L.A. suburb engaging in kickback scheme for cannabis permits, suit says

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.

City of Commerce CA

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)

Full story

L.A. suburb engaging in kickback scheme for cannabis permits, suit says

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

In a Mayor Sam Exclusive, Commerce City Councilman John Soria and numerous Southeast LA Politicos are disclosed taking part in a Tijuana Gathering (to discuss Marijuana Legalization?) organized by notorious Bell Gardens Political Operative Mario Beltran.
Notorious Southeast LA Political Miscreant Mario Beltran (lower left in glasses) with his “financed (via contributions noted above)”enabler, Commerce City Councilman John Soria (lower right in glasses) ………, along with his cast of political supporters.
** Blogger’s Notes: From the likes of Southeast LA Municipalities including Lynwood, El Monte, Bell Gardens, Huntington Park, Montebello and Commerce, a cabal of municipal officeholders headed south of the border to Tijuana, for a gathering with a notorious Political Miscreant known simply as …….., “Mario (Beltran)”. The pictures which were posted today via the “Montebello Anonymous Facebook Page”, vividly exposes Beltran’s Southeast LA Network of Political Enablers including a supposed a “Model City Reformist”, now merely a puppet for Beltran’s self-enriching Marijuana Legalization (along with trash and transit contracts) aspirations. In an ideal world, a real District Attorney’s Office of Public Integrity would initiate an investigation on the possible serial meeting violations (Montebello, Bell Gardens) the pictures denote. But for the residents of the City of Commerce, the photos broach a narrative of a Council Member beholden to the Special Interests—–Scott Johnson.  
Commerce City Councilman John Soria with arm around Montebello Councilman/Supporter Jack Hadjinian (second from lower left) …….., along with other Southeast LA Public Officials.
Commerce Councilman John Soria (to the back right) of his Montebello “Politico Enabler” Jack Hadjinian.
 Commerce City Councilman John Soria’s TJ Adventures making bloggin news. 
Will City of Commerce’s Official Pot Spokesperson (and Councilman John Soria’s Campaign Consultant) Louis Reyes, comment on his former client TJ’s Misadventures?
Paging Councilman Soria (back right of Jack Hadjinian)!! Your Southeast Marijuana Enablers (and you) have been exposed.


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.


Read more at. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2009-jan-03-me-beltran3-story.html



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