_____________________________ ST. NORBERT CHURCH           RATES _______________________


Downey newspaper filing questionable documents to obtain legal status in Norwalk

Computer screenshot of the California Newspaper Association’s website show that Downey newspaper personnel called the newspaper new, violating the one-year requirement for attaining legal status.

The filing of the legal advertising under Gov’t Sec. Code 6000, on bottom is the verification of accuracy under penalty of perjury.


By Brian Hews

Publisher could have possibly perjured herself; Mayor Kelley, Councilman Mendez, and Chamber Executive Director Vivian Hansen’s involvement questioned.

Emails between all involved can be found at the end of this article.

In an effort to secure the ability to publish legal advertisements for the city of Norwalk, Downey Patriot Publisher Jennifer DeKay-Givens has twisted facts and fabricated the actual publication’s date of establishment and printing of the her “new” newspaper The Norwalk Business Call.

LCCN has confirmed that DeKay-Givens could have exposed herself to possible perjury charges in the filing. LCCN has also confirmed that Mayor Cheri Kelley, Councilman Mike Mendez, Executive Director of the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, Vivian Hansen, President of the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce Joe Derthick, Rob Cazares, Manager, Norwalk Outback Steakhouse, and Jesse Urquidi were involved in the process, although Urquidi bowed out later.

Using a law firm based out of Camarillo, Ms. Givens filed her notice to publish city legal advertising under Government Code Section 6000 which reads: A “newspaper of general circulation”… which has a bona fide subscription list of paying subscribers, and has been established, printed and published at regular intervals in…the city where publication… for at least one year. The notice is signed by Ms. Givens under penalty of perjury.


Computer “screenshots” of websites show the Patriot announcing the “new” newspaper. It read, “Publishers of The Downey Patriot have launched a new weekly newspaper, the Norwalk Business Call, The Patriot reports”, thus implicitly violating the one-year publishing requirement.

The announcement was placed on both the Downey Patriot website and the California Newspaper Publisher’s Association website, but have since been removed. LCCN time stamped all screenshots; they are included at the end of this article.

Further, emails and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from the city of Norwalk show Ms. Givens initiating the “start” of the paper in May 2011 calling then Mayor Mike Mendez and asking to meet to “expand” the Downey Patriot into Norwalk. She used the word new many times in her messages.

On June 29, Ms. Givens left another message with Vicki Dilley-council secretary- asking to schedule an appointment with Mendez regarding “starting a newspaper only for Norwalk”. The message was sent to Vickie Yoshikawa who then forwarded to Mendez. to

On July 14, Ms. Givens called again and left a message about “expanding into Norwalk”. Givens said she had also spoken to then Vice-Mayor Cheri Kelley about the project.

On Sept. 6, 2011 Givens left another message for Mendez that read, “[Ms Givens] would very much like to start a Norwalk paper. Would like to talk to you about the possibilities.”


After Ms. Givens apparently successfully arranged a meeting, a Dec. 8, 2011 email from Vivian Hansen, Executive Director of the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce to Mike Egan, Norwalk City Manager, Cheri Kelly, Joe Derthick, Rob Cazares, and Jesse Urquidi reminded everyone of a lunch meeting at Outback Steakhouse Dec. 9 with Ms. Givens. In the email Hansen requested Kelley let Mendez know about the meeting because “we definitely want to include him our discussion”. Sources told LCCN that as soon as Urquidi learned of the scope of the meeting at the steakhouse, he abruptly left.

Following an apparent agreement forged at that meeting between Givens and all involved, a January 12 email from Executive Director Hansen informed LCCN that “my board of directors have made the decision not to print the [chamber newsletter] with LCCN. Effective Jan. 12, 2012, it will be printed by the Downey Patriot”. LCCN had printed the newsletter free for over five years at a cost of $3,200 each. The newsletter was published nine times per year, total cost over the five years, $144,000.

Following that agreement, a March 8, 2012 email from Executive Director Hansen to City Manager Egan read, “we signed the agreement with Ms. Givens yesterday to sell the Norwalk Chamber Masthead. Ms. Givens is moving forward with publishing the new paper starting next week and the first edition should be out next Friday.”

Since the email did refer to a Friday publication, Ms. Hansen must have been referring to the start of the Norwalk Business Call again implicitly violating the one-year publishing requirement.

A March 12, 2012 email from City Manager Egan to city council read “ Christian Brown is a reporter for the new Norwalk Business Call…would like to interview council members”.

