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Questions, Conflict of Interest Surround Central Basin Municipal Water District Candidates Vying for Aceituno’s Seat

Central Basin GM Kevin Hunt

Thursday April 12, 7:40 a.m.

By Brian Hews

Today, the Central Basin Municipal Water District (CB) board will consider candidates to fill the seat of Pedro Aceituno, who recently resigned under threat of an incompatible office lawsuit by the Los Angeles District attorney.

The Division I seat became vacant Mar. 8 and includes the cities of Bell Gardens, Downey, Montebello, Pico Rivera, West Whittier-Los Nietos, and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

The appointment process called for interested residents “to submit a letter of interest and a résumé that includes a statement of qualifications and other information by April 6 at 3 p.m.”

The candidate’s information was reviewed by GM Kevin Hunt for acceptance, with sources telling HMG-CN that his assistant, Maggie Gomez, also assisted with the review.

And, true to form with most actions by Hunt that involve the Board, some of the candidates are questionable at best, with some enveloped in blatant conflicts of interest that should have precluded an interview for the position.

One candidate, former Downey councilman Luis Marquez, had a paternity lawsuit filed against him in 2016.

It was first revealed by HMG-CN in Oct 2016 with the lawsuit filed at the Norwalk Court, under case number VF014650.

Luis Marquez

Marquez, Downey Patriot Publisher Jennifer Givens and her beat reporter Eric Pierce, slammed HMG-CN for the Oct. story alleging a “political attack.”

But one week later, the Downey paper was forced to backtrack their criticism of HMG-CN when they “obtained” documents and published the Marquez story “confirming” the extra marital affair and the child out of wedlock.

A second candidate, Andrew Lara, is an elected director and current Vice President for the Pico Water District. Lara is current CB Board member Mark Grajeda’s boss.

Andrew Lara

Another candidate, Tammy Ashton, is the wife of Downey Mayor Sean Ashton; Mayor Ashton is current CB Board member John Oskoui’s boss at Downey City Hall.

Tammy Ashton

Yet another candidate, Daniel Gonzales, is from Montebello and is a rumored friend of Aceituno’s.

Jennifer Rodriguez is a current Bell Gardens councilwoman, but she is rumored not to be running for the council position in November.

HMG-CN could not find additional information on remaining candidates Joseph Palombi, Fred Zermeno, or  Robert Martinez, as a public records request submitted to CB’s Joseph Legaspi on April 9 has yet to be answered.

The winning candidate must garner five out of seven votes from the CB Board. If no candidate is chosen, the position will be voted on by the Los Angeles County Supervisors.

  • Fed Up says:

    Tammy Ashton!?!?!?! If she is as worthless as her husband watch out. Luis Marquez!?!?!?!? Another idiot looking for a job. Andrew Lara!?!?!?!!?

    Why didn’t Central Shithole just consolidate this seat since they have to do it soon to meet Christina “Spin the Bottle” Garcia’s debocale. This place will never get any better.