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Former Bell Gardens Councilman Mario Beltran Surfaces in Trash Hauler Contract Bidding Process


Beltran is using some of the most corrupt elected officials, and former elected officials, in Los Angeles, why are the cities working with the corrupt officials?

Some are calling it the “Beltrash” effect.


Mario Beltran


By Brian Hews

In late 2015, Hews Media Group-Community News exclusively reported about Protect Local Jobs (“PLJ”), a political action committee based out of Los Angeles that was spending thousands to help Jack Hadjinian win a Montebello City Council seat.

The PAC received $10,000 from a company owned by Jason Kashanian, a.k.a. Jason Kachan, son of Sam Kashanian a good friend and business associate of Hadjinian.

Hadjinian approved a controversial Montebello development owned by Kachan in July 2015, a lot where the French Café once stood.

One month later, the Kashanian company donated $10,000 to PLJ.


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PLJ’s past and present associations read like a Who’s Who of Los Angeles’ corruption figures.

The list includes indicted L. A. County Assessor John Noguez, who swore Hadjinian in as Mayor.

Also included was Kindee Durkee, who embezzled $10.5 million in campaign funds from 1998 to 2010 and is serving 8 years in federal prison.

Additional associations with PLJ included convicted former State Senator Ron Calderon and his brother Tom Calderon.

And convicted felon Ricardo “Ric” Mayer and his political partner, felon who plead down to a misdemeanor, Angel Gonzales, were also associates of PLJ.

Finally, the list also included disgraced former Bell Gardens Councilman Mario Beltran.

PLJ History

PLJ was created in 2014 from another PAC called Saving Local Jobs; Yolanda Miranda was its treasurer.

Miranda herself had a very checkered past in East Los Angeles politics going back many years.

Miranda was the long-time treasurer for both Ron Calderon and Tom Calderon.

Miranda was also the treasurer for current Central Basin Municipal Water District (CB) President Robert “Bob” Apodaca, who was sued for sexual harassment settling the case for $670,000 using CB funds.


Documents Confirm Central Basin Water Director Apodaca’s Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Settled for $670,000


Finally, Miranda was the “go-to” treasurer for Ric Mayer and Angel Gonzales, both of whom donated money to and ran the campaign of embattled Central Basin Director Leticia Vasquez.


DIRTY WATER: Central Basin Directors Vasquez, Roybal Owes Campaign Cash to Convicted Political Figures


Immediately after Miranda’s hiring, the PAC turned its sites on the Montebello City Council campaign, with Saving Local Jobs giving $8,000 to PLJ in February of 2015.

At the time, sources told HMG-CN that Beltran was running Hadjinian’s City Council campaign and that Beltran helped steer money into his election coffers.

Beltran was also allegedly working for NASA Disposal Services.

The HMG-CN article tied Hadjinian to PLJ, to the Calderons, to NASA, and finally to Beltran.

And Beltran’s past is much like his associates in PLJ.

Beltran was accused by prosecutors of embezzling campaign funds from Ron Calderon to pay for his legal defense in a 2006 criminal case. Beltran pleaded guilty to four counts.



Seven counts of grand theft, one count of perjury and one count of failing to deposit cash was dismissed at sentencing as part of Beltran’s negotiated plea agreement.

In addition, Beltran was accused of filing a false police report when he solicited a prostitute at a seedy hotel in 2013. The prostitute reportedly beat Beltran up and stole his Bell Gardens police badge.

Now Beltran,  Jack Hadjinian and reportedly Pico Rivera Councilman David Armenta, has emerged as players in several trash hauler bidding processes for NASA – including Norwalk – and other trash haulers and elected officials are crying foul.

“It does not surprise me to hear about your story,” said current Bell Gardens Councilwoman Jennifer Rodriguez. “Look at all the people Beltran associates with, every one is indicative of his behavior. Mario is connected to Montebello, Huntington Park and other local cities that accept his past corrupt behavior.”

“In my own city, Pedro Acietuno (Current Bell Gardens City Councilman) works with Beltran, and I am shocked. There were rumors that Beltran actually ran Acietuno’s Central Basin campaign and even got him money. Our cities should have a standard of not working with people like Beltran. There is history here and he brought shame to Bell Gardens, we should not be working with him.”

Bragging About Norwalk Contract-

A confidential source has told HMG-CN that they were with Beltran and a few others at an informal meeting a few weeks ago.

Beltran was bragging about delivering the “plum” downtown trash hauling zone to NASA and that now he had “political clout.”

During the informal meeting Beltran, who was reportedly drinking, dropped a bomb that is certain to throw the current Norwalk trash hauler bidding process into question.

The source overheard Beltran bragging to the guests, “that he and Jack (Hadjinian) would deliver the Norwalk trash contract to NASA just like the L.A. City contract.”

The source told HMG-CN, “he (Beltran) was very cocky, acting like he had the trash contract already in his pocket.”

As reported exclusively by HMG-CN in January of this year, questions surrounded the initial bidding process for the Norwalk contract.


Questions, Conflict of Interest Surround Norwalk Trash Contract Bid Process


The article led to a new round of bidding with NASA making the final cut consisting of five companies.

The company did not make the first cut; an analysis by the consulting firm of HF&H placed NASA in tenth place out of twelve bidders.

But they made the cut this time, with sources saying it was the work of Beltran and Hadjinian.

Sources later told HMG-CN that newly elected Councilman Tony Ayala pushed for NASA to be included.

The five companies that made the new cut were Republic, CR&R, CalMet, NASA, and Commercial Waste.

According to a staff report, Norwalk is currently paying $9,435,000 for the City’s trash services.

Commercial’s bid was the lowest bid at $5,239,000, $4,196,000 less than what the City is paying.

Next was CR&R at $8,481,000, $954,000 less than what the City is currently paying.

Republic was next at $8,605,000, $830,000 less than what the City is currently paying.

CalMet came in at $174,000 less and finally NASA at $102,000.

NASA’s bid was $852,000 more than the lowest reasonable bidder, CR&R.

Yet Beltran was overheard bragging to his guests at Cedillo’s field office, “that he and Jack (Hadjinian) would deliver the Norwalk trash contract to NASA just like the L.A. City contract.”

The Beltrash effect.

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