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Commerce Council Candidate Threatens HMG-CN Publisher After Report Outlining Donations

Leonard Mendoza also sent out fraudulent mailers calling himself Mayor when he was removed two weeks ago.

Staff Report

April 29, 2022~Last week, HMG-CN exposed thousands in dark money attempting to influence the Commerce City Council race.

Candidate Leonard Mendoza, who famously got punched out at a Contract Cities Conference and was just removed for abusing his Mayoral office and sending out campaign promotions on city stationery, took in a total of $22,000 in donations over $1,000.

Now, along with the dark money, intimidation, harassment, threat of bodily harm, and fraud have tainted the race.

After reporting his removal as mayor for abuse of office, Mendoza, against the advice of the Commerce City Clerk, has been sending out campaign material in the mail that says he is still the Mayor of Commerce.

The first letter was mailed to all Commerce residents hitting mailboxes one week after Mendoza was stripped of his title for abusing his office.

“He is a fraud,” said one resident who did not want to be identified for fear of retribution, “he is not the mayor; everyone knows that here in the city.”

The resident knew what he was talking about when he cited retribution.

After publishing the dark money article, HMG-CN emailed Mendoza asking about the letter, Mendoza erupted and immediately began a barrage of intimidation, harassment, and threat of bodily harm on HMG-CN Publisher Brian Hews. 

Mendoza sent a thinly disguised threat writing to Hews, “you vetter [sic] stopp [sic] writing about me!”

A few emails later, Hews was compelled to ask about Mendoza’s alleged drinking problem, Mendoza wrote, “Don’t change what we are talk [sic] about, don’t write about me. I will sue you if you write about me again.”

In another email, Mendoza became extremely belligerent and threatening, “You messed up No body [sic] messes with me. I want to tell everyone to know that you are fool and lier [sic] When I get elected I will make sure you never work in Commerce. I have supporte [sic] in other cities and I will tell them to. You don’t have nothing I talk to my attornety [sic] and I can send as mayor I will get elected and get [candidate] Mireya [Garcia] and Yvette [Gayton] elected. I will be the mayor again. I’m not worried. You will be out of Commerce. 

“Watch [sic] You will see I am suing you. You are the biggest fraud. I have a huge family.”

Handing out fraudulent material and posting the same information on social media carries no penalty, but sending out fraudulent material via the USPS is mail fraud, provided there is 1) a scheme to defraud, 2) an intent to defraud, and 3) using mail in furtherance of the scheme.

In an email obtained by HMG-CN via a FOIA request, Mendoza was told by the Commerce City Clerk on April 20 that he could not mail or publish anything labeling him mayor after the April 12 City Council meeting when he was removed.

Mendoza admitted guilt, telling the city clerk, “I printed everything prior to April 12, I will cease using any material after everything that has been printed is distributed.”

Mendoza has not responded to questions about the deceitful flyers but on social media, he has not ceased the fraud.

On Facebook, Mendoza created a paged called Mendoza4Commerce. The front page, which was visible as of the time of publishing this article, declared, “Re-Elect Mayor Leonard Mendoza Commerce City Council 2022.”

Emails into Mendoza asking him to explain his Facebook page were not returned.


(Above) This was posted today April 29, 2022 by Mendoza, violating his promise to the city clerk (below).

6 Responses to Commerce Council Candidate Threatens HMG-CN Publisher After Report Outlining Donations

  1. Pingback: Campaign 2022: Was Commerce Councilman Mendoza Impaired? | Cerritos Community News.

  2. Pingback: Fit for Office? Commerce Candidate Leonard Mendoza Prints Materials With Wrong Election Date | Cerritos Community News.

  3. Pingback: Commerce Councilman Mendoza Was Fired From His Job With Commerce for Dishonesty, Intimidation | Cerritos Community News.

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