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Wilson Chooses O.C. Supporter for University Board

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Gov. Pete Wilson announced the appointment Friday of a Huntington Beach executive and longtime supporter to a place on the California State University Board of Trustees.

Ronald L. Cedillos, 41, of Huntington Beach was chosen to fill a vacancy on the board, as was Bernard Goldstein, 55, of San Carlos, according to a press statement the governor’s office issued Friday night.

Cedillos’ appointment requires Senate confirmation; Goldstein’s does not.

Cedillos, a Republican and president of Long Beach-based Cedillos Testing Co., has been closely associated with Wilson since the governor was a U.S. senator, both contributing and raising large amounts for Wilson’s political campaigns.

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“I’m honored by the governor’s confidence in me to select me to participate in the university system,” Cedillos said from his home late Friday.

Cedillos has sat on the governing boards of Cal State Long Beach and Pepperdine University. He said that he learned about the appointment Sunday when Wilson called him at home.

Cedillos said that he believes that the governor chose him because he would “bring private-sector leadership” to the university system.

Cedillos’ appointment is no surprise. He has raised thousands of dollars in campaign funds for Wilson over the years.

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The two came under fire in October, 1990, when Wilson blocked legislation that was intended to improve the heavy-duty bolts that have been found at fault in many construction and aerospace accidents.

Wilson said at the time that he blocked the legislation because he wanted it strengthened with an amendment to require bolt manufacturers to have their products tested by outside firms.

Cedillo’s company tests bolts in the commercial and military aerospace industries. Several Democratic senators and industry leaders charged that Wilson’s move was intended to provide more business for Cedillos.

In January, Cedillos resigned as chief executive officer of the beleaguered Parker Automotive Corp., which was in severe financial straits and was under receivership in 1990.

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Cedillos said at the time that he was “spending a lot of time in Sacramento,” working for Wilson.

Cedillos stepped down from Parker Automotive Corp. one month after founder Michael E. Parker was forced to resign as chairman.

Cedillos said that since leaving Parker Automotive, he has been busy working with the Wilson Administration as a private businessman “stemming the exodus” of the aerospace industry from California.

Cedillos said that should his appointment be confirmed, he will push for a closer partnership between the university system and private industry.

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“I’ve always been interested in higher education,” Cedillos said. “Now I have a chance to do something constructive.”

Goldstein, who is a Democrat, has a chair in the Department of Physiology and Behavioral Biology at San Francisco State University, where he is also acting director of research.


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