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OP/ED: Chuong Vo Threatens HMG-CN….Wendy Greuel 2.0

By Brian Hews

Back in 2013 during the Los Angles Mayor’s race, HMG-CN was alerted that mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel may have been campaigning on city time.

HMG-CN subsequently requested Greuel’s daily calendar for the preceding 18 months.

It took almost 100 days to get the documents but when HMG-CN finally got them, it was clear she was campaigning on company time and several articles were published setting off a fire storm in the LA mayor’s race.

Former Councilwoman Ruth Galanter filed a complaint to the Ethics Commission based on the HMG-CN findings.

Former campaign manager for Zev Yaroslavsky Jack McGrath called out the LA Times saying, “this comprehensive political story I should have been reading in the Los Angeles Times. We count on your paper, with substantial resources to investigate allegations such as these reported in the Cerritos newspaper.”

Greuel responded to the furor over the articles by holding a press conference.

To the horror of all journalists at the press conference, Wendy Greuel’s political operative, John Shallman, began handing out old personal documents related to HMG-CN personnel.

In one move, Greuel had threatened the entire media of Los Angeles with an act that said, “if I am elected and you write anything bad about me that is true, I will find a way to hurt you.”

Fast-forward to this week. HMG-CN published a story on council candidate Chuong Vo taking donations from shady lawyers. Lawyers who tried to frame two Costa Mesa city councilmen for drunk driving because talks had broke down between their law firm and the Costa Mesa police union.

The two lawyers were also embroiled in a fraud and malpractice lawsuit for overbilling, with one lawyer billing over 70 hours in one day and the other 4,735 hours in one year.

On top of that, Artesia Councilman Ali Taj told HMG-CN he was not endorsing Vo, even though Vo had Taj on his campaign website.

So what does Chuong Vo do after the story broke online?

Vo said everything in the story was fabricated, threatened HMG-CN, then produced old documents related to HMG-CN personnel.

Just like Wendy Greuel.

Just like Greuel, Vo is telling local media, “if I am elected and you write anything bad about me that is true, I will find a way to hurt you.”

Strong words made stronger by Vo, who is a Torrance detective licensed to carry a gun.

During his statement, which was laced with anger, Vo did not mention the fact that the donations came from lawyers with a very checkered past or that Councilman Taj had denied his endorsement on the website.

Vo just said everything was fabricated and blasted the newspaper.

Vo said in his statement that this was a “hit piece.”

It was not, I have never met Vo. My initial intention was to simply report who was donating money and how much each candidate was receiving.

Going over Vo’s statements, I immediately recognized the two lawyer’s names. I read the LA Times and OC Register every morning and live in Orange County, the Costa Mesa councilman story is a very high profile case in the OC, I knew who the lawyers were.

Suffice it to say I was shocked that Vo took donations from them, and large donations at that.

Mr. Vo also went on to say that HMG-CN “has been a problem in the community for years.”

I agree with that.

We’ve been a problem to Carol Chen and Bruce Barrows exposing their numerous $200 dinners, trips all over the U.S., and unauthorized diplomatic trips to China on Cerritos taxpayer’s dime.

After those HMG-CN travel exposes, the city placed a travel policy on its website.

We’ve been a problem to the Central Basin Water District while exposing the Calderons. We’ve certainly been a problem to the La Mirada Football Boosters Club.

In the meantime, this “problem” has continued what a community newspaper should do: publish press releases and advertising for free for nonprofit organizations that help the community; publish the Cerritos Crime Report for free, written by Linda Long who does a great job, every week to keep residents informed; invite youth organizations to come to the office to see how a newspaper is run; act as watchdog to city hall; stimulate the local economy and generate tax dollars for the city of Cerritos.

Promoting the city, creating safety awareness, community outreach, and generating revenues for the city.

That, Mr. Vo, is a nice problem to have.












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