EXPOSED--Last week, we reported on Councilmember Cedillo’s possible violation of LA Municipal Code section 49.5.5b in his quest to keep his CD 1 seat. Cedillo doesn’t appear to be changing course, according to activist Marc Caswell, who first shared this info with CityWatch.
One of the attendees at Cedillo’s kickoff event on Saturday emailed Caswell with additional ethics violations. Photos from the event show taxpayer funded newsletters at the check-in table – next to campaign materials, a definite no-no. (See photo above)
He also reported at least two CD1 staff members at the event were sporting City Seals, a second no-no. (See photo below left.)
Both activities would be in violation of the Los Angeles Governmental Ethics Ordinance (LAMC 49.5.5) for misuse of city position and resources.
Three formal complaints have been filed detailing that at the January 14 ‘Gil Cedillo for City Council’ campaign event held at 1139 W. 6th Street, Council Office staff members Fredy Ceja and Conrado Terrazas both wore Team Cedillo windbreaker jackets, prominently displaying the official City Seal of the City of Los Angeles.
In addition, the complaint cites Misuse of City resources through the “use of two Council Office-funded newsletters, (“1Voice/1Voz Summer 2016 and Winter 2016) distributed by City Staff at the sign-in table for the campaign event and placed beside a prominently displayed “Gil Cedillo, Democrat for City Council District 1’ banner, manned by Council Office staff members Alfonso Palacios, Suzano Muro, Moniquea Roberson, and Kimberly Salazar.
The complainant continued: four stacks of Council Office-prepared newsletters bearing the City Council District 1 field office address of 5577 Figueroa Street were displayed and distributed adjacent to the sign-in sheets, along with “Gil Cedillo for Los Angeles 2017” buttons and stickers. The newsletters, according to the attendee, indicated that they were “published by The Office of Los Angeles City Council District 1.
“It is unclear,” he said, “how Gilbert Cedillo’s campaign was provided with this large quantity of taxpayer-funded newsletter materials for use as a campaign advertisement at the event.”
These reports raise serious ethics questions about the candidate. Is Cedillo … a long time Los Angeles politico … unfamiliar with the law? Does he think no one is paying attention? Or, with today’s soft corruption climate at City Hall, does Cedillo presume no one cares?
The search for answers goes on. Stay tuned.
(Beth Cone Kramer is a Los Angeles writer and a columnist for CityWatch.)