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By Brian Hews
A Hews Media Group-Community News investigation has revealed that Protect Local Jobs (“PLJ”), a political action committee based out of Los Angeles that is spending thousands to defeat Montebello City Council candidate Fernando Chacon, received $10,000 from a company owned by Jason Kashanian, a.k.a. Jason Kachan, and son of Sam Kashanian, a good friend and business associate of current Montebello Mayor Jack Hadjinian.
The documents were obtained from the L.A. County Registrar/Recorder’s Office in Norwalk. The company donating the money was 2113 Whittier Blvd. LLC.
Hadjinian approved a controversial Montebello development owned by Kachan in July 2015, a lot where the French Café once stood. One month later, the $10,000 was donated to PLJ to defeat Chacon.
Sources are telling HMG-CN that the property approved for development was rezoned from C-2 Commercial to PD (Planned Development) and can be sold for considerably more than it was worth prior to the zoning change.
PLJ and Hadjinian
PLJ’s past and present associations read like a Who’s Who of Los Angeles’ corruption figures.
The list includes indicted former State Senator Ron Calderon and his brother Tom Calderon, who is also under indictment; disgraced former Bell Gardens City Councilman Mario Beltran; convicted felon Ricardo “Ric” Mayer and his political partner, felon who plead down to a misdemeanor, Angel Gonzales.
Additional associations with PLJ include indicted L.A. County Assessor John Noguez, who swore Hadjinian in as Mayor, and Kindee Durkee, who embezzled $10.5 million in campaign funds from 1998 to 2010 and is serving 8 years in federal prison.
The discovery ties Hadjinian to PLJ, the Calderons and Mario Beltran, who sources tell HMG-CN is running Hadjinian’s campaign.
PLJ was created in 2014 from another PAC called Saving Local Jobs. Yolanda Miranda was selected treasurer. Immediately after that, the PAC turned its sites on Chacon and the Montebello City Council campaign, with Saving Local Jobs giving $8,000 to PLJ in February of 2015.
Yolanda Miranda has a very checkered past going back many years in East Los Angeles politics.
Miranda was the long-time treasurer for former State Senator Ron Calderon and his brother Tom Calderon.
Miranda, similar to Hadijinian, is also a known associate of former Bell Gardens City Councilman Mario Beltran who was accused by prosecutors of misusing contributions from Ron Calderon to pay for his legal defense in a 2006 criminal case. Beltran pleaded guilty to four counts.
In addition, Beltran was accused of filing a false police report when he solicited a prostitute at a seedy hotel in 2013.
Miranda was also the treasurer for Central Basin Municipal Water District (CB) Director Robert “Bob” Apodaca, who recently was sued for sexual harassment settling the case for $670,000 using CB funds.
Finally, Miranda has worked often with Ric Mayer and Angel Gonzales, two notorious figures in East L.A. political circles. Mayer and Gonzales ran the campaigns of embattled Central Basin Directors Leticia Vasquez and James Roybal.
PLJ campaign documents show that as of July 2014, Miranda was listed as Treasurer and Luis Gonzales, who listed his address on 911 Lincoln Ave. in Montebello, was an “officer.”
A company called Blackstone Communications, who has been paid by Hadjinian and Delgado, occupies the same address on 911 Lincoln Ave.
By January 2015, PLJ named Jorge Carillo as the new “officer,” listing his address on Wilcox in Montebello. Miranda remained treasurer.
It was in August when Kachan’s company gave $10,000 to PLJ to oppose Chacon, just one month after Hadjinian hastily voted to approve a controversial housing development owned by Kachan.
The development was beset with problems and many serious questions remained about the project but Hadjinian voted for it in an apparent “quid pro quo” related to Kachan’s donation.
At the time of the vote, Montebello Councilman Bill Molinari complained, “staff can’t even tell me how many floors there are.”
The PAC does not have to file another campaign report until Dec 31, 2015, so any campaign expenditures past this current report will not be known until then.
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