COMMERCE (CBSLA.com) — The son of a Los Angeles city councilman has come under fire due to his six-figure salary with a Southern California water district that is reportedly under federal investigation.
Gilbert Cedillo Jr., the son of Councilman Gil Cedillo, was hired as a business development manager two years ago by the Central Basin Municipal Water District, which is widely reported to be under scrutiny, along with State Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) and his brother, Tom Calderon, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Before Cedillo Jr. was hired by the water district at a salary of nearly $113,000, he was the chief of staff for then-Assemblyman Ron Calderon and senior field representative for former state assemblyman Tom Calderon.
KCAL9’s Dave Bryan asked Joseph Legaspi, the interim public affairs manager for the water district, if Cedillo Jr.’s job was specifically created for him due to the fact that his position will be phased out at the end of the month.
“Did the position exist before (Cedillo Jr.) came?” asked Bryan.
“Not to my knowledge,” said Legaspi. “I was here about three or four months prior to Mr. Cedillo, so not to my knowledge.”
“The position was created…he got the job through whatever process took place,” said Bryan.
“That is correct,” responded Legaspi.
“Now he’s leaving and the position is being eliminated,” said Bryan.
“That is correct,” said Legaspi.
“Again, the perception is that the job was created for him,” said Bryan.
“I don’t know if I agree with that perception. I think there were discussions with respects to cost reduction,” said Legaspi.
Bryan also asked Antonio Perez, Central Basin’s general manager, if there was good reason to be suspicious of Cedillo Jr.’s relationships with the Calderon brothers.
“Mr. Cedillo was an employee when I first came on. As far as Mr. Cedillo’s relationship with those under investigation…as far as I’m concerned, that’s purely coincidental. They’re not related,” he said.
Central Basin Municipal Water District board member Leticia Vasquez told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that she had questions about Cedillo Jr.’s job with the district.
“There was a lot of controversy surrounding his employment…it was part of a report I asked for—on how Cedillo was hired,” she stated.
Meantime, Bryan reported that the water district also paid more than $22,000 to cover much of Cedillo Jr.’s tuition and other expenses in a bachelor degree program at Azusa Pacific University.