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El Monte Councilwoman Who Held Fundraiser for Veterans and Community Organizations Failed to Donate the Money…Again


BY BRIAN HEWS • October 5, 2020

Back in April of this year, HMG-CN reported that El Monte City Councilwoman Victoria “Vicky” Martinez-Muela held a Friendsgiving fundraising event in November 2019 to “celebrate the holidays and support sponsorships of youth sports, veteran and community organizations.”

The event was held at the Holiday Inn in El Monte from 6-8 pm, “in the bar area.”

Sources who attended the fundraiser told HMG-LCCN that Martinez-Muela told everyone, “the money was going to several local El Monte organizations in need of donations.”

Yet, according to the promotional flyer obtained by HMG-CN, all contributions were to be made payable to Martinez-Muela’s campaign committee, Martinez for Council 2015, ID# 1337681.



And it was noted on the flyer that  “Contributions are not tax deductible.”

Nearly all youth sports, veteran and community organizations are registered as 501(c)(3) companies; all donations to those organizations are tax deductible.

Using best practices, if the fundraiser was targeted specifically for the organizations, the checks should be made payable to those organizations, not Martinez-Muela’s campaign committee.

Sources told HMG-CN that Martinez-Muela’s garnered over $10,000.

HMG-CN obtained Martinez-Muela’s 460’s and found that she did raise over $10,000, while she employed some very questionable people.

The 460’s revealed that Yolanda Miranda was Martinez-Muela’s treasurer.


Document showing Yolanda Miranda as treasurer of Martinez-Muela’s campaign committee. Miranda was associated with Ron and Tom Calderon for years and ran Ron’s defense fund after his indictment.



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

Her company, Yolanda Miranda and Associates, had a long association with former Bell Mayor George Cole convicted in the now-infamous city of Bell scandal.

Of particular note is the fact that Miranda had very close ties to Ron and Tom Calderon, acting as their treasurer not only for campaigns but running Ron’s legal defense fund after he was indicted on bribery and money laundering charges.

The same 460’s show that Martinez-Muela did not disperse any funds to the organizations she targeted as recipients of her fundraiser.



Document showing the only expenses related to the campaign were payments to the credit card companies, no checks cut to the organizations related to the fundraiser.




The lack of payment to the organizations has made many accuse Martinez-Muela of money laundering, similar to what Ron and Tom Calderon were indicted for in relation to their non-profit, Californians for Diversity.

The 460’s were dated December 31, 2019 – the last reporting period – so HMG-LCCN contacted Martinez-Muela asking if she had made payments after December 31.

In a short emailed response on April 9, Martinez-Muela admitted she had not yet donated the money and blamed the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak for her inaction.

Martinez-Muela wrote, “due to the COVID-19 situation, all distribution of funds have been put on hold. I look forward to giving to local charities once this situation is resolved.”

Martinez-Muela was reminded that the fundraiser was November 20, three months prior to the outbreak, and that the targeted organizations are now in dire need of the money.

Martinez-Muela wrote back, “thanks….I will take that into consideration.”

In the time period between April 9 and June 30, after the HMG-CN report surfaced, Martinez-Muela made $5,600 in civic donations as listed in her Jan. 1 – June 30 campaign reports, $4,400 short of the $10,000 she promised.

And she did not list the remaining $4,400 as debt.

And her latest July 1 – September 19 campaign documents show that Martinez-Muela collected over $21,000 in donations for a total of 42,002, while spending $6,615.

She gave only $600 in civic donations – while paying Yolanda Miranda $1,000 – leaving $4,000 from the November 2019 fundraiser she promised to give to other civic organizations hungry for donations during a public health crisis.

The failure to donate money comes on the heels of Martinez-Muela voting no to cut her pay 10% when others that work for the city took cuts due to the pandemic.

Emails into Martinez went unreturned.


Martinez-Muela’s July 1, 2020 to September 19, 2020 campaign statement. 

Click on image to view entire report.



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