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DIRTY POLITICS: Bruce Barrows Retracts Defamatory Statements Targeting Hews Media Group-Community News

Bruce Barrows.

Cerritos’ Elayne Shiohama, who was also involved in the attack with Barrows against HMG-CN, attacks a fellow Women’s Club member with the same trumped-up email.

Staff Report

During City Council campaigns, very few cities in Southern California see more dirty politics than Cerritos.

Candidates who cycle back through every two years – virtually shutting out newbie candidates – frequently spend tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars, to try and win a job that pays very little.

This year, the vitriol has increased due to strong cases made by HMG-CN challenging Article IV of the Cerritos City Charter regarding term limits that should ban Barrows from running for office in 2017.






But candidate Bruce Barrows has taken his oft-professed hatred of HMG-CN a step further, which should call into question his competence to sit as a City Councilman when faced with any kind of pressure.

HMG-CN obtained an email sent this past Monday by Barrows to his campaign list that was not only laced with Donald Trump-style hate-filled words, but  contained several defamatory and libelous statements perpetrated against HMG-CN meant to damage the reputation of the award-winning newspaper and Publisher Brian Hews.

Barrows email stated in part, “if we were to believe the false headlines written by “Fake News Hews” in the Los Cerritos Community News, it would be easy to believe that the City Clerk and the City Attorney allowed me to run for City Council illegally. Nothing could be further from the truth. However it seems that this paper specializes in “Fake News”, maliciously creating lies and falsehoods, and refusing to print a retraction even when proven wrong. They (may be again fined) for using a[n] ex-employees email address [Jerry Bernstein] to attack residents.”

The statement perpetrated several lies:

  1. HMG-CN specializes in “Fake News,” maliciously creating lies and falsehoods,
  2. Barrows claimed an email was from HMG-CN ex-employee Jerry Bernstein when it was not,
  3. Barrows claimed Hews attacked residents when it was clear from the email conversation that Hews was not attacking anyone.


It all started with a February 17 email sent by HMG-CN; it was the first Article IV report to be published.

Cerritos resident Elayne Shiohama.

Long time Barrows supporter Elayne Shiohama received the email from HMG–CN and immediately forwarded the email to Barrows claiming that Hews had attacked her.

Shiohama was out for revenge, she was part of an investigative report by HMG-CN and Brian Hews, outlining excessive spending on trips taken by the Cerritos Fine Arts and Historical Commission, of which Shiohama was a member.

But it was clear, and clear to Barrows, that in the email Hews did not “attack” Shiohama; it was actually Shimohama who was hurling insults.

Then Shiohama told Barrows that Hews was covertly using Bernstein’s email to attack people.

Barrows, in his haste to discredit HMG-CN,  sent out his defamatory and libelous email claiming Hews attacked Shiohama hiding behind Bernstein’s email.



Barrows defamatory email to his campaign base.



But Barrows failed to check the origination of the email, which was [email protected], and not Jerry Bernstein.


HMG-CN Demands Retraction-

Hews subsequently received the email from a source and immediately asked for a retraction from Barrows.

Barrows’ attorney, Seal Beach based Patrick Stacker, who, according to Barrows’ campaign finance documents, gave $1,000 to his campaign, and, like Barrows, is a member of the Cerritos Optimists, replied to Hews acknowledging the libelous email and agreeing to a retraction.

Stacker sent an email back saying, “We are working on a retraction, Bruce is going to retract it but he is going to do it in his normal email blast whenever that might be in the near future.”


Barrows’ attorney acknowledging the defamation and agreeing to a retraction.



An indignant Hews said, “There is a pattern here. This is a candidate for Cerritos City Council who a couple years ago assaulted a resident because the resident did not agree with him. The issue went to court and they settled.”



Cerritos Mayor Pro Tem Barrows involved in alleged assault involving resident, council critic Jay Gray


Hews continued, “Now, in his lust for the yet another stint on City Council, and to get back at me, he recklessly sent out this email with libelous and defamatory statements intended to inflict damage on my reputation.”

Hews finished, “Barrows declared a couple years ago after the State demanded money back from the City, that the ‘worst thing is that the City goes bankrupt.’ He has no control when things don’t go his way, who knows what other things he might he do.”


Cerritos Mayor Barrows: ‘The worst that could happen is that we go bankrupt’






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