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Gil Cedillo Jr. Spent $15K on Lavish Meals While at Central Basin Municipal Water District

Wednesday, September 3, 2013, 12:34 p.m.

By Brian Hews and Brian Hews

The Palms, Steven’s Steakhouse, The Dal Rae, The Vintage.

They are some of the most elegant, exclusive, and expensive dining rooms in Los Angeles.

A steak can cost as much as $65, and that doesn’t account for additional ‘toppers’ of bleu cheese crumbles, mushrooms and grilled onions at $6 dollars a spoonful.

But for Gilbert Cedillo Jr., a former executive with the Central Basin Municipal Water District, dining and enjoying expensive steaks and ‘toppers’ at these restaurants was almost an everyday occurrence.

Receipts obtained via a public records request by Hews Media Group-Community News document how Cedillo Jr. spent more than $15,000 over a 23-month period to wine and dine private consultants; consultants who landed hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts, some overseen by Cedillo, Jr. himself.

CBMWD is currently involved in two criminal probes by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Cedillo Jr. is the son of current Los Angeles City Councilman Gilbert Cedillo. HMG-CN reviewed more than 40 pages from the 31-year old Cedillo’ s credit card receipts that showed he spent a great deal of time and taxpayer money in swanky LA eateries.

Cedillo wined and dined Tom Calderon, who at the time, was a Board Member on a San Diego firm called Water2Save. From 2009-2012, Water2Save was paid $222,000 for ‘Landscape Services,’ including over $91,000 after Cedillo was hired.

Calderon was also banking $11,000 per month as a ‘consultant’ to CBMWD.

The two went to the Turf Terrace for lunch and spent $53 on lunch. Cedillo Jr. enjoyed a Seagram’s Gin at 2:00 in the afternoon as they dined.

Calderon is a former State Assemblyman who is also laying the ground-work for a possible run for a California State Senate seat that is currently held by his brother Senator Ronald Calderon, a Democrat from Montebello.

Earlier this year, FBI officials, armed with search warrants and guns raided Senator Calderon’s Sacramento office and carted off boxes of potential evidence in their investigation.

Along with his expense account, Cedillo Jr. was paid $112,000 annually even though he did not possess a college degree.

He also received $22,000 in taxpayer funds to finish his degree at the private Azusa Pacifica University.

And when he drove to the airport or to seminars in Las Vegas or San Diego, he was paid .51 cents per mile, sometimes collecting over $400 for mileage.

It was also revealed exclusively by HMG-CN that Cedillo Jr. oversaw the award of millions of dollars of contracts even though he had no experience or knowledge of the contracts contents. Several of those contracts were given to companies where Calderon served as a top executive.

One of the very first trips Cedillo took after getting the job at CBMWD was in December 2011.

Documents show that he, former CBMWD Attorney Doug Wance, and Tom Calderon attended the “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour” at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Just hours prior to the performance Wance hosted a dinner for Calderon, Cedillo, and other executives from CBMWD at the exclusive “Strip Steak: A Michael Mina Restaurant” that is also housed at Mandalay Bay.

A closer examination of the dining receipts revealed a concerted effort to wine and dine people who had submitted bids for contracts overseen by Cedillo Jr. and CBMWD.

Claudia Cruz the District Director for Senator Ronald Calderon and Cedillo Jr. enjoyed a ‘traditional prime rib, with garlic mushrooms’ for $66 at Rosemead’s Charley Brown’s in January 2012. Cedillo and Cruz also visited the same restaurant in March of 2012 where Cedillo Jr. turned in a receipt for himself claiming a $55 reimbursement for one ‘Charley Prime Rib’ lunch special.

Bell Gardens Mayor Pro-Tem Sergio Infanzon and Cedillo Jr. dined frequently together. The two enjoyed a massive $193 lunch at The Los Angeles Palm on South Flower Street in late January 2012. They dined on Caesar Salad, Lettuce Wedges, and Prime New York Steaks that cost $46 and $50, respectively.

The two longtime friends and political allies also dined at Steven’s Steak House in Commerce in March, 2012, where Cedillo Jr. had a $33 Rib Eye Steak.

Former CBMWD GM Art Aguilar and Cedillo, Jr. also dined frequently, going to Steven’s Steak House in Commerce. They dined on salads, prime rib, New York Steaks, mushrooms, and onions that totaled $125 and $88.

Cedillo also had a $145 dinner with Toni DeAztlan to “discuss district matters” at the Vintage Café on Bright Avenue in Uptown Whittier in April, 2012.

Toni DeAztlan was the daughter of Tizoc DeAztlan; Tizoc was awarded a $40,000 contract under extremely questionable circumstances, as reported in HMG-CN, the award process overseen by Cedillo Jr.

Toni DeAztlan signed her own agreement, again overseen by Cedillo Jr., for “Election Selection Services” in November 2011 for $25,000.

Tom Calderon and Cedillo frequented the Dal Rae in Pico Rivera and spent $243 at two different lunches. Both dined on prime steaks and left $39 in tips to the wait staff.

To see expense receipts, click here.


Editors Note: To contact Randy Economy or Brian Hews please call (562) 407-3873.

  • Mike Tyson says:

    And this comes as a surprise to who??? How long have people close to Central Basin been sounding off about this guy? As I’ve said time and time before, Gil Jr. did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING at Central Basin. His job was to show up between 9-10am, take off to lunch at 11am and return around 2:30 and then pack up to head home by 4pm. In between he sat in his office with his door locked and his blinds shut tight. Most of the time his lights were off. He only left to sit in Art Aguilars office.

