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Opinion: LCCN Criticized for Investigative Reporting

Go away Community News.

That’s the way certain factions in Cerritos are operating these days. They don’t like LCCN’s investigative articles and want to put the paper out of business because of it. That is a quote from one member of the faction (see Feb. 14 Council Meeting on Cerritos’ website.)

First was the Bruce Barrows/Jay Gray incident. Then we got criticized for our Assessor Noguez story. Next up was the LA County CEO coordinating a discredit campaign for our story on Rick Caruso. Then we got hammered for our Wendy Greuel calendar story. All stories turned out to be true.

Our latest investigative article, Cerritos Council Travelgate, seems to have hit a nerve, as another campaign is underway to discredit this paper via the City Council and City Council meetings.

Let me make my case.

This past week, one resident, obviously coached (and not very well for that matter), criticized LCCN’s February 8th article on the high-flying lavish travel escapades of Cerritos Mayor Jim Edwards, Mayor Pro-Tem Bruce Barrows and Councilwoman Carol Chen.

The resident spewed a vitriolic attack against LCCN’s coverage on the taxpayer owned TV3 Cerritos. The guy was so nervous he had to read his prepared statement and was visibly shaking throughout. His name rhymes with Smearhiemer (SH).

SH seemed to think it was OK that the council spent so much on meals.

SH kept deducting the tax and tip on receipts (obtained by LCCN) to make his point that “the check was $500, not $600, and that it was not one $65 steak/fish, but two $33 steaks.

Not true about the $65 steak/fish, as you can see on the top of the print edition this week, but it seems interesting a $33 steak was OK with SH.

SH went on to deduct tax and tip from other receipts. The IRS (and Cerritos) should check SH out since he thinks taxes don’t count on your bill.

He also conveniently omitted council-members getting paid hundreds of dollars for mileage while receiving a monthly car allowance.

SH went on to say, “I have all the expense receipts if anyone want to see them.”

That is very interesting SH.

It takes ten days minimum to get public records, longer if the request has many pages, which ours did. Our request covered six years and the travel receipts were from different years.

The LCCN article was written Feb. 8, SH spoke six days later at the Feb 14 council meeting. Six days not ten. Which makes SH a lackey for the faction.

Just in case, I requested from Cerritos a list of everyone who has made a PRA in the past two weeks.

Surprise! Mr. Smearheimer was not on there.

You can see the document below.

After Smearhiemer’s speech, Mayor Edwards immediately said, “and if you want, you can see Cerritos travel policies online at the city’s website.”

I looked and council-people get $113 a day for meals. No wonder they eat Foie Gras, $65 halibut and $55 mixed lobster grill.

And its no wonder they want us to go away.

List of people who have pulled public records in the past two weeks.

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5 Responses to Opinion: LCCN Criticized for Investigative Reporting

  1. getmeout

    February 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Well I guess the truth hurts. Like Huntington Park, Bell, John Noguez, Rosa Perez and countless others,there are people out there that newspaper reporters, radio, tv and other means of news should be censured. First and foremost we live in the United States of America. our Flag is red white and blue. We have rights and by god, our troops are still fighting for us today. Freedom of speach, whatever form is protected.

    Los Cerritos News, staff, and owners, are doing a dam good job. dont listen to people who believe in censorship. Freedom to the press. And for all those haters of LCCN they are only reporting the facts and truth. It hurts but guess what? They have their rights. Great Job LCCN Keep it Up.

  2. Bill Raabe

    February 22, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Brian,
    Calm down. LCCN does good investigative work—Noquez certainly proves that. Some people just don’t like knowing the truth. I’ve seen friends of mine suffer from unsubstantiated public accusations. It’s always unpleasant. So, if someone wants to make a speech disputing your coverage, it’s not because the person is mad at you. Sometimes denial is the only option left. A little compassion goes a long way!

  3. Jay Gray

    February 22, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Mayor Edwards, It’s not a matter of residents reading the city’s travel policies it more a matter or YOU respecting the resident’s money!

    • McMahon, J.

      February 23, 2013 at 8:48 am

      Saturday, February 23, 2013

      publicpay.ca.gov/

      Compare ALL California city wages, as public records. Tax payers own the city staffers, so every person in the world has the right to inspect. These are the wage scale implemented by our current Cerritos councilpersons 😐 Carol Chen | and |Jim Edwards|. FYI: Jim Edwards is double dipping, as drawing retirement from another government agency, the ABC School District……..

      Please note, Cerritos elected are one of the few in the state, which have all of the built in perks, (Parallel staffers) including MEDICAL insurance to the grave for self and all following spouses till their death. Yes, Cerritos councilpersons on their death bed, can remarry an 18 YO Person and the Cerritos taxpayers have to pay full medical insurance for this 18 YO till their death. This is bogus, just continuation of WW2 Post Baby Boomer Mentality, which are robbing the budget. Also, examine how many past Cerritos Council and staffers have cashed out their medical and retirement packages, to take said money for new sunrise investments!!!!!!!!

      www.cerritos.us/GOVERNMENT/city_budget_finances.php

      Read and heed the Cerritos Annual Budget, as line items are not in one portfolio, but are budgeted off in to various wild card sectors, in order to skate around the exorbitant figures, which would cause red annual flags and spook public. Just more seeding politics by city of Bell corruption. This is one of many stories, how the REPUBLICAN era of Cerritos Elected have help rob our systems, so the breached public works are destroying our real estate values.

      cerritospublicworks.blogspot.com/

      **Tell me how many jobs in today’s economy, give 100% Free medical insurance, for the staffer and spouse, at no cost to the employee?????**

      hmg.theserver.me/loscerritosnews/2013/02/22/february-22-los-cerritos-community-news-e-edition/

  4. 90703 res

    February 22, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I think you are a good watchdog for the community, but oh my God you are the only media outlet that always finds a way to make a story about you! I don’t think a week goes by without you guys writing a story about yourselves and somehow Hews getting a quote in the article. Humility goes a long way, the substance of your revelations should be the story, not the person/paper writing about it.