Pla…the missing link in Santa Ana’s Council corruption

Gustavo Arellano hit a home run with his latest expose of Santa Ana Councilman Carlos “Space Commander” Bustamante, over at the OC Weekly’s Navel Gazing Blog. It turns out that Bustamante’s partner over at the Santa Ana Business Bank, George Pla, is setting himself up for a big payday in the City of Santa Ana. Here are a few excerpts from Arellano’s article:

Remember my post yesterday, where I theorized out loud about how SanTana councilmember Carlos Bustamante could greatly benefit if Cordoba Corporation (headed by major contributor and fellow Santa Ana Business Bank director George Pla) ever got a contract with the city to develop a mass transit system? It’s already happened–and what’s more, they’re actively trying to influence SanTana’s transit strategy.

On October 15 last year, the SanTana City Council held a special work study regarding the city’s master transit plans. Giving a presentation was Jim Ross, executive director of SanTana’s public works agency. Following him was one Jose de Jesus Martinez. Mayor Miguel “Times Almost up on our Nickname Poll!” Pulido gushed as he introduced him, telling councilmembers and the public Martinez was “under contract working for the city, assisting our staff from the private sector…he’s with a firm that’s under contract with the city…[Martinez] is a resource to all of us to try and put this together and make it successful.”

Martinez began his presentation by stating he has a “love for transit” and talked about creating a system that would connect SanTana’s Rail Depot to Garden Grove, saying it would be an “economic catalyst to develop something really nice” for SanTana. See the city council meeting for yourself at Santa Ana Insight–forward to around minute 38 for the October 15 meeting.

What no one ever disclosed that day is Martinez is Vice President of Transportation for Cordoba and head of its regional office. But wait, there’s more!

On July 27, Ross traveled to Portland along with SanTana city manager Dave Ream, director of planning Jay Trevi


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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.