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Norwalk City Council Rejects All Trash Hauler Contracts, Orders New Bidding Process

By Brian Hews

At tonight’s special council meeting, the Norwalk City Council rejected all trash hauler proposals with  Council voting to to re-open the entire bidding process.

Councilman Tony Ayala made the motion to re-open the bidding process, when it came to Council discussion, Jennifer Perez lead the discussion  to re-bid,  and then Council-woman Margarita Rios indicated she wanted a re-bid.

The Council voted 4-1 to re-open the process, with Councilman Leonard Shryock casting the lone no vote.

The drawn out bidding process has been embroiled in controversy, with some trash haulers crying foul.

In November 2016, Hews Media Group-Community News  obtained a letter sent to Norwalk City Attorney Roxanne Diaz from the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) that definitively stated Norwalk Mayor Mike Mendez was in a conflict of interest position with respect to the trash contract being negotiated with the City and could not, at the time, participate in any decisions related to the agreement.

Mendez had been working as an “independent consultant” for governmental affairs and was “on call” for Universal Waste Systems (Universal), receiving $1,800 per month.


Questions, Conflict of Interest Surround Norwalk Trash Contract Bid Process


Even with the revelation, the bidding process dragged on for months.

Then, a confidential source told HMG-CN in June of this year that they were with Beltran and a few others at an informal meeting.

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

During the informal meeting Beltran, who was reportedly drinking, dropped a bomb about the Norwalk trash hauler bidding process.

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.”


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


With the re-bid vote, the Council must extend the contracts with CR&R and Republic which are good until March 2018.