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Senator Calderon, Bell Gardens Councilman Infanson ‘Child Safety Fair’ Called ‘Political Stunt’

Bell Gardens City Councilman Sergio Infanson.

Bell Gardens City Councilman Sergio Infanson


UPDATED: 2:02 p.m.

By Brian Hews and Brian Hews


(Bell Gardens) California State Senator Ronald Calderon, and Bell Gardens City Councilman Sergio Infanson teamed up and hosted a “Child Safety Fair” this past Wednesday at a private Catholic High School in Bell Gardens High School, prompting criticism from at least local elected official who called the event a “political stunt.”

Infanson, who is seeking reelection in the upcoming November 5th Bell Gardens City Council election is a current Deputy with Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo.

The event was coordinated by Calderon’s media director Mario Beltran, who is a former Mayor of Bell Gardens and is also a past convicted felon. Beltran was recently promoted by Senator Calderon to oversee his Senate staff media efforts and also moonlights as a campaign consultant to several candidates and current area elected officials.

Beltran is working as the campaign advisor to Infanson’s reelection campaign.

According to a flyer promoting the event, co-sponsors included the Los Angeles County Fire Department and California Highway Patrol.  Listed as activities being held at the event were “free fingerprinting services,” an “earthquake simulator” and “other services” that was not specified.

Official seal of City of Bell GardensBell Gardens City Councilwoman Jennifer Rodriguez, a onetime supporter and ally of Infanson told Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper in an interview on Wednesday that she was “outraged” that Infanson, Calderon and Beltran were hosting the event.

“It is absolutely disappointing, and causing our community great dismay that a representative who does not represent our community would act irresponsibly by bringing to our schools Mario Beltran someone who has been convicted of illegal activities, and who was made to step down from his office from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office when he was convicted,” Councilwoman Rodriguez told the newspaper in a written statement.

“Senator Ron Calderon who is currently being investigated by the District Attorney’s office has on his payroll as field rep Mario Beltran. What kind of role model are these individuals to our children, what kind of role model is Sergio Infanzon whose actions are also questionable who is the field rep for Gil Cedillo and during working hours is promoting himself politically since he is up for re-election?” Rodriguez said.

“I am concerned for the safety of our children who are our most vulnerable individuals. My question is how can a convicted felon be there promoting child safety when he should not even be on campus?” Rodriguez continued.

Rodriguez also pointed out that Bell Gardens is represented in the California State Senate by Ricardo Lara, not Ron Calderon.  

Beltran refuted that statement in an email to the newspaper on Thursday afternoon claiming that Calderon is still the representative for Bell Gardens in the State Senate. “Yes. He does (represent Bell Gardens).  Bell Gardens is an “Accelerated Area” meaning that it has two state senators due to redistricting (Ron Calderon, elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2010,  and Ricardo Lara elected in 2012).  The new State Senate district lines for Bell Gardens go into effect next year and then the city will only be represented by Ricardo Lara.” 

Calderon is currently under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in what believed to be one of the biggest political corruption probes in state history.

HMG-CN is also requesting documentation from Bell Gardens city hall to determine if city taxpayer funds were utilized to promote or stage the event.

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  • Francisco Ramirez says:

    Isn’t this guy backing Felipe Aguirre in Maywood? I think he’s worked on some of Felipe’s campaigns in the past!

  • steve smith says:

    Let me guess the “event” was paid for with first 5 funds?