MJ Biz has the story.. all we can say .. It’s not called the City of Commerce for nothing !
“Lobbyist” Beltran stands proud and center of this lead photo supplied by Cerritos Communty News. We hope From The Earth get some joy but as you’ll see, it doesn’t take much digging to see what a slippery character Beltran is.
A lobbyist allegedly working with city officials in the Los Angeles suburb of Commerce has been soliciting kickbacks in exchange for help with obtaining marijuana business licenses, according to a new lawsuit filed by a cannabis company.
Law360.com reported that From The Earth applied to Commerce for several cannabis business licenses but said its bid was rejected, according to the lawsuit, because of its refusal to work with a lobbyist.
The suit claims the lobbyist threatened to torpedo the company’s applications unless he received a $50,000 payment, a 10% stake in the business and ongoing $2,500 monthly payments.
Beltran and From The Earth’s attorneys did not respond to Law360.com’s requests for comment. And a spokesperson for Commerce told the legal news site that the city doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
He’s a hard man to spot in photos so here’s a tip from Mayor Sam’s Blog (see below)
There’s more background too at Mayor Sam’s Sister City Blog in a post dated May 09 2019
THURSDAY, MAY 09, 2019
Mayor Sam Exclusive: A Notorious Mario Beltran and Political Enablers (including Commerce’s John Soria) Tijuana Gathering
And yes there’s more history c/- The LA Times
Beltran guilty; out of politics 4 years
Even by the standards of politics in Southeast Los Angeles County, where investigations of politicians are common, Bell Gardens City Councilman Mario Beltran seemed particularly adept at finding himself in the cross hairs of detectives, prosecutors and even federal agents.
For the last 2 1/2 years, the 31-year-old politician had seemed to skate on the edge: In 2006, Beltran was found unconscious on the floor of a downtown L.A. hotel frequented by prostitutes. He was later convicted of filing a false police report about what happened and how he came to lose his council badge and wallet.
Then last year he was investigated on suspicion of steering a $5-million automobile towing contract to a company connected to an old friend. Beltran was not charged, but the owner of the company now faces charges of making criminal threats against a political rival of the councilman.
On Friday, the Bell Gardens politician pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to file campaign disclosure forms and one count of failing to deposit cash contributions. The charges are misdemeanors, but as part of his plea bargain Beltran agreed to relinquish his City Council seat before his sentencing, and he cannot run for office or be appointed to office for four years. He also cannot do any political lobbying for four years.