Former politician with a criminal record finds a fan in Councilman Cedillo

Gil Cedillo/City of Los Angeles

Gil Cedillo/City of Los Angeles

Most politicians would keep their distance from a man like Mario Beltran.  After pleading  guilty to misusing campaign funds, the former Bell Gardens City Councilman was banned from public office for four years and sentenced to probation in connection with the criminal case. Beltran has also been found guilty of filing a fake police report in a separate case. Despite his criminal troubles, the 36-year-old Beltran has found continued support among some elected leaders, including  State Senator Ronald Calderon, who hired Beltran as his spokesman as the state senator has been caught up in a political corruption investigation, reports the L.A. Times. Another Beltran fan is newly elected First District Councilman Gil Cedillo.

Cedillo, who once employed Beltran, said his former employee should not have been banned from political office. Cedillo also defended Beltran in the case in which he was convicted of filing a false police report claiming he had been mugged downtown by a man who stole his wallet and Bell Gardens City Council identification badge. But a woman testified that she turned in the wallet and badge to police after Beltran had groped her in a hotel hallway and others came to her assistance.

Cedillo, in an interview with the Times,  said Beltran was the real victim and should not have been banned from public office:

“That badge case was a farce. It was a travesty of justice. You had a young man who was innocent. He was a model citizen, elected to local government,” Cedillo added. “He did something that most 27-year-olds do at one time — he drank too much alcohol. From that he was mugged, he was rolled. He was the victim.”

The 36-year-old Beltran told The Times that he has “matured a lot from that experience” and that his “respect and appreciation for government” has “always been very high.”


  1. “Cedillo, who once employed Beltran, said his former employee should not have never been banned from political office. ”

    Now I don’t think Cedillo is the sharpest tool in the shed (though, he is a tool nonetheless) but I’m assuming this is supposed to read “…should not have been banned…” OR “should have never been banned…”

  2. This Beltran guy must have dirt on Cedillo. Very interesting…..

  3. This should surprise precisely no one.

  4. Birds of a Feather

    Cedillo would be hard pressed to criticize Beltran given that his son, around the same age, is embroiled in the FBI investigation of the Calderon’s. Daddy got him the job but he can’t get him out of trouble. And Cedillo must really think highly of his constituents if he thinks that any 27 year old would go around soliciting prostitutes – then trying to rip them off, drinking until they black out and embezzling money – no Mr. Cedillo, perhaps your son, but the not the rest of the community. Also, the LA Times went easy on Beltran -http://mayorsam.blogspot.com/2012/06/special-post-election-edition-of-ass.html

  5. While I applaud Mr. Cedillo for his support of his friends and colleagues when they need help I am really frustrated by the sense that his loyalties lie well outside the needs of the local Council District 1 and OUR collective needs and help. Yes, we’ve all been (or will be 27) at some point but that doesn’t mean he needs to remain in public service. From all accounts, the guy is smart, crafty and likes to have fun. There are lots of businesses he can work for that don’t have the same level of public trust.

    Mr. Cedillo’s listening tour has been interesting to watch and I remain hopeful that he will actually listen to the concerns of the people in his district it seems that he is working on things well beyond the simple and mundane operations of the city.

    His lack of public follow up with his field office construction in Highland Park where the landlord violated a longstanding rule in the area and renovated a historic structure without proper permissions or following required building permits is not sitting well with me. But that may because I’ve had to follow those rules as a property owner while I watch the politically connected flaunt them.

    At a minimum, his job is to uphold the rules in the city, make the overall operations run better and provide assistance to the constituents in his council district. I’d personally like to hear more about that.

  6. I will forever be puzzled as to why Cedillo was elected CD 1 Councilmember. If there is anything “nice” to be said about this man, I’ve never heard it said from anybody who wasn’t getting a paycheck from him — directly or indirectly. Just not a quality person. Just not.

  7. Gil makes José Gardea look better every day. What was it, 700 votes?

    • It breaks my heart! Where are all the Cedillo supporters now? Cedillo does not appear to be doing anything to block Walmart from opening in Chinatown either. Sigh..

      • I never knew of any Cedillo supporters in the first place. Seriously, who are all these people who voted for him? That is, other than uninformed voters who blindly filled in the dot next to the name they’d heard of.

        • There were plenty of people that supported him.

          He garnered more than 10,000 votes in the final election and if it were not for Jesse Rojas, would have won the initial vote earlier in the year.

          You can read more here:

          • Yes, I remember. By support, I’m talking about REAL support, not the votes of uninformed consensus voters who assumed that because he had all those billboards up, the rest of the community must be behind him. Nor am I referring to the kids from Norwalk and Downey and elsewhere he paid to canvas for him.

          • …actually, if it wasn’t for the support of the County Fed and the IBEW, who collectively spent approx $1.4million on Cedillo’s campaign, I am pretty certain Cedillo wouldn’t have made it to the run-off. Gardea was the better candidate, he just couldn’t overcome the 3 to 1 advantage Cedillo had. But you are right. Cedillo did get 10,000 votes and Gardea didn’t, and so here we are…..aren’t we?

  8. Tina Gulotta-Miller

    Cedillo was bought and paid for by the corporations that sponsored him to the finish line. How can anyone hire a known and convicted political criminal to be a staff member? Mario Beltran works for Cedillo and is a bold example of Cedillo’s politics. And the racism component of his philosophy is fertile.


    • It is important to note that Beltran does not CURRENTLY working for Mr. Cedillo (and us) in the payroll of the City of Los Angeles.

      All that said, I hope the type of politics that happen in the cities on the Southestern Side of Los Angeles don’t come here but it sure seems like Gil Cedillo’s campaign did the classic strategy of claiming an incumbent chief of staff was not capable of improving the economy while also blaming the same person for doing things that built the economy.

      Those in the area that took the time to talk with all the candidates and learn about the issues were very clear in their support for Gardea but the campaign he ran simply wasn’t good enough to win.

  9. Beltran? Gil Cedillo Jr. ? the Calderon’s? Gil Cedillo Sr.? Do you really think they are not connected? Their collective behavior has been both belligerent and thug-like. Wasn’t only a few weeks ago Cedillo Sr. threatened the KIA dealer? And today he is defending someone like Beltran?! We should all expect better from our councilmember.

    Will someone please ask Maria Elena Durazo to tell Gil Cedillo Sr. to shut up and clean my streets the way he promised!!!?

  10. time to recall this guy. all these politicians are corrupt. however i gotta say that mitch o’farrell in district 13 is really doing some suprisingly good things for my neighborhood.

    also i just wanna say when i was 27 (or any age actually) i never groped a gal in a hotel hallway. beat it cedillo!

  11. I like the article and some of the comments that are thoughtful and add value to the issue of Cedillo’s ability to represent CD 1. However, I would like to know who wrote this article. An anonymous or unsigned article makes it difficult sometimes for the reader to take its contents seriously. Just a thought.

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