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Year-Long HMG-CN Investigation Culminates in Removal of Central Basin Water Presiden Roybal


Phil Hawkins of Cerritos is voted in as President of the Central Basin Water Board of Directors

Central Basin Water Investigation









By Brian Hews

Controversial Central Basin Municipal Water District President James Roybal was removed as President of the five member governing board last week in a special meeting held last Friday at the Commerce-based public agency.
Director Phil Hawkins of Cerritos was voted to replace Roybal.
Roybal has been under intense scrutiny by HMG-CN for the past year.
Recently it was revealed that Roybal, who was elected in 2012, had been enrolled in the controversial program known as “Teacher Jail” by his employer the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Roybal has yet to publicly comment about his participation in “Teacher Jail.” HMG-CN has also confirmed that Roybal is currently under investigation by several agencies including the LAUSD who last week issued a subpoena to Brian Hews, Publisher and Owner of Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper after the publication printed specific details documenting Roybal’s participation in Teacher Jail.
Hews confirmed that he has turned over the documents to LAUSD investigators last week regarding Roybal.
Hawkins has been a longtime community leader and elected official and hails from Cerritos.
Hawkins served as a member of the California State Assembly prior to his election to the Central Basin Water Board of Directors.
This marks the first time that Hawkins will serve as President of the board.
Hawkins, along with Art Chacon, thanked HMG-CN for their investigative reporting, bringing out the truth, and effecting change.
“We have been through hell and back here at Central Basin for the past two years, let’s face fact.  The Board decided that now was the right time to change leadership and to beginning charting a new course, starting with more open transparency,” Hawkins told HMG-CN in an interview after the vote.
Hawkins said “by changing the leadership of the board we are going to change the attitude of this agency from the top on down.  We have some amazing bright and dedicated professional water experts who are now part of this agency, and we must continue to move forward instead of backwards.”
Hawkins said that he also wants to reach out more aggressively to residents, tax payers, and customers about how Central Basin Water District conducts its operation.
“We don’t have a lot of friends right now, so now is the right time to change,” Hawkins said.
“We also need to reach out to the Water Replenishment District, and to the County of Los Angeles and the Metropolitan Water District, and to gain a new perspective on what we do on behalf of our residents and communities,” Hawkins stressed.
The agency has been hit with several lawsuits during the past year from both individuals who work inside the agency and from outside contractors, and Hawkins wants to put a halt to the legal troubles.  “We need to be more reliable, and I want to get rid out of these lawsuits, and sit down and get them settled,” he said.
Hawkins also said if any current Directors create any lawsuits that could result in their own personal financial gain he believes that they should “resign immediately.”
“I am here to work for and on behalf of the community, period.  We need to remember why we were elected and now let’s get the job done,” Hawkins said.