INCOMPATIBLE OFFICE: Letter to D.A. Demands Ouster of Downey Assistant City Manager

CONFLICTING LOYALTIES: Downey Assistant City Manager Jahanshah Oskoui led the effort for a Central Basin meter charge, then turned around and sued Central Basin for passsing the meter charge.



Downey Assistant City Manager Jahanshah “John” Oskoui has been a lightning rod of controversy ever since he was appointed to the Central Basin Water District Board under Assemblywoman Christina Garcia’s 2016 AB 1794, which itself was controversial.

The bill allowed for three unelected appointees, bringing the total up to eight seats. The bill had many alleging an attempt at sabotaging the board and an eventual privatization; the appointees work for water companies that compete with Central Basin and we’re not required to live in the district; they also sold some agency’s assets without board approval.

The appointments have caused numerous problems, one appointee, Frank Heldman, has since resigned under a cloud of controversy, including trying to secure business for his own company – Liberty Water –  while Central Basin took a backseat.

Not to be outdone, Oskoui who has “30 years of public agency experience” was part of another damaging plan, leading a successful effort to secure a meter charge that would have brought in over $600,000 to the cash strapped public agency.

But then Oskoui and his employer, the city of Downey, turned around and sued Central Basin for implementing the meter charge, which will cost both municipalities thousands in legal fees while robbing Central Basin’s general fund of needed cash.

HMG sent several emails to Oskoui, his boss, Downey City Manager Gilbert Livas, and the Downey City Council for comment, asking if Oskoui was present when the litigation against Central Basin was approved, with no response.

HMG also asked why Downey’s local paper is not investigating the move by Oskoui, but its editor, Eric Pierce, is ignoring the situation, evidently not wanting to risk losing endorsements and endangering his run for a Downey City Council seat.

Now it is evident that some at Central Basin have had enough of Oskoui’s obvious conflicts of interest and actions to financially injure the agency.

Hews Media Group has obtained a letter addressed to Los Angeles County District Attorney Alan Yochelson from Central Basin attorney Anthony Willoughby declaring Oskoui is in a incompatible office position.

Willoughby starts, “Mr. John Oskoui holds a position as Assistant City Manager of the City of Downey and as a board member of Central Basin Water,  which also serves the City of Downey. Holding both offices not only creates the possibility of multiple clashes of duties and loyalties but has already caused an actual a significant clash of duties and loyalties.”

Willoughby was referring to the meter charge debacle.

“As a board member of  Central Basin, Oskoui voted to approve a meter increase in the city of Downey. Subsequently, Oskoui turned around and sued Central Basin as the Assistant City Manager of Downey for the same increased meter regulations, as such, it is clear that Oskoui has abused both offices in creating litigation costs for both government entities”

Willoughby goes on to write about the many opines the California Attorney General has published related to incompatible offices, including a quo warranto case against Blanca Rubio.

“Offices are incompatible if one of the offices has a supervisory, auditory, or removal power over the other or if there would be any significant clash of duties or loyalties in the exercise of official duties.”

Rubio was serving as a director of  the Valley County Water District and as a trustee of the Baldwin Park Unified School District within the same water district.

The AG’s opine granting quo warranto and leave to sue against Rubio sounded very similar to Oskoui’s position.

“Because her duties to both boards would have divided loyalties in acting in the best interests of the water seller – the water district – and the water purchaser – BPUSD – the clash of loyalties would stem from multiple issues including the appropriate allocation of costs for water.”

The letter to the DA presents an onerous situation for Oskoui. Government Code §1099(b) states that when two public offices are incompatible, a public officer shall be deemed to have forfeited the first office upon acceding to the second.

That means Oskoui would have to quit his job at the city of Downey, where he earns over $322,000 according to Transparent California.




Willoughby finished, “We demand that Mr. Oskoui resign from his position as the Assistant City Manager of the city of Downey, or in the alternative have criminal charges brought against Mr. Oskoui for simultaneously holding two public offices that are incompatible.”

Emails into Oskoui, Livas, and the Downey City Council went unreturned.


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9 Responses to INCOMPATIBLE OFFICE: Letter to D.A. Demands Ouster of Downey Assistant City Manager

  1. Mark from Pico Reply

    June 28, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    Of course Oskoui has a conflict! That’s a no-brainer. That’s exactly what anyone with common sense said about that whore Christina Garcia’s bill in the first place, but the bill was nevertheless rubber-stamped by her married colleagues, some of whom she was blackmailing due to the fact that she was having “relations” with them.

    All three “appointed” Directors per Garcia bill work for water agencies, both public and private, that provide water purchased from Central Basin for a fee. And obviously they want that fee to be as low as possible. Public companies want their costs from Central Basin low so they can charge more to residents to invest in improving their water systems. Private companies want their costs low so they can mark up the rates to customers to make a larger profit for their shareholders.

    YES THESE POSITIONS ARE INCOMPATIBLE! The same appointed Director’s are serving two masters!

    Good column Brian!

  2. virginia Johnson Reply

    June 28, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    Gosh when will enough money ever be enough?

  3. Concerned citizen Reply

    June 28, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    This is a joke. Anthony Willoughby isn’t Central Basin’s attorney.

  4. Andres Reply

    June 28, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    Fire and arrest him. I am surprised to see that he makes over $300k a year as an ASSISTANT city manager. I wonder how much the city manager makes. These are public officials or…. I think it’s time to have the public do audits on ALL our officials.

  5. Paul Bustamante Reply

    June 29, 2020 at 6:38 am

    It’s disturbing to hear especially being a Downey resident of over 43 years. It is disgusting at the least to hear that the Downey Patriot has not published this to us residents in the paper or investigated the situation which sounds corrupt to me. Oskoui needs to be removed from his position as well as others…basically he’s getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to be corrupt.

  6. Rodney B Reply

    June 29, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    Dam I didnt know city job payed that much. I should of got a city job!
    Now ,Thats security!

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