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Asm. Cristina Garcia Appointees Causing Havoc at Central Basin While Siding With a Sexual Harasser

Central Basin President Bob Apodaca (l) and two of Cristina Garcia’s Appointees, (l-r) John Oskoui and Dan Arrighi, voted to retain former GM Kevin Hunt after Hunt violated his employment agreement.

BY BRIAN HEWS[email protected]

Controversial former Central Basin Water General Manager Kevin Hunt wants to keep his job, and the divisive executive has allies on the Commerce-based water board that want to keep him too.

And similar to CB Director Frank Heldman, who recently resigned under a cloud of suspicion, the two other Garcia Appointees are lining up with Hunt.

This despite an article by Hews Media Group that showed Hunt violated his employment arrangement by consulting for another company while getting a paycheck from Central Basin.

Under the terms of the agreement, Hunt was mandated to inform the board members every quarter of any outside jobs.

The HMG-LCCN investigation found that Hunt violated his agreement at least three times, failing to inform the Board of paid contracts Hunt’s consulting company, Hunt Thorton Resource Strategies, LLC, had performed for other cities.

Two violations occurred when Hunt Thorton signed a consulting agreement with the city of Beverly Hills in September 2015, just  four months after Hunt first started with Central Basin. 

Hunt Thorton was to provide Water Banking Consulting Services for 2015  -’16 for a rate “not to exceed $50,000.” One year later, the contract was amended to “not exceed $124,970.” 

The other violation occurred in 2016 when Hunt Thorton contracted with the San Juan Basin for just under $18,000.

The initial employment contract allowed Hunt to execute these contracts, but Hunt was required to inform the Board.

According to CB Directors Phil Hawkins, Art Chacon, and Leticia Vasquez, Hunt did not provide any correspondence in regards to his agreements with Beverly Hills, so the Board fired him in late December.

Similar to all other votes that involved Hunt, CB President Bob Apodaca, who cost CB $670,000 in a sexual harassment settlementt agreement, voted to retain Hunt.

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And the Garcia Appointees – John Oskoui, who is Assistant City Manager in Downey, and Dan Arrighi – voted to retain Hunt.

But a monkey wrench was thrown into the process.

When new attorney Rick Olivarez came aboard, he noticed that Hunt’s employment contract was never voted on by the board and thus never renewed, a shocking revelation that was a testament to the lack of oversight by CB’s former law firm Nossaman, LLC.

Sources told HMG – LCCN that the board talked about not renewing Hunt’s contract at subsequent meetings but were always shot down by Oskoui, Arrighi, and Apodaca.

Yesterday, the board once again try to vote to kill Hunt’s contract without success, according to the California Water Code, the board needs five votes.

A symbolic motion was made and seconded, and Hunt’s contract was not renewed on a 4-2 vote, with Apodaca and Arrighi voting to keep Hunt.

“If Oskoui was present, he would have voted to keep Hunt,” said Chacon.  “The Garcia Appointees are bad for Central Basin. Hunt used his majority cabal of Apodaca and the appointees, to run this place for two years, and they are still doing it.”

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

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

HMG-LCCN has been told by sources that Hunt has retained Alston and Byrd, and the law firm is arguing that Hunt’s contract remains valid.

HMG-LCCN has also been told that Hunt intends to go into Central Basin tomorrow as if he was still the General Manager.

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