MONTEBELLO (CBSLA.com) — The son of a Los Angeles City Councilman and former employee at a Southern California water district reportedly under federal investigation remained silent on his role in the federal probe Monday.
KCAL9′s political reporter Dave Bryan found Gilbert Cedillo Jr., the son of Councilman Gil Cedillo, at a meeting of the Montebello School District’s Personnel Commission, which he chairs. Asked to comment on the investigation, Cedillo Jr. ducked out the back door of the school district headquarters with the help of a commission staff member who blocked the way.
Cedillo Jr. was employed 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, he was the chief of staff for then-Assemblyman Ron Calderon and senior field representative for former state assemblyman Tom Calderon.
The federal investigation has included an FBI raid on Senator Calderon’s office at the State Capitol in June, and federal subpoenas for documents from the Central Basin Municipal Water District. Cedillo Jr.’s name was on the list of subpoenaed documents provided by the FBI.
“Gilbert Cedillo Jr. has played a major role in this particular situation with the FBI investigation,” said Randy Economy, editor of the Los Cerritos Community News, which has broken several stories about the investigation.
Among them was news that the FBI is looking into Cedillo Jr.’s role in a possible corruption scheme, in which companies looking to Sen. Ron Calderon for help securing state contracts may have funneled political contributions and gifts to him through a middle man.
“We do know that FBI investigators have been at the Central Basin Water District for probably I know at least one week, if not two weeks where they’ve set up camp there at the office to go ahead and pull documents and interview employees,” said Economy. “It’s a wide-ranging probe.”
Cedillo Jr. was hired as a business development manager two years ago for the Southern California water district despite evidence that he lacked the required degree for the position.
Along with Cedillo Jr.’s nearly $113,000 salary, the district also agreed to pay Azusa Pacific University more than $22,000, so Cedillo Jr. could get the appropriate degree. His position was created when he was hired and abolished when he left at the end of July.