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Commerce Councilman John Soria Hired by Montebello After Investigation by L.A. County Sheriff


BY BRIAN HEWS • June 22, 2020


A Hews Media Group-Los Cerritos News exclusive story has resulted in Commerce Mayor John Soria “departure” as a Law Enforcement Technician with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

John Soria

In the article, HMG-LCCN obtained several pictures posted on social media that showed Soria endorsing binge drinking and public drunkenness, all while blatantly supporting cannabis companies that obtained licenses in the city via the bogus system set up by a grant writer and a multi-level market rep.

And Soria was working with Mario Beltran, a known confidant of Montebello Councilman Jack Hadjinian.

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.

The pictures showed Soria sponsoring a November 2019 trip to Las Vegas using a City-leased bus loaded with officials, local Teamster union representatives, and Carlos Maravilla, a candidate at the time for City Council in Commerce.


Soria with a beer in hand on a city-leased bus. It was 1:55 p.m. at the time. In the background is Maravilla.



The word loaded was key to the trip.

Soria branded the trip “Canna Bus to Las Vegas, ”designing a professional logo that included the city of Commerce’s name prominently displayed inside the famous Las Vegas sign logo, along with an Ace card that had a pot leaf.

Seen in one of several pictures posted on the Commerce Now Facebook Page was Soria on the City-leased bus, with a large beer in hand, and several officials, including Maravilla, smiling broadly wearing his Teamsters t-shirt.

It is illegal to drink beer on a City-leased bus.

In another picture, Soria was seen with Maravilla and Beltran in front of the leased bus.




Canna-Bus: from (l-r) Mario Beltran, Mayor John Soria, and former Commerce City Council candidate Carlos Maravilla.



Just weeks later the sheriffs opened an investigation that was confirmed by HMGwith Sergeant Jeremy Carr of the Sheriff’s Internal Affairs Bureau.

An apparently they did not like what they saw as Soria recently left the sheriff’s job, as confirmed by Soria’s LinkedIn page.

Montebello City Councilman Jack Hadjinian, who is known to pal around with Beltran, also confirmed that Soria was hired and placed inside Montebello’s Transportation Department in a Facebook post

Sources are telling HMG that Soria is making over $90,000 including benefits.



Soria’s LinkedIn employment listing.



Jack Hadjinian

When confronted on social media about the hiring, Hadjinian defended Soria, “John is very qualified,  he came down from the sheriff’s department where he worked in dispatch, scheduling and compliance, he has a good resume.”

In the same Facebook conversation, former Recreation Commissioner Byron Jackson wrote, “what makes a disgraced sheriff civilian employee with zero management experience qualified to run a transit agency? I saw the name and figured cronyism due to the connections with some City Council members.”