In phone calls to the Norwalk Call’s published address, shown as located inside the Norwalk Chamber office, LCCN was told “Eric Pierce (editor of the Business Call), works at the Downey Patriot, not here”. Phone calls to the Downey Patriot office confirmed that statement.

Bona-fide subscription list 

Another requirement to secure legal adjudication is a bona fide paid subscription list of paying subscribers to the newspaper. Most laws indicate at least 2,000 are needed depending on the size of the city. In questioning consultants, LCCN learned that it would be highly unlikely the Patriot could build a subscriber list so fast especially given the fact that newspapers are losing subscribers to the internet.

LCCN contacted Ms. Givens attorney Glen Dickinson of Light Gabler, LLC and emailed the documents refuting the adjudication filing. He refused to comment. “I cannot comment on pending litigation”, Dickinson told LCCN.

LCCN also contacted Executive Director Hansen asking why the Chamber allowed the Business Call to use their office address, the emails were not answered.

A third set of emails was sent to Mayor Kelley, Councilman Mendez and City Manager Mike Egan informing them of the findings and the refuted filing for adjudication. Those emails were not answered.

Copies of e-mails between all involved obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.





  • Norwalk Biz Gal says:

    This is crossing the line BIG time. The Norwalk Chamber Board of Directors should fire Exec.Director Vivian Hansen and how dare she and the mayor and city manager involve the city in such a messy legal situation. Cheri Kelly how much is your stupidity going to cost the tax payers this time?

  • Donna N from Downey says:

    Downey Patriot Publisher Jennifer DeKay-Givens has no morals and no right to cheat the system just because politicians from Norwalk don’t like an free and open media.

    I applaud your efforts. It takes a tremendous amount of time to investigate a matter of this magnitude.

    Los Cerritos Community Newspaper should think about covering Downey. Time for a real “community newspaper” to come into Downey

  • James Johnson says:

    All your facts should be checked before you jump to conclusions. Newspapers report biased stuff for themselves, and to hype up people. All I see out of this newspaper is negative stuff about Norwalk. Maybe they have a personal vendetta against Norwalk and that is why they are reporting so much negative stuff. Emails can be deceiving because everything isn’t taken into consideration when you are reading them. Who knows what this newspaper did to cause other people to not want to be associated with them anymore.

    I’m just saying, take it with a grain of salt because they are tying to make themselves look good and make Norwalk look bad!!!

    • mark hylland says:

      Speaking of E-Mails, at least Cheri Kelley replie$ when it benefit$ her trough. It is interesting that the election is less than a year away and she FINALLY attended OUR Neighborhood Watch (150 people in attendance). Was that just a show Mayor Kelley. Just like Scott Collins does, shows up as election time approaches. Cresson

      Elementary School area says NO ON KELLEY, enough is enough.

  • Ex-Norwalk Chamber Member says:

    I was a former Norwalk Chamber President around six or seven years ago. Thank GOD for Los Cerritos Community Newspaper to be in our community. If it wasn’t for LCCN, I have NO IDEA what would be going on around here. This Mayor Kelly has never talked about how much money she has made off of her “connections” here in the real estate business. I wonder if this Norwalk Call is going to report on corruption or just tea parties?

    The laws are the laws. Just ask this crooked Assessor Nogooze about the Los Cerritos Community Newspaper.

    Keep up your amazing coverage. Everyone is talking about Los Cerritos newspaper all over town.

  • Brian Hews says:

    Mr Johnson:
    I do not see you point. We just report the facts. The facts show that Ms. Givens just started the paper in March. Thanks for your comment.

    • mark hylland says:

      Mr. Hews, this NEW paper just starting arriving on our yards in Mid-March. In fact, I believe the first edition had Mr.Eagan’s picture on the front page.

      Keep Norwalk Clean—-Keep out this “NEW” paper.

      March 2013 VOTE NO ON KELLY….

  • Anon says:

    This seems like an article you wrote out of spite because another publication tried to come into your turf and take away your sales. People should know that the Community News isn’t exactly a bunch of angels themselves. Any local business owner will tell you this newspaper wont write about anything unless they advertise in their paper. That’s extortion so dont act all high and mighty when youve got unethical wrongdoings and tactics happening in your own business!

    • Brian Hews says:

      Dear Anon:
      we have more evidence to show the Patriot is illegally filing for notice coming next week. Also anyone who reads LCCN knows we write local community news only and have publishing services for advertisers similar to the LA Times.

  • Casillas Family says:

    Cerritos Community Newspaper Group and the Downey Patriot. It seems that there is some hurt feeling about who won or loss in Norwalk? Why are they making a big deal if they are the Cerritos Community Newspaper? Should we question why?