    That’s it! That was an exhaustive day at the office for ole’ Jr. He earned $112,000 a year, plus full health benefits for him, his wife and kids, he received full tuition for college and enjoyed abusing his Central Basin credit card all while NOT DOING AN OUNCE OF WORK! I hope this story follows him to the next job Daddy gets him and the next after that!

    Isn’t it amazing how our two so-called “reformers” James Roybal and Letiicia Vasquez had no problem with Cedillo? If it wasn’t for this newspaper’s investigation, Junior would still be here milking the water ratepayers.

  • Big Tip Gil! says:

    Great story.
    At least he tips 20%.

  • Josie Allen says:

    It’s amazing how Little Gil could run so fast out the door of the Montebello School District hearing room, with all those yummy steaks under his belt. When the TV cameras appeared he was a goner.

    BTW, who was that hunky woman who protected the door after he did his 5K? Looks like she has enjoyed a few of those CBWD free steaks herself.

  • John Transue says:

    The apple does not fall far from the tree. Junior had always heard of his Dad being referred to as “One Bill Gil”, so he was just supporting the family legacy by running up a whole bunch of bills! Unfortunately, these types of bottom feeders will continue to feed at the public taxpayer trough as long as voters keep electing Daddy. I thought we had hopefully seen the last of him when he left the Assembly and was termed out in the Senate, but no such luck, because there was still a pool of low information voters left to tap in good old L.A. Thank the lord that the SIEU has shining stars like him to support. Welcome to the 3rd world.

  • Jason Herrera says:

    Everytime I read another story about Cedillo Jr., I grow more disgusted with these stinking thieves who are no better than the mafia. These people are ruthless and exclusive. They only help one another and could care less about who they screw over. Gil Sr. is lucky his city council district is so big and he doesn’t have to hear from constituents about what a total scum he raised. I honestly hope they all rot in hell!

  • Taxpayers Revenge says:

    These “civil servants”(rats) only civilly serve, themselves, to the taxpayer money,(the government cheese), and nothing else. Hang em High!

  • R in CD -14 says:

    Kevin de Leon is sponsoring a bill to keep corrupt “felons” from getting more pension benefits, addressing the Vernon case. He might use the term “corrupt politicians” to better name the problem but we have too many, as this story reveals, and the pension stage is way past the time someone should have blown the whistle on them.

    Maybe de Leon can add a bill to punish these folks, many of whom are probably friends, I suspect.

  • Kevin says:

    This is a great political hit piece Randy! One of your better peices for sure and it seems like its making even your most loyal readers salivate. Truth is, this is how business gets done. Anyone who disagrees, doesnt know much about business. Should it be done on taxpayer dollars? YES, so long as it benefits the taxpayer. NO, if there is no benefit provided to the district and the taxpayer. There has been much contraversy made in your blogs about money spent and thats all fair game. Im in total agreement. There needs to be accountability. But your pieces NEVER acknowlede the many benefits recieved as a result of the contracts and events funded by the district. And I understand that kinda story doesnt=readership. But journalist/media outlets have a responsibilty to be semi unbiased. to tell the whole story. To fact check before thowing mistruths combined with bits and pieces of factual information out into the universe. Further, if what you report is accurate, the FBI is looking into CBWD. In the mean time dont you feel any responsabiltiy for the businesses and people whos lives and careers you may negatively effect? Is that the whole point of your blog? Not everyone affiliated with CBWD is involved in your conspiracy.And if youre more intersted in slanderouse, dramatic blogging rather than semi-respectable journalism, I suggest renaming your media outlet FOXHEWS.If you did so, everyone tuning in would know exactly what theyre getting into. You may even get an increase in readership. In any event,we can continue to cry foul, agree or disagree about the $ spent at the district but the FACT of the mater remains…services were rendered as a result. Services that ultimately benefitted us taxpayers. Anything to the contrary will be identified by the FBI.

    • OMG says:

      You are an IDIOT Kevin.How business gets done? Drinking Seagrams at lunch? Two people spend $193 for lunch? Its water Kevin, the CBMWD has its own area, it cannot grow, so what good does it do to lunch people that CAN’T give you business? It was not for political purposes they were paying 5 consultants 60K per month for that. You are either Cedillo Jr or a friend, dumb ass Gil.
      What more evidence do you need, they put up a link? Another thing they are not a BLOG they are a news site and they print 60,000 papers per week. IDIOT. I am a frequent reader and I get the paper at home, they have been assaulted by people like you before and it always turns out correct. Brian and Randy are very respected in LA, only people who they expose hate them and write bullshit like you Kevin…

  • Wayne Carter Sr. says:

    Kevin, although I totally understand the resentment which emanated from the last writer “OMG”, I also feel it necessary to give you the benefit of the doubt given that often executives of “substantial” companies or agencies partake in “social setting” business meetings. Yes, that is often done in the real world. However, if you had been following the excellent reporting of this newspaper, you would have learned that Gil Cedillo Jr.’s position at Central Basin was a totally scam.

    Not only was he hired without possessing the necessary qualifications, but it would also appear that he produced very little work. I don’t believe it to be a coincidence that multiple sources have portrayed Cedillo as some one who came in late and left early, while also enjoying 2-3 hour lunches. Well, now it would appear that we know where he held court during those extended “lunches”?

    I agree that it would be unfair to paint all executives with the same brush as abusive, greedy, prime rib eating slobs. However, in this case, I believe that ample evidence exists to reach the conclusion that this young man was a hack who was nothing more than a political appointee. His father, Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo Sr. should be embarrassed by these articles and the obvious imbecile his son turned out to be. This kid turned out to be the king of free loaders and he deserves all the negative criticism that he has received (and more).