt has violated provisions of AB 1794, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2017.

AB 1794 states, “The general manager of the district shall notify each water purveyor of the district and provide a 60-day period during which the district will accept nominations for appointment of individuals to the board of directors.”

The 60-day period culminates on March 3, 2017 indicating Hunt had to wait until March 3 to start the appointment process.

HMG-CN has learned that lawyers representing Ron Beilke will file an emergency temporary restraining order either today to tomorrow to stop Hunt’s actions.

Director of External Affairs Joseph Legaspi sent a comment from Hunt this morning, “The three successful candidates who resulted from a process that could take up to 60 days for nominations under the legislation was fully noticed, conducted in a public and transparent process with all documents being retained as public records. Over 30 of the purveyors responded with their ballot, a much higher participation rate than in general elections of directors by district. The actions of the process fulfilled both the intent and the letter of the law. Representatives from Assemblywoman Garcia’s office were present and witnessed the open and transparent process and the high level of involvement throughout the appointment process.”

When asked how the swearing-in was publicly noticed, Hunt responded, “The purveyors were noticed well in advance of all workshops discussing Assembly Bill 1794. Additionally, media releases were posted on our website and distributed to the media to keep the public informed of the process as it unfolded.”

 

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One Response to Central Basin Water GM Orchestrates Takeover of Water Agency, Appoints Board Members

  1. A Simple Minded Person Reply

    February 23, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Beyond amazing! Let’s see if even the simple minded can predict what’s coming Monday.
    1). Sexual Harrasser Bob Apodaca will be reappointed President. He will now be embolden by his supermajority and will have his hand up every skirt at Central Basin. Don’t forget, this sick-f molested his own stepdaughter Kara Medrano when she worked at the District.
    2). One of the three new Board Members will become VP -most likely the biggest putz of them all, Mark Grijeda. Without a doubt the most inept water General Manager in the region, Grijeda runs the tiny Pico Water District that has the distinction of having one of the most outdated water system in the SouthEast. Furthermore, he’s a clone of the drunken, perverted & deranged James Roybal.
    3) The investigation into Kevin Hunt and the manner in which this election was conducted will be called off. Why would these three new Directors who just got a fat monthly raise want to question their rise to throne?
    4) The new majority will sanction an official investigation into Pedro Aceituno’s incompatiable office accusations.
    5) They will use this “investigation” as grounds to remove him from the Board of Metropolitan Water.
    6). They will also remove Phil Hawkins from his seat at MWD.
    7). They will appoint Leticia Vasquez back to MWD and probably one of the three new appointed Directors. What a total and complete Central Basin has become at MWD! Vasquez is a joke at MWD and is viewed as a bottom-feeder whore who will do anything for buck.
    8). Both the corrupt Law Firm of Nosserman and Kevin Hunt’s employment contract will be extended.
    9). This new majority won’t waste any time in determining (years early) that either Art Chacon, Pedro Aceituno or Phil Hawkins seats will be eliminated in 2022. Their pretext will be this will let the selected know not to waste time raising funds for a reelection campaign that won’t exist.
    10). The Injunction filed will be successful and will be fought with all of Central Basin’s legal resources thus wasting hundred’s of thousands of dollars in rate payer funds…thus returning Central Basin to it’s old days of legal challenges and wasted resources.
    11). When this is all over Kevin Hunt will go down in Central Basin history as more corrupt than former GM Art Aguilar. Too bad Hunt’s record in South Gate with Big Al Robles wasn’t investigated a few years ago, perhaps this all could have been avoided.
    12). Cristina Garcia will run for Sen. Lara’s seat and will lose while one of the many local council members all eyeing to throw Garcia out of office will take her assembly seat and she can go back to being the loser of Bell Gardens.
    13). Garcia gets hired by a tampon firm and become the face of feminine hygiene. Her true calling💩

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