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SOURCES: Bell Gardens City Council Members Attempting to Install Questionable and Controversial City Manager



Hews Media Group-Los Cerritos Community News has learned through sources that two Bell Gardens City Councilmembers are scheming to install a city manager with a controversial past and little municipal experience in order to control the lucrative cannabis market in the City and possibly influence the awarding of large City contracts.

The effort comes just months after long-time and well-respected City Manager Phil Wagner suddenly took medical leave, with Councilman Pedro Aceituno alleging a hostile workplace environment by some newly elected council-members.

HMG-LCCN has been told that Mayor Alejandra Cortez and Councilman Marco Barcena are attempting to court one more Bell Gardens City Councilmember to hire current Huntington Park City Councilmember Jhonny Pineda.

Pineda, 36, is best known for nominating two undocumented immigrants to Huntington Park commissions in 2015.


From (l-r) Councilman Marco Barcena and Mayor Alejandra Cortez are scheming to hire Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo’s Field Representative, Johnny Pineda.


Pineda’s only exposure to municipal government is his city council position; according to his Linkedin account, he has never held a top-level business position managing a large staff in any municipality.

In fact, in 2018, according to Pineda’s Statement of Economic Interests-Form 700, which all elected officials must file annually and report any income received, Pineda earned his money as a Field Representative for Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo.





In 2017, Pineda’s 700’s reported two sources of income of less than $10,000, both political consulting positions.

In addition to his questionable qualifications, Pineda is also associated with extremely shady characters, including  former Bell Gardens City Councilman Mario Beltran.

Beltran was convicted in 2007 of filing a false police report after claiming he was robbed by an African-American prostitute. Two years later, he pleaded guilty to three egregious campaign finance violations and was forced to step down from the City Council.

Beltran and his company, Principia Group LLC, was a paid consultant with Saving Local Jobs, a PAC instrumental in Pineda’s successful city council campaign in Huntington Park.

After his election to the council, Pineda and two others voted, without seeking bids, to hire Metro Transit Services, a bus service that charged Huntington Park 46% more than the previous service.

Metro hired Beltran as its general manager.

There is also rumors of Principia and Pineda’s own political consulting company, the Pineda Group, working together. Pineda reported income on his 2018 Form 700 from the Pineda Group of in between $1,001 and $10,000.

And Pineda is married to the sister of Beltran’s wife.

Now, according to multiple sources, Beltran is fighting hard to get his friend installed as Bell Gardens City Manager.

The inside source told HMG-LCCN, “the council-members are trying to bring Pineda in as city manager, giving them authority to bypass policy and procedures, Pineda has very little experience in city management, he doesn’t know what he is doing and Mario Beltran is close behind him.”




  • Mike Hawk Esbig says:

    Stop spreading rumors you hear on the streets it will cost you one of these days watch