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Gil Cedillo Jr., son of LA Councilman Gil Cedillo, managed the contract process.
By Brian Hews
Documents obtained by Hews Media Group – Community News confirm a Los Angeles based consulting firm, who acknowledged to HMG-CN a long personal relationship with the Calderon family, landed a lucrative public contract in November 2011 to help redraw political voting lines for the Central Basin Municipal Water District, despite the fact that they were the least qualified and the highest bidder.
Gil Cedillo Jr., hired in April 2011, oversaw the process despite having no experience in the field of redistricting. Cedillo Jr. was a former Field Director for Senator Ron Calderon.
In the proposal, CBMWD “sought an expert consultant in the field of redistricting to assist in the process of analyzing the 2010 United States Census Bureau data and provide recommended changes to the District boundaries.”
CBMWD accepted three bids for final approval. One from Golden State Consultants, owned by the late US Congressman and former California Lt. Governor Mervyn Dymally, another from Redistricting Partners, co-owned by Matt Rexroad, who at the time was a Yolo County Supervisor, and a third from a little known firm called DeAztlan Consulting, run by Tizoc DeAztlan.
Dymally and Rexroad each boasted several large redistricting projects while DeAztlan had only five small projects.
In an interview with HMG-CN, Rexroad said, “once we saw Dymally at the bid presentation, we knew right then we did not have a good chance, Dymally would probably win the bid.”
Rexroad said his and Dymally’s presentation went well, each bidding $35,000 for their services.
DeAztlan’s presentation, according to one source, “had a couple misspellings and also referred to census tracts as census tracks.” The bid for their services was $40,000.
There was no way that any reasonable person who was in the room would have voted for DeAztlan,” said Rexroad. “We (Dymally and Rexroad) never heard of DeAztlan before this presentation and have not heard from him since.”
DeAztlan Consulting was awarded the contract.
After the presentation, one source told HMG-CN that they heard an angry Dymally say that, “the Calderons, using Gil Cedillo Jr., fixed the bid process and that’s why DeAztlan won the contract.”
Additional documents show that this was not the end of the gravy train for the DeAztlan Consulting family.
Toni DeAztlan, Tizoc’s daughter and an attorney in Los Angeles, signed an agreement, with Cedillo Jr., who was listed as Project Manager, for “Election Selection Services” on November 2, 2011 for “no more than” $25,000.
Ms. DeAztlan was paid the entire $25,000 in Dec. 2011.
The contract called for “studying the cost/benefit of moving the Nov. 6, 2011 election for Districts 1, 4, and 5 to June 5, 2011.” DeAztlan recommended the move to June 5, which was implemented.
That move benefited the now embattled CBMWD President James Roybal and Director Leticia Vasquez, who won their respective elections.
But the money to DeAztlan did not stop there. An examination of CBMWD’s check register revealed Ms. DeAztlan received $8,300 in May and June of 2012 for “Consulting” and another check for $8,400 in October for “Consulting-Election.”
HMG-CN has made a public records request asking for any documents, contracts, and emails related to the additional money paid to Ms. DeAztlan.
HMG-CN was also told by sources that Ms. DeAtzlan has retained George B. Newhouse, a high-powered public corruption attorney with the firm Brown, White, and Newhouse, based out of Los Angeles.
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