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New Central Basin Water Board Ousts Phil Hawkins as President, Replaces With Bob Apodaca


From left: William Gedney, Mark Grajeda, John Oskoui. Courtesy WDN.

By Brian Hews

Hews Media Group-Community News has learned that William Gedney, Mark Grajeda and John Oskoui, the three new Central Basin Water District Board members (CB) appointed last Wednesday, have sided and allied themselves with Directors Leticia Vasquez and Bob Apodaca and have voted to throw the operations of the embattled water agency into questionable territory once again.

The move has many questioning the motives of Gedney, Grajeda, and Oskoui who were appointed to the Board per the “mandate” of AB 1794, authored by Assemblywoman Cristin Garcia (D-Downey).

Vasquez is a “party plaintiff” in a whistleblower lawsuit against Central Basin that has cost the agency hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend. And, as documented by HMG-CN, Vasquez has a very checkered past since her election in 2012.

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Apodaca recently had to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit that cost the district over $1 million dollars after legal fees were factored in. HMG-CN also exclusively reported that Apodaca’s common law wife was paid $10,000 for “floral arrangements” provided at special events.


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The “process” started during the Feb. 22 meeting where the Board voted 3-2 to investigate CB GM Kevin Hunt and his “questionable and covert” actions during the selection process of Messrs. Gedney, Grajeda, and Oskoui.

President Phil Hawkins, VP Pedro Aceituno and Director Art Chacon voted yes to investigate Hunt over the selection process, with Hunt allies Vasquez and Apodaca voting no.

A little over an hour later, after most Board members had left the building, Gedney, Grajeda, and Oskoui were hastily sworn in by Hunt inside the Board room without public notice.

Two lawyers that HMG-CN contacted said Hunt’s actions were a violation of the Ralph M. Brown Act open meeting law because Hunt did not properly notice (place on a future Board agenda) the appointments to give the general public a chance to comment on the proposed new Board members.

The potential violation did not matter to Hunt, as the selection process ended up placing Gedney, Grajeda, and Oskoui on the Board.

One day later, CB published an agenda online scheduling the meeting for today.

Two agenda items called for “a reorganization of the Board and a review of the investigation into GM Kevin Hunt.”

The new “voting block” Board followed through with the reorganization, removing Phil Hawkins, who was appointed president only one month ago, replacing him with the controversial Apodaca.

They also removed Hawkins from his Metropolitan Water District Board seat.

Aceituno remained at VP, while Vasquez and new Director Gedney were given seats on the Metropolitan Water District Board.

And in a move that could have future repercussions, Gedney, Grajeda, and Oskoui voted with Vasquez and Apodaca to stop the investigation into Hunt and terminate the contract with attorney Anthony Willoughby, who was heading the investigation.

On all items, Hawkins and Director Art Chacon voted no.

HMG-CN contacted Assemblywoman Garcia and CB for comment with no response as of publication time.

[email protected]

Twitter @cerritosnews

  • A Simple Minded Person says:


    A Simple Minded PersonReply
    February 23, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Beyond amazing! Let’s see if even the simple minded can predict what’s coming Monday.

    1). Sexual Harrasser Bob Apodaca will be reappointed President. He will now be embolden by his supermajority and will have his hand up every skirt at Central Basin. Don’t forget, this sick-f molested his own stepdaughter Kara Medrano when she worked at the District. DONE! MOLEST AWAY FAT BOY.

    2). One of the three new Board Members will become VP -most likely the biggest putz of them all, Mark Grijeda. Without a doubt the most inept water General Manager in the region, Grijeda runs the tiny Pico Water District that has the distinction of having one of the most outdated water system in the SouthEast. Furthermore, he’s a clone of the drunken, perverted & deranged James Roybal. MISSED THIS ONE

    3) The investigation into Kevin Hunt and the manner in which this election was conducted will be called off. Why would these three new Directors who just got a fat monthly raise want to question their rise to throne? BINGO!

    4) The new majority will sanction an official investigation into Pedro Aceituno’s incompatiable office accusations. TBD

    5) They will use this “investigation” as grounds to remove him from the Board of Metropolitan Water. WAS REMOVED FROM MWD!

    6). They will also remove Phil Hawkins from his seat at MWD. WAS REMOVED!

    7). They will appoint Leticia Vasquez back to MWD and probably one of the three new appointed Directors. What a total and complete Central Basin has become at MWD! Vasquez is a joke at MWD and is viewed as a bottom-feeder whore who will do anything for buck. UNFREAKIN’ BELIEVABLE BUT DID HAPPEN! CENTRAL BASIN IS NOW A COMPLETE JOKE AT MWD.

    8). Both the corrupt Law Firm of Nosserman and Kevin Hunt’s employment contract will be extended. HUNT TRIED TO PUSH A ONE YEAR EXTENSION.

    9). This new majority won’t waste any time in determining (years early) that either Art Chacon, Pedro Aceituno or Phil Hawkins seats will be eliminated in 2022. Their pretext will be this will let the selected know not to waste time raising funds for a reelection campaign that won’t exist. SOON I’M SURE

    10). The Injunction filed will be successful and will be fought with all of Central Basin’s legal resources thus wasting hundred’s of thousands of dollars in rate payer funds…thus returning Central Basin to it’s old days of legal challenges and wasted resources. TBD

    11). When this is all over Kevin Hunt will go down in Central Basin history as more corrupt than former GM Art Aguilar. Too bad Hunt’s record in South Gate with Big Al Robles wasn’t investigated a few years ago, perhaps this all could have been avoided. ALREADY TRUE!

    12). Cristina Garcia will run for Sen. Lara’s seat and will lose while one of the many local council members all eyeing to throw Garcia out of office will take her assembly seat and she can go back to being the loser of Bell Gardens. STAY TUNED

    13). Garcia gets hired by a tampon firm and become the face of feminine hygiene. Her true calling💩. DAH?

  • El Rancho Verdes Park Irrigation says:

    [email protected]

    Phil Hawkins, you live in & represent the city of Cerritos . 300 homes in Cerritos Island section, are affected with your non corrected water department boundaries. Why not correct this so we can vote on Water Department issues , we need to be connected with Orange County Water, we are not connected to Cerritos or your agencies water connection. We’ve contacted you many times over the past 40 years you continuously ignore us. Consequently, we live in Cerritos, but pay 2.5 x more for water, compared to Cerritos Residents.

    Is this being a very good politician, representing only some of the people and not all of the people in your district?

    Your agency donated horticulture to Cerritos El Rancho Verdes Park, which is in Cerritos, but everything east of the Los Coyotes Flood Control are serviced by OC Water Department. This said park has no ties to your water board agency, except by name only.

    Glad the LCCN did this article, Hawkins and his son in Yorba Linda, both are on the water broads and both do nothing for the residents, except collect big fat monthly checks.

    Many years we have reached out to your for correction, but no response. Well forevermore, you can parade around in your Chevrolet Corvette for 24/7, your mattress community will not miss you. Just another blow horn republican, who never did anything.