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VIDEO: Central Basin Director Apodaca Assaults Chair Leticia Vasquez at Meeting

Director Bob Apodaca seen here assaulting Vasquez at last week’s meeting. After the assault, Directors John Oskoui (l) and Dan Arrighi (r) laughed at and mimicked Vasquez for her frightened scream.

Cover page of police report filed by Chair Vasquez today with the L.A. County Sheriff’s.

BY BRIAN HEWS

On the heels of yet another sexual-harassment accusation against Central Basin Water Director Bob Apodaca, at a contentious board meeting last week, Apodaca was seen verbally and physically assaulting Chair Leticia Vasquez on video, afterwards callously laughing over the incident, while Directors John Oskoui and Dan Arrighi laughed along.

The assault and battery could land Apodaca and Oskoui in legal hot water.

Assault is defined as an intentional act that puts another individual in apprehension of immediate harm; battery is the completion of an assault and is defined as an intentional offensive or harmful touching of another person that is done without his or her consent.

The assault was first precipitated by Downey Assistant City Manager John Oskoui, who was appointed, not elected to his position, under Cristina Garcia’s ill-conceived AB 1794.

Vasquez and Oskoui have been battling since his appointment, with Oskoui displaying an obvious lack of respect during meetings for Vasquez and fellow female Board Member Martha Camacho-Rodriguez.

In the video, Oskoui is heard telling Apodaca, who was sitting to Vasquez’ right,  to “take the gavel” at which point Apodaca obliged and grabbed the gavel, while at the same time grabbing Vasquez’ arm.

Vasquez recoiled and shrieked, obviously scared by the actions of Apodaca- and rightfully so- in 2013 Apodaca was accused of sexual harassment which included unwanted touching and settled the case out of court, costing Central Basin ratepayers $670,000; he was recently accused by a Metropolitan Water District employee of the same harassment.

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Immediately after the shriek, you can hear director Dan Arrighi, another unelected appointee under Garcia’s bill, and an employee of the San Gabriel Water District, mimic Vasquez’ scream.

It is at that point you can hear both directors laugh with Oskoui telling Apodaca, “don’t do that you know what she does,” which was in reference to her scream.

Vasquez then said, “he assaulted me,” at which point all three men laughed again.

It was a pattern of verbal abuse exhibited by Apodaca during the entire meeting. 

The controversy originated from board actions taken at the recent January 30 meeting, where the rotation section of the Central Basin’s Administrative Code came in the question.

Apodaca, Oskoui, and Arrighi argued that, since the board could not vote to appoint a chair, Apodaca, who has been chair for five consecutive years, should be “rotated” into the  chair position under the administrative code.

Vasquez, and Directors Art Chacon, Phil Hawkins, and Martha Camacho-Rodriguez argued that Apodaca was not in line to take the appointment and voted Vasquez in as Chair and Chacon as Vice-President.

During the entire meeting, Apodaca, Oskoui, and Arrighi did not recognize Vasquez as chair, and displayed unprofessional behavior in contrast to that of a board member of a public agency, to make their point.

At several points during the meeting, an obviously angry Apodaca could be seen berating Vasquez while lunging forward in a menacing manner to yell just inches from her face.

Oskoui and Arrighi could be seen throughout the two hour meeting treating Vasquez with contempt also, haranguing and treating her in a very condescending manner.

Emails were sent to Oskoui, Arrighi and Apodaca for comment without response.

Emails were also sent into the Downey City Council, which has two woman as members; Mayor Blanca Pacheco, and Mayor pro tem, Claudia Frometa, surprisingly, in this #MeToo era, they have not responded either.

Emails and phone messages were left with the remainder of the City Council and with Oskoui’s boss, Downey City Manager Gilbert Livas. They too chose not to respond.

Vasquez was understandably upset and angry at the treatment and subsequent assault. “They laughed at me, they think touching and assaulting a woman is funny. I’m frightened of these people, I hope something is done, at the least they should not hold positions of responsibility. In my opinion they [Apodaca & Oskoui] should resign, they have no respect for women.”

“This is not the first time this has occurred and I’ve reported this sexual harassment by these serial harassers to the previous General Manager and previous Human Resources Director and my complaints have been ignored. Unfortunately, their behavior has escalated to physical assault.”

Vasquez finished with a call to others who might have been harassed by Oskoui, “Director Oskoui is the Assistant City Manager of Downey, I call on any women who have been victimized by him in Downey or anywhere else, to please come forward.” 

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One Response to VIDEO: Central Basin Director Apodaca Assaults Chair Leticia Vasquez at Meeting

  1. Mark G from Pico

    February 18, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    What’s wrong with these people? How messed up can it get? Nothing good came from Assembylwhore Cristina Garcia’s bill. Why don’t people understand that the problem is BOB APODACA. Get rid of that fat slob and Central Basin will return being a respectable governmental agency.

    Apodaca is as cancerous as Trump. Nothing good ever came from Trump…bankruptcy, ripping people off, conning everyone who ever came in contact with him. Apodaca is the same. He brought in the Calderon’s, Art Aguilar, and all the thievery and fraud that became the trademark of a day at Central Basin.

    And please explain how a conservative city like Downey could allow their Asst. City Manager Oskoui to act lIke such a complete idiot?? Doesn’t that clown realize he’s being taped for all the world to see? And Dan Arrighi is a-well-known Calderon-hack who has survived by playing the stooge that he is.

    Btw..is it true that Apodaca always misses meetings and steps often so often because he regularly shits his pants?? Sources have told me that they keep diapers in the conference room bathroom for his ancient ass!