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HMG-CN Exposé: Montebello Unified Bond Advisor Lalo Trujillo Lied to Board Members During Regular Meeting


 

Everardo 'Lalo' Trujillo outright lied to MUSD Boar members about his employment history.

Everardo ‘Lalo’ Trujillo outright lied to MUSD Board members about his employment history.

 

“Corruption is authority plus monopoly minus transparency.” – Unknown

 

By Brian Hews

Editors note: The first in a series that will expose corruption and cronyism at the highest levels within the Montebello Unified School District.

 

Everardo “Lalo” Trujillo is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Registered Municipal Advisor and a financial advisor to the MUSD, trusted by the MUSD Board to give advice on sensitive financial matters regarding the district.

Trujillo has been working for the MUSD since June of 2014, providing input on the implementation of the $300 million bond, Measure GS, which passed this year.

But with all the responsibility and fiduciary duties, Trujillo, at the regular Nov. 3 MUSD Board Meeting, completely misrepresented himself, calling into question Trujillo’s true motives and allegiance to the MUSD.

Trujillo’s blatant falsehood took place while the board was seeking to draw down the first $100 million of the $300 million Measure GS bond. The resolution passed by a vote of 4-1, with Hector Chacon casting the lone no vote.

Some on the Board were concerned about Trujillo’s relationship with Board President Ben Cardenas.

During the meeting, Chacon asked Trujillo, “Have you worked for the City of Pico Rivera?” Trujillo paused and answered no.

MUSD Board President Ben Cardenas.

MUSD Board President Ben Cardenas.

“Let me restate the question, “countered Chacon, “have you in any capacity ever worked for the City of Pico Rivera.”

Once again Trujillo answered no, this time looking over at MUSD Board President Ben Cardenas after his answer.

Strangely, Cardenas knew that Trujillo worked for Pico Rivera but did not interject during Chacon’s questioning.

Cardenas works for Pico Rivera as Assistant City Manager; he was hired Jan 2, 2015, so Cardenas knew Trujillo worked for Pico Rivera, yet did not confront Trujillo after Chacon’s questions.

A Pico Rivera Council Meeting Seating Chart, obtained by HMG-CN and dated February 2015, shows that Cardenas sat at the same table during Council meetings.

 

 

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Chart showing Cardenas sat with Trujillo at the same table during Council meetings. Click on image to view larger document.

 

 

 

HMG-CN subsequently found further proof of Trujillo’s misrepresentation obtaining his application to the SEC to become a registered municipal advisor.

 

 

 

 

The application showed that Trujillo indicated he worked for Pico Rivera as the Director of Finance starting in Oct. 2014 earning $17,750 per month. A search on Transparent California confirmed that statement and shows pay records through 2015 for Trujillo.

 

 

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Trujillo’s SEC application showing he worked for Pico Rivera. Click on image to view larger document.

 

 

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Transparent California shows Trujillo worked for Pico Rivera in 2015. Click on image to view larger document.

 

 

 

In addition, the investigation showed that Trujillo has questionable ties related to his own company, Mission Trail Advisors.

One month prior to his employment with MUSD, Trujillo proposed an Energy Lighting Program for MUSD using Evergreen Energy Solutions as contractors.

Evergreen is owned by Luis Rojas, who also owns Del Terra Construction Company.

Cardenas’ boss is Pico Rivera City Councilman Gustavo Camacho; Camacho works for Rojas and Del Terra.

Del Terra recently landed a lucrative project management contract with MUSD worth almost $16 million, which was approved by the board in August of this year.

Questions continue to surround Cardenas’ refusal to recuse himself in the vote to give Del Terra the contract given his relationship with Camacho.

MUSD Chief Businesss Officer Ruben Rojas Involved?

MUSD CBO Ruben Rojas

MUSD CBO Ruben Rojas

Trujillo later proposed that MUSD discuss the use of state of California’s Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank) for funding of the Energy Lighting Program.

At the time, current MUSD CBO Rojas was Deputy Executive Director of the I-Bank.

Rojas was appointed to the I-Bank in July 2013, yet, for some reason, left the prestigious job to become CBO at MUSD.

HMG-CN contacted Lloyd Garrison, California School Employees Association Montebello Chapter 505 President for comment on Trujillo’s misrepresentation at the meeting.

Garrison did not mince words saying, “I really don’t understand why he would lie to board member Chacon, unless Trujillo was hiding or covering something up. It looked like Board President Cardenas did not know what to say when he (Trujillo) was questioned twice and answered no.”

“There is lots of mismanaging, mishandling, and wrongdoing and board president (Cardenas) is letting it all happen. In order to make the $300 million bond work, Ruben Rojas needs to leave and Cardenas needs to step aside.”

Garrison finished by saying, “Trujillo publicly lied, but what is equally as troubling is his company, Mission Trail Advisors. Mission Trails and Del Terra and have worked together, and CBO Ruben Rojas is using him for advice on our improvement bond? That is not right, that is a big conflict of interest.”

 

UP NEXT: Catch Me If You Can…… Rojas Defrauds I-Bank and MUSD.

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