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VIDEO: Asm. Cristina Garcia Appointees Causing Havoc at Central Basin While Siding With a Serial Sexual Harasser

BY BRIAN HEWS

Last week, Hews Media Group reported that Central Basin Water President Bob Apodaca and two of Cristina Garcia’s Appointees, John Oskoui and Dan Arrighi, voted to retain former GM Kevin Hunt after he violated his employment agreement.

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Questionable: from (l-r) Bob Apodaca, John Oskoui, and Dan Arrighi voted to retain former GM Kevin Hunt after he violated his employment agreement. They also attempted to disrupt a Central Basin meeting by leaving before adjournment.

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A recent HMG-LCCN investigation found that Hunt committed at least three violations, failing to inform the Board of paid contracts his company, Hunt-Thorton had signed with other cities.

“The Garcia Appointees and her misguided bill are bad for Central Basin, everybody knows it now. Hunt used his majority cabal of Apodaca and the appointees, to run this place for two years. They have complete disregard for their constituents, their fellow directors and the functions of Central Basin agency itself.”

And the political gamesmanship by Apodaca, Oskoui, and Arrighi is getting worse.

At the Jan. 27 regular meeting, after the CB Board came out from closed session, director John Oskoui, who is also Downey’s assistant city manager, mysteriously left the meeting.

But a quorum was still present.

Then, at about eighteen minutes into the meeting, Apodaca is seen leaning back in his chair, looking at the exit door and then quickly getting up to leave the meeting.

The board would later learn, Apodaca, who is in his late 80’s, said he had “an accident,” but he was seen talking to Director Phil Hawkins before leaving.

With no quorum, CB staff was forced to declare the meeting over.

Garcia Appointee Dan Arrighi quickly motioned to adjourn, successfully executing Apodaca and Oskoui’s plan to stop the meeting and delay crucial votes, including considering a new law firm and board reorganization.

But the real fireworks were to come.

At a Jan. 30 special meeting, the consideration of a new general manager was suddenly moved to closed session by the same cast of characters who just three days ago voted for Hunt in public session.

The motion to move to closed session was made by Arrighi, seconded by Oskoui.

As the board members came back into the public meeting, they were informed that Apodaca, similar to the Jan. 27 meeting had suddenly left, placing Vice President John Oskoui as chairman.

Oskoui then quickly tried to end the board meeting saying, “nothing on this agenda couldn’t wait until a later time,” but one of those items that Oskoui said “could wait” was the board reorganization that was mandated to occur in January.

And they did not want Apodaca to lose his presidency.

Director Vasquez interjected saying “we have a number of items that require action including an item that dates back to September 2019.”

Looking squarely at Oskoui and Arrighi Vasquez stated,  “I would like to move forward with this agenda, we have directors here that are unwilling to make decisions to move this agency forward, let’s move forward.”

Oskoui, who seemed to be in a hurry to leave, stated that “he was only at the meeting to discuss the general manager position and nothing else.”

But the other board members would not let him leave.

Director Camacho-Rodriguez, her anger clearly directed at Oskoui and Arrighi said, “we have a quorum, stick to your commitments.”

Chacon then asked where Apodaca was, “did he have another accident, he’s missed the last five meetings.”

Oskoui begrudgingly allowed the meeting to go forward, snapping at the Metropolitan Water District representative, who was there for a presentation, to “make your presentation brief.”

The MWD representative finished quickly, next up was the board reorganization; and that’s when things turned ugly, with Oskoui and Arrighi’s the main perpetrators.

Both men first attempted to delay the vote, but once again the remaining board members held fast.

Chacon made a motion to elect Vasquez as the president, quickly seconded by Camacho-Rodriguez.

But Oskoui and Arrighi have shown several times in the past that they will vote no on every  candidate for president except Apodaca.

The vote was taken, which predictably ended at 4-2,  with Oskoui and Arrighi voting no, and the motion did not pass.

Arrighi then tried to stop the meeting, making a motion to adjourn – seconded by Oskoui – but Vasquez cited Central Basin’s Administrative Code which overrode the motion.

Under that code, if the board cannot reach a majority vote for president or vice president, then the appointment moves to a rotation model based on the longest tenure on the board.

Central Basin lawyer Steve O’Neil argued it was Apodaca, but Vasquez and the other board members argued it was Director Phil Hawkins.

At this point the meeting got ugly, with the so-called “Professional Garcia Appointees” – Oskoui and Arrighi, acting like a couple spoiled children who did not get what they wanted.

And they ended up burning themselves.

Following the longest tenure rule, Vasquez asked Hawkins if he wanted to become president;  Oskoui immediately started yelling, “you are out of order!”

Hawkins declined, so Vasquez motioned to make Chacon president.

By this time Oskoui was visibly angry, looking at Arrighi – who motioned to leave – pushing back his chair and saying, “were done here.”

Oskoui and Arrighi walked off the dais in tandem and in a manner that can only be called childish and unprofessional, laughing like two evil villains in a B movie.

When Vasquez declared Chacon president, the two laughed, with Arrighi insulting Chacon and other board members saying “he’s a dictator.”

Chacon subsequently declined, which made Vasquez the president.

Oskoui and Arrighi remained in the meeting room laughing and making inappropriate comments, which was not a smart move on their part.

Vasquez moved to elect Chacon as vice president, which he accepted. The move was valid since Oskoui and Arrighi were in the meeting room making a quorum.

Oskoui and Arrighi moved tot he back of the room while Vasquez declared Chacon vice-president; on their way out they could be heard laughing once again.

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A constituent in the room was disgusted by Oskoui and Arrighi’s actions and congratulated Vasquez, Chacon, Hawkins, and Camacho-Rodriguez for “standing up to them.”

“George” could be heard on the video saying, “people refer to those two as the professionals, but you guys are the professionals. That was wrong with they did walking out of here and laughing, that’s not how business is conducted. There was nothing funny that happened here today, not at all, and for them to walk out like a couple of school kids is wrong. And the president [Apodaca] is not here, that’s wrong. The last meeting we waited for him for three hours and he walked out. Everybody knows you [four] are trying to do the right thing, and those three people are holding you back.”

New Board President Leticia Vasquez did not hold back, “This behavior displayed by Director Oskoui, who also serves as Downey’s Assistant City Manager and represents the 24 cities in the Central Basin service area, Director Dan Arrighi who represents the private water companies within the Central Basin District and Bob Apodaca is appalling- a slap in the face to our community. I demand that they all resign. For the past five months Oskoui and his voting block have abruptly left meetings, without notice,  in an effort to prevent the board from conducting the people’s business. Our communities deserve to have a clean and reliable sources of water. We have serious matters on our agendas that require board consideration that date back to September 2019.” 

“This is what we get when we have individual on our board that are not elected by our communities, that don’t live in our communities and that simply don’t care about our communities.” 

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