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Cristina Garcia’s Campaign Manager Leo Briones Once Threatened Hews Media Group Staff and Publisher

 

Kristin Otto Herzog second from right, with LA County Sheriff’s Candidate and Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers, center, at a cigar lounge fundraiser in 2014. TMZ reported in 2010 that Herzog was “a convicted felon with a history of firearms abuse.” HMG-CN received the picture, called Rogers about Herzog’s attendance at the fundraiser, after which Briones threatened HMG-CN staff and publisher for running the story.

 

BY BRIAN HEWS

The 2014 race for Los Angeles County Sheriff, won by current Sheriff Jim McDonnell, had a diverse and hot-tempered cast of characters including retired Undersheriff Paul Tanaka; McDonnell; Assistant Sheriff James Hellmold;  Bob Olmsted, a retired sheriff’s commander; Patrick Gomez, a retired sheriff’s lieutenant; and Lou Vince, a senior detective supervisor with the LAPD.

But none was more controversial then Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers.

Rogers campaign manager at the time was the equally volatile Leo Briones, who now happens to be embattled 58th Assembly-woman Cristina Garcia’s campaign manager.

In May of 2014, Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper reported that Los Angeles County Sheriff candidate Todd Rogers and especially Briones made threatening statements to HMG-CN staff and its Publisher Brian Hews during a series of telephone conversations.

 

LA County Sheriff Candidate Todd Rogers, Political Operative Threaten HMG-CN Reporter During Interviews

 

 

The overt threats by Briones came after HMG-CN inquired about Rogers’ relationship with the controversial Kristin Otto Herzog.

Herzog made headlines around the world back in 2010 when TMZ reported that he was “a convicted felon with a history of firearms abuse” and had been involved with Iksana Grigorieva, who is the former companion of actor Mel Gibson.

In a later conversation with HMG-CN, Herzog denied that he was ever convicted as a felon, but back-tracked after HMG-CN showed him a four-page print out of his past encounters with law enforcement.

The documents showed several arrests on felony charges; Herzog later claimed some were dismissed.

HMG-CN had been investigating claims that Rogers was in contact with Herzog who owns and operates a private bodyguard company based in Hollywood.

HMG-CN was sent a picture of Rogers standing with Herzog and others at a fundraiser outside a cigar lounge and was told, “there are other photos besides this one.”

Rogers, who touted himself as a “reformer you can trust,” was the Assistant Sheriff in Los Angeles County and the mayor of Lakewood at the time; he is a current Councilman in Lakewood.

Briones became extremely angry and denied there was a relationship between Herzog and Rogers. He later recanted when Herzog told HMG-CN a few days later that he was encouraged to attend the fundraiser.

Briones then threatened HMG-CN staff in an expletive-laced telephone interview saying, “This is total bullshit. This is not good for the County.  Fucking Todd would not do this.  This is fucking (Paul) Tanaka’s people doing this on Todd.  I want to warn you before you publish these photos.”

Briones, who first said that the photo of Rogers and Herzog was “probably altered,” later back-tracked and said that Herzog had not “given us any money.”

Briones went on to say that Herzog was “not a convicted felon.”

“Herzog showed up to a fundraiser. We aren’t taking money,” Briones said.

Then Briones told HMG-CN staff, “This is a dumb story.  You do not want to go there.  Why are you messing with this (situation).”

After the exchange, Rogers called HMG-CN and denied that he has had any past relationship with Herzog.

“I haven’t gotten a dime (from Herzog),” Rogers said.

“We are checking his criminal history and this is asinine to have to qualify what took place,” Rogers said in the phone interview.

“These guys are coming out of the wood work. There were lawyers there at the campaign event.  I have events every day, I can’t police who comes in and out of my events,” Rogers said.

Later, Sheriff’s candidate Lou Vince slammed Briones and Rogers for threatening HMG-CN staff.

LA Sheriff Candidate Lou Vince Slams Todd Rogers over Threats Made Against HMG-CN Reporter

 

 

 

 

 

 

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