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Rogue Central Basin Employees Questionably Delay Public Records Request

 

The employees are allies of the Cristina Garcia appointed directors Joshuana “John” Oskoui and Dan Arrighi, along with Director Bob Apodaca.

BY BRIAN HEWS

When a reporter initiates a public records request, the city or public agency has 10 days to respond to the request; if the request is deemed “voluminous,” they can ask for an additional 14 days, for a total of 24 calendar days to respond.

On April 8, HMG-LCCN made a request to Central Basin’s Board Secretary Cecilia Pulido and Finance Director Andrew Hamilton pertaining to Kevin Hunt who was fired late December 2019.

The request was very simple, and given the accounting software at the agency, should be very simple to fulfill.

But Hamilton was hired by Hunt, and Pulido has shown her allegiance to Hamilton several times in the past few months.

HMG – LCCN asked for any payments made to Hunt after he left the building December 24, a request that could be fulfilled in a maximum of 10 minutes with a few keystrokes on the agency’s accounting software.

It’s similar to downloading checking activity on a bank account – a user navigates to the online account, signs in, clicks on download activity, selects a date, and prints the report.

Yet Hamilton,  who would be in charge of fulfilling this request, now wants to take 37 days to complete what is a simple task.

One of the reasons could be that Hamilton went against direct orders not to pay Kevin Hunt, yet he did it anyway, similar to the illegal payments he made CB’s former law firm, Nossaman, LP.

Making the time to complete even more questionable, Hamilton, in a sworn declaration to a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, described an accounting experience that would belie his delay.

The declaration was found in the lawsuit several cities filed against Central Basin related to the appointments of Leticia Vasquez and Art Chacon as Board Officers.

 

 

Hamilton wrote, “I am a Big 4 Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with over 27 years of Accounting and Finance experience in various government agencies, public accounting firms, private companies, consulting firms, and publicly-traded companies, including multiple Fortune 1000 corporations. Related to public agency experience, I have been the Chief Financial staff-person (Finance Director, Chief Financial Officer and Controller) for over 8 years at 3 different government water districts agencies in Southern California.”

Yet he cannot complete a task that is as easy as logging onto an online bank account.

And there could be a reason – a check on the state’s website shows that Hamilton’s CPA  license is set to renew July 31, 2020. If the Accountancy Board found that Hamilton paid Hunt in direct contravention to CB Boardmembers, that could cause his license not to be renewed.

 

Hamilton’s license information from the state’s website.

 

Board Secretary Cecilia Pulido wrote HMG-LCCN today at 5 PM, “On April 8, 2020, the District received your email requesting records.The District previously estimated the request would be available by 5:00 p.m. on May 1, 2020. The District requires further time and now estimates that such responsive records will be available by 5:00 p.m. on May 15, 2020.”

 

 

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