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Central Basin Board Fires General Manager After Publication of Hews Media Article

BY BRIAN HEWS • [email protected]

On the heels of an article published last week by Hews Media Group-Los Cerritos Community Newspaper, at yesterday’s regular meeting, the Central Basin Board fired its controversial, and often combative, General Manager Kevin Hunt.

“We got rid of another Art Aguilar,” Central Basin director Art Chacon told HMG-LCCN after the meeting, referring to the former general manager who worked with convicted felons Ron and Tom Caldaron to hand out no-bid contracts and was find $30,000 by the Fair Political Practices Commission.

The HMG-LCCN article described how Hunt used California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia’s AB 1794 to pack the board with his cronies, who kept him employed under a cloud of controversy.

In 2017, AB 1794 added three unelected appointees to the CB Board of five elected members, the appointees nominated by local water purveyors and chosen by Hunt without input from CB Board members.

But the bill did not specify who the appointees would be accountable to; it turns out they were accountable to no one.

Consequently, the bill has had the direct opposite effect, with Garcia standing on the sidelines watching the appointees – and Kevin Hunt – deliberately violate the charters within AB 1794.

The appointees, who are nominated by water purveyors competing with CB, banded together to form a majority with President Bob Apodaca, who cost CB over $800,000 in a sexual harassment lawsuit. 

Since the bill’s passage, Hunt and the appointees participated in votes and negotiations that are blatant conflicts of interest involving their own companies, breaching their fiduciary duty to CB, secretly selling off assets without CB Board approval, triggering costly lawsuits, while simultaneously creating major financial problems for the very agency they were appointed to serve.

And those same appointees, current CB VP John Oskoui and Director Dan Arrighi, along with Apodaca, tried to come to Hunt’s aid at the meeting after the board announced they wanted him fired, getting up and leaving in an attempt to affect the vote.

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WALKED OUT: Central Basin President Bob Apodaca, VP John Oskoui, and Director Dan Arrighi left meeting in an attempt to stop the vote to fire Hunt.

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“They were not happy,” said CB Director Art Chacon, “Hunt had heard he might be fired and he called the directors over the weekend telling them not to show up at the meeting, but they thought they could get away with saving Hunt if they showed, but we were ready.”

After Apodaca, Oskoui, and Arrighi left, Hunt thought he had managed once again to foil the board, but as Chacon said, “we were ready.”

In an unusual turn of events, the board had discovered that they never reported out of a closed meeting Hunt’s employment contract.

In effect, his contract, which had a start date of almost a year ago, was never approved.

The CB Board used that fact and demanded a negotiated release of Hunt, which he accepted.

Chacon told HMG-LCCN, “finally we can get down to business. Hunt was not doing anything and no projects were in the works, we were asking questions demanding action, yet the Cristina Garcia appointed Oskoui, Arrighi, Heldman, who, along with Apodaca never did anything to call him out. Hunt used his majority cabal of Apodaca and the appointees, along with Nossaman, to run this place for two years, and they almost ran Central Basin into the ground.”

Director Leticia Vasquez told HMG-LCCN, “Hunt continually worked to undermine the will of the Central Basin Board by thwarting their decisions. For example, after the Board voted to hire Olivarez, Madruga,  Hunt refused to hand over all files and prevent the new attorneys from properly representing Central Basin in court proceedings. He consistently fabricated stories about other Directors in order to keep alive an environment of perpetual conflict amongst members of the Central Basin Board.”

There is even accusations that Hunt threatened CB Board members; in a text response, Hunt denied the accusations.

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4 Responses to Central Basin Board Fires General Manager After Publication of Hews Media Article

  1. Residency

    December 24, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Kevin Hunt, never responded to the numerous letters sent by many 90703 residents from the Cerritos Islands, grievance letters were addressed to the board and to Mr. Hunt. GM is the navigator of the Corporation, he sure was very poor at this.

    Like have said, time has come, city council elections, trustee elections and water board election, need better qualified candidates from outside the district to run, inside the district, there is no adequate housing for CEO qualified personnel. Many offices in local/ national government, elected holding office, does not have to live within the district being represented. Additionally, city-state- county staffers do not need to live inside the district they are employed, the voters voted on this by a landslide, back in the late 70’s.

  2. Brother Leon G

    December 24, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    Wow…this is BIG. The mess caused by that dick grabbing Cristina Garcia is practically inconceivable!! She orchestrated the inclusion of appointees from water agencies who were capable of bring her financial and political support. Never have we seen such an obvious plan of corruption unfold before our eyes!

    Apodaca needs to die or no longer be re-elected. That old pervert was the mastermind behind the last era of corruption with the Calderon’s, Art Aguilar and the Slush Fund and sure enough you know he made a fortune off Hunt and Nossarman’s Law firm.

    Apodaca is such a crook that I can longer call him a friend. I haven’t made a dime off of being his friend in years.

  3. Central Basin Ratepayer

    December 26, 2019 at 10:13 am

    As I stated in a previous article this board needs to be disbanded. There is no need for their antics. Apodaca, Vasquez and for that matter Chacon have all gone to the well to many times and collected paychecks and benefits for NOTHING!!! Simple case of the middle man getting rich. All they do is fight among each other and fight off lawsuit after lawsuit. Enough with the Central Basin and all the other water boards. Drain the swamp and make them get real jobs and work for a living.

  4. Anonymous

    December 26, 2019 at 10:50 am

    So who was appointed as Interim General Manager?