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HMG-CN Exclusive: Commerce City Council Candidates Using Indicted Ex-State Senator Ron Calderon’s Treasurer

Reballo

Commerce City Council candidate Oralia Reballo.

Diaz

Commerce City Council candidate John Diaz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Brian Hews

Hews Media Group-Community News has obtained 2014-15 Commerce City Council Campaign Contribution Statements from the city of Commerce that show two candidates for office, John Diaz and Oralia Reballo, employing treasurer Yolanda Miranda, who has ties to ex-State Senator Ron Calderon and his family.

Miranda has a very questionable past.

State Sen. Ron Calderon was indicted in a sweeping corruption case, accused of taking about $100,000 in bribes. A legal defense fund was set up immediately after the indictment and Yolanda Miranda was appointed treasurer of the fund.

Miranda was also the treasurer for Central Basin Municipal Water District (CB) Director Robert “Bob” Apodaca, who recently was sued for sexual harassment. Apodaca settled the case for $670,000 using CB funds and has been implicated in two additional sexual harassment lawsuits.

Her company, Yolanda Miranda and Associates, also had a long association with former Bell Mayor George Cole convicted in the now-infamous Bell scandal.

Contribution Statements

The Contribution Statements show that candidate Oralia Rebollo has collected over $4,800, listing Miranda as treasurer.

Of that $4,800, $1,000 came from Justman Packaging based in Commerce, $1,000 came from Catherine Justman, Executive Officer at Justman Packaging, and $1,000 came from Calmet Services, Inc., Commerce’s current trash hauler.

Sources tell HMG-CN that Justman Packaging wants to purchase land on the southwest corner of Washington and Telegraph across from Central Basin’s building from the city at a discounted price so Justman can sell their current building to Steve Craig, owner of the Citadel Outlet.

Also contributing $500 was outgoing Commerce councilman Joe Aguilar, $500 from John’s Sweeper Repairs in Norwalk, and $500 from Pat Mahoney, an arborist from Anaheim.

Rebollo included a payment of $750 to a company called Calderon Graphics for “Christmas cards.” The company is located on 125 Lime St. in Inglewood, California which is an apartment complex not a business center. She also listed a payment of $125 to Steven’s Steakhouse for a “kick off meeting.”

Reballo listed as owing John Diaz for Council 2015 $226 for “reimbursement of office supplies for meals for volunteers.”

She also received $575 on Jan 15, 2015 from John Diaz for Council 2015 for “reimbursement of campaign expenses.”

See documents click here

Candidate John Diaz has collected over in $4,000 and, similar to Reballo, lists Miranda as his treasurer.

Comparable to Reballo, Diaz collected $1,000 from Justman Packaging, $1,000 from Catherine Justman of Justman Packaging, $1,000 from Calmet Services, Inc., $500 from Nationwide Environmental that has the same address as John’s Sweeper Repairs in Norwalk, and $500 from Pat Mahoney.

The $226 for “reimbursement of office supplies for meals for volunteers,” and the  $575 given on Jan 15, 2015 from John Diaz for Council 2015 for “reimbursement of campaign expenses” to Reballo are not shown on the John Diaz for Council 2015 campaign disclosure statements.

This omission of the payments could be a possible campaign violation, and one that the Fair Political Practices Commission can investigate.

Diaz is endorsed by Commerce Mayor Tina Baca Del Rio, Mayor pro-tem Lilia Leon, and Councilman Ivan Altamirano.

See documents click here

Candidate Sonya Rodriguez has received over $3,600 with $1,000 coming from Calmet Services, Inc.

Other contributions included $500 from current Commerce councilwoman Lilia Leon out of her “Friends of Lillia Leon for Council 2013” account, and $480 from outgoing Commerce councilman Joe Aguilar.

See documents click here

Candidate John Soria has received $2,000 with $1,000 coming from The Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association and an $837 loan from Soria himself.

See documents click here

Candidate Hugo Argumedo has loaned himself over $10,000 and has received $900 from Bulletin Displays based in Long Beach, California.

See documents click here

Candidate Denise Robles has received over $5,800, with $1,000 coming from Calmet Services, Inc., $1,000 from Justman Packaging and $1,000 from Chalmers Corporation a real estate development firm based out of Pico Rivera.

Bulletin Displays contributed $900 and Nationwide gave $500.

See documents click here

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