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Central Basin Appointed Directors and Finance Director Disrespect L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn

 

BY BRIAN HEWS • April 3, 2020

Central Basin held a special meeting today via teleconference that included Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, who was given a front row seat to the Central Basin circus act starring Director Bob Apodaca, the Cristina Garcia appointed Directors Joshuana “John” Oskoui and Dan Arrighi, and current CB Finance Director Andrew Hamilton.

Directors Bob Apodaca, Joshuana “John” Oskoui, and Dan Arrighi.

 

Also on the call was  was acting General Manager Carlos Pineda, CB General Counsel Anthony Willoughby and the remaining four elected officials, President Leticia Vasquez, Vice President Art Chacon, and Directors Phil Hawkins and Martha Camacho- Rodriguez.

The meeting started with Oskoui, who along with Arrighi maintain Apodaca is president, calling on Apodaca to chair the meeting; Apodaca declined and asked Oskoui to run the meeting.

Vasquez immediately interrupted Oskoui asserting she is the president, and quickly called for an invocation and Pledge of Allegiance.

Oskoui, Apodaca and Arrighi would not be heard from for the next 45 minutes.

Hahn then spoke and asked the board members to “put the past behind them and get things done,” specifically asking for the lone item on the agenda, insurance for the agency, to be approved and signed.

“We need to project strength to the public at this time,” Hahn said, “I have been hearing from rate payers… they are worried, they are all watching you, if you can’t get things done I will move for the county to take over.”

The special meeting was called because the agency, which was having trouble securing insurance, finally received two bids within the last two weeks.

The difficulty securing insurance was due in part to the actions of Apodaca, who cost the agency $800,000 in a sexual harassment settlement, and who was recently accused by a Metropolitan Water District employee of sexual-harassment.

The board moved to discuss the insurance policy, which will cost the agency $360,000 per year.

VP Chacon motioned for a vote to approve, but Arrighi interrupted, “since Pineda is an acting general manager, does he have the authority to sign the contract?”

Attorney Anthony Willoughby indicated Pineda did have the authority, but he was countered by Oskoui who asserted it was not legal for Pineda to sign the contract.

Oskoui and Arrighi’s comments were noted, followed by a motion by VP Chacon to take a vote, which was seconded by Vasquez.

The insurance contract was approved, passed by a 5-2 margin, with Oskoui voting no; Arrighi and Apodaca voting yes, “with reservations.” The other four elected official voted yes to approve.

Later, Arrighi tried to change his vote to no, but he was rebuked by Vasquez.

It was at that point that the other character in the circus, Finance Director Andrew Hamilton, chimed in.

It is unusual for any staff members to speak up during a board meeting unless called upon, but that didn’t stop Hamilton.

With Hahn still on the call, Hamilton shocked everyone on the call stating, “according to the attorney general’s office, a majority of the board is five and you [Vasquez] are not the president, therefore I will not issue a check to the insurance company for payment.”

Since the controversy related to who is the president of the board emerged, Hamilton has exhibited extremely insubordinate behavior, especially toward Vasquez, Chacon, Hawkins, and Camacho-Rodriguez.

Hamilton, who was recalled as Mayor of Lake Forest for allegedly taking payments from developers, sent payments to former GM Kevin Hunt and CB’s former law firm Nossaman, the latter paid over $32,000, that were not authorized by the board.

 

A recall flyer slamming Andrew Hamilton.

 

Hamilton subsequently changed the code on the entry cards of Vasquez, Chacon, Hawkins, and Camacho-Rodriguez – without telling them – and locked them out of the second floor, where all the CB employees reside.

When Vasquez recently asked for expense reports related to the Hamilton and the employees, Hamilton called the sheriffs who proceeded to unlawfully arrest Vasquez, later releasing her when they found out they were lied to.

And HMG-LCCN learned today that Hamilton recently changed the entry codes to CB’s entire building, prohibiting all employees and elected officials from entering.

Attorney Anthony Willoughby was rumored to be at the courthouse today trying to secure a temporary restraining order issued against Hamilton.

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