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Whittier Councilman Defames Cerritos Newspaper and Publisher

 

August 7, 2021

STAFF REPORT

Whittier City Councilman Henry Bouchot is not a dumb guy, graduating from Loyola Marymount and Boston University and then getting elected to the Whittier City Council in 2018.

But something happened in the years after his graduation. In 2018 he spent a massive $100,000 to win his current Whittier Council seat; many people called that “very dumb,” even though he won.

Now he is running for the 32nd State Senate seat against incumbent Bob Archuleta and plowed in another $100,000 into his campaign coffers while splitting his loyalties between the State Senate seat and his Whittier Council seat.

He is leaving Whittier residents hanging, refusing to comment on his council seat race until he learns his Senate race outcome.

Some call that very dumb too, including many Whittier residents, who saw him run in 2018 only to try and leave in 2022.

Whittier Mayor Joe Vinatieri told the WDN that he was surprised to hear that Bouchot was running for state Senate with $100,000 of his own money.

Vinatieri said it could be difficult for Bouchot should he run for both Council and Senate, “It always raises issues when you run for two seats as to where your loyalties are and what your ambitions are,” he said. “It’s a distraction for voters. They like to know where your heart lies.”

Los Cerritos Community Newspaper (LCCN) Publisher/Owner Brian Hews has never heard of the Bouchot.

“I have not met Bouchot, nor have I attended any Whittier Council meetings. I am old school, unlike the younger reporters, the Council is the Daily News’ domain; you don’t play in another newspaper’s sandbox.

The first time I heard about Bouchot was when I was told by reliable sources about his reckless and defamatory statements against myself and my newspaper.”

Hews’ sources, two local elected officials, said that Bouchot was telling people he “gave a bunch of money” to Hews and “invested money” into LCCN.

“I was shocked, since he is not a newspaper executive, he is unaware how damaging his false statements could be to my paper’s standing in Los Angeles communities.”

Immediately after hearing about Bouchot’s statements, Hews fired off an email demanding a public retraction.

“I have it from good sources that you are running around the city telling people you “invested in my newspaper, that you gave me a bunch of money. That is a bald-faced lie. You are using my hard-earned goodwill to advance your political career by lying and defaming this newspaper, my ethics are in question because of your reckless statements. I demand a retraction and quote ASAP, I will not hesitate to take you to court for your reckless statements.”

Hews copied his attorney Scott Talkov of Riverside-based Talkov Law.

Bouchot never answered. The next email Hews got was from his attorney informing Hews that Bouchot had hired an attorney.

“Pretty much sealed the deal,” Hews said, “why would Bouchot lawyer up? He is confirming he made those statements. And he has not answered my initial email or my texts demanding a retraction. If he did not say it, he would have denied it already.

“I bought this paper (LCCN) 20 years ago after running my family-owned Wave Newspapers for over 13 years. I get attacked all the time by people and politicians who I expose for corruption. As Mayor, Cerritos Councilman Naresh Solanki dissolved the Cerritos’ five-person Economic Development Commission when I was a commissioner after I ran a story about his questionable City Council campaign finances.

Cerritos Mayor Solanki & Mayor Pro Tem Vo Giving Big Breaks to Campaign Donors

 

“Current appointed Councilman Bruce Barrows, on the dais during a meeting, demanded that city advertising be taken from the newspaper after a similar article was published about him.

 

Cerritos Council Candidate Bruce Barrows Refused to Fund Sky Knight Helicopter Program as Political Payback in 2012

 

 

“Abuse of office, certainly. But in my over 33 years in this business, no one has ever said what Bouchot said; that is really stupid. It can be very damaging to myself and the newspaper’s standing in the community in so many other ways, and he still has not retracted.”

Sources have told Hews that Bouchot has been unsuccessful in securing crucial endorsements for his Senate campaign from area politicians, so he lies about the money he gave LCCN in an attempt to coerce the politicians into an endorsement.

Asked if Hews will file a defamation complaint against Bouchot he said, “I will wait to see if he issues a public retraction, but not long.”

 

 

 

 

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