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Barrows now says he did not retract his statement when emails from his attorney clearly show he did.
Editor’s note: Emails can be found at end of article.
HMG Staff Report
It is becoming apparent that Cerritos City Council candidate Bruce Barrows has recognized that he is in an extremely difficult position related to the defamatory and libelous statements he made slamming Hews Media Group (HMG) and Publisher Brian Hews.
HMG received a letter from a second law firm hired by Barrows, Long Beach based Cameron and Pearlson, who threatened HMG with further action “if you do not cease publishing articles about Barrows.”
Paul R. Pearlson, who is famous, or infamous depending on one’s view, presented an “incredibly tortured argument” that challenged a California state law that protected the confidentiality of people who took the AIDS virus test, wrote the two-page letter to HMG.
Pearlson asserted that the two stories involving Bruce Barrows on Propositon H and Article IV of the Cerritos City Charter, with Prop. H mandating a four-year waiting period after serving two consecutive four-year terms, was “false and refuted by the city of Cerritos.”
The Pearlson letter demanded that HMG publish the letter that City Attorney Mark Steres of Alshyre and Winder wrote in opposition to HMG’s article.
The letter, which is basically Steres’ biased legal opinion on the ruling of Article IV, “was to be published immediately after any articles HMG concerning Barrows.”
In his first letter to refute HMG-CN’s article, Steres cited then Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s opinion in 2004 that stated Prop H. was a two-year ban.
After a second article was published about Article IV, which included the results of two judicial decisions on Article IV fifteen years earlier, Steres then proceeded to refute the two judges who handed down a favorable ruling for Prop H. proponents.
Steres once again leaned on the AG’s opinion; an opinion that did not cite the two judicial decisions that occurred years earlier.
According to the Attorney General’s own website, “The attorney general’s opinions are advisory, and not legally binding on courts, agencies, or individuals.”
Chris Fuentes, one of the authors of Proposition H told HMG, “if those against Prop H. thought it was only a two-year ban, why did they spend $50,000 to fight it, nobody has answered that question, do they think we are stupid?”
Steres authored the two letters at Cerritos taxpayer’s expense, and, in a highly unusual move, emailed the letters to several media outlets for publication.
“Usually you send a request for retraction to the newspaper that published the articles not to several media outlets,” said Hews, “that was very unusual for Steres to do that.”
The second part of the Barrows/Pearlson letter attempted to refute the article published last week that Barrows defamed HMG Publisher Brian Hews.
Pearlson stated, “HMG also continues to falsely assert that Mr. Barrows had supposedly made libelous and defamatory statements against you and also falsely asserted that Mr. Barrows’ attorney Patrick Stacker had supposedly confirmed that Mr. Barrows will retract his defamatory statements.”
Shockingly Pearlson said, “As you know neither Mr. Stacker nor Mr. Barrows ever acknowledged to you, to HMG, or to anyone else that any statements of Mr. Barrows were either defamatory or libelous and that it was an innocent mistake by Mr. Barrows.”
Hews stated, “I have emails from Patrick Stacker that said, and I am quoting, ‘I’m counsel for Bruce Barrows on various matters…..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. I think he has 10 days after the request to be honest with you. Do you think he legally has to do it sooner?’ It is clear he wanted to retract, this is pure intimidation.”
For background, Barrows, in an email to his campaign base, stated, 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.
“This is typical Barrows intimidation,” Hews said, “that’s what he does, he assaulted Jay Gray after Gray questioned him at a Council meeting, he withheld funding for Skyknight if council did not cut HMG-CN’s print budget, he sends out a defamatory emails and then denies it and retains an attorney to try and scare me. He is a political bully.”
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