    In reading the article do I see the complete truth or do I see parts of emails? When I read the newspaper I always look at who wrote the article, It seems I am unable to find out who wrote this particular article and why.

    Concerned Resident

    • Brian Hews says:

      Dear Casillas family:
      Thanks for your comment, we cover Norwalk and have done so for 7 years. Our name is the Community News covering Cerritos, Artesia, Norwalk, etc. The emails were given to us by the city,so there is no redacting on our part. The evidence is clear.

  • mark hylland says:

    WOW, this is SHAMEFUL. Please take note that we have lived in our home since 1966 and I had never even heard of the this NEW paper until mid-March 2012. Please stop throwing your TRASH in our yard. LCCN we would love to see you in OUR COMMUNITY. Reminder to all voters—-City Council Elections are in March 2013. NO ON KELLY.

  • Call me Jay says:

    Why is the Mayor of Norwalk getting involved with the Downey Patriot??

    Wasn’t she involved in bringing a “hate newspaper” to Norwalk like 20 years ago?

    I like the Los Cerritos Paper, it is the only newspaper to cover Norwalk-La Mirada School Board meetings, and you keep us informed about all the actions of the city council and even tells us about crimes, and murders here in Norwalk. What is wrong with that Mayor…and how come she doesn’t let people talk on television during council meetings. Isn’t that un-american?

  • Mark Hylland says:

    Note–The E-mails mentions a “Marie Gonzalez”, who was once the golden child of Scott Collins, Cheri Kelly, Mayor Jane Macintosh—-etc, there seems to have been a rift and NOW the golden child wants to tell how things really work between the Cheri Kelly’s Council/Norwalk Chamber—–March 2013, VOTE NO ON KELLY.

  • Paul Martin says:

    Sounds like there might also a likely Brown Act violation committed on the part of city councilmembers at the meeting at Outback if city advertisement placement was discussed in anyway.

    That has to be agendized if council is going to talk about it.

  • Paul Martin says:

    LCCN should submit this evidence to the Public Integrity Unit at the L.A. County DA’s office.

    213 974-6501

    They can investigate both the Patriot and council that were at the Outback.

  • Helena Hernanez says:

    Thank you Mr. Hews for reporting the truth about what is going on in Norwalk. I read your
    newspaper every week.

  • Norwalk Commissioner says:

    Kelley pulled the same scam over two decades ago when she brought in the Southeast Tribune, and editor Jay Johnson to Norwalk so she could “control” a local newspaper. This is 1988 all over again. Time to start a recall on Kelley.

    • mark hylland says:

      RECALL starts now…..VOTE NO ON KELLEY MARCH 2013.

    • Thomas Giddens says:

      Good memory. This is exactly like the South East Cities Tribune caper that you bring forward. It’s ironic that Kelley is so high and mighty demanding transparency and yet goes ahead and does some bone headed move like this.

      Typical Republican elitism. Make the rich grow richer and hopefully the others will go away. It’s tantamount to economical and intellectual genocide.

      I wonder if Cheri Kelley’s 4th of July show will be calendared this year in light of the economy and the extraordinary show costs. The patriotic thing to do would be take the money and invest it in Norwalk Veterans. Supporting veterans is only punch line for to Ms. Kelley.

  • mark hylland says:

    Rule number ONE. Attack the issue and not the person. TWO–Don’t blame the victim……Brian and Randy you guys are WELCOMED IN NORWALK.

  • Christopher P. says:

    I am confused and maybe someone can clarify for me… The first question I have is does Brian Hews own LCCN? If so wouldn’t writing a story about your own publication be a conflict of interest? Second, if the paper has been published for 5 years would it not then be a “bona fide” newspaper according to the one-year publishing requirement reported on in the beginning of this article? If not then every time a publisher sells a newspaper does it go from being a legit newspaper to nothing until its published for a year? Also if LCCN printed the newspaper for free at a loss of $3200 a run… To me that seems illogical and a poor business practice, I mean I am all for helping the community but usually you would sell advertising space to help cover the cost… Just some questions…

    • Brian Hews says:

      Yes I own LCCN if you read the paper I think you would know that, it is on page 2 in the staff box. Why is there a conflict of interest? Norwalk does not publish their legal ads with the NCN. We have been in Norwalk for over six years. When you stop publishing a paper your legal status immediately stops, if you re-start the paper you have to wait a year to apply for legal status. It is essentially more than a year because another requirement is publishing a minimum amount of news about the in that paper for three years.The 3,200 i referred to was the advertising cost per page I could have sold it for. Hope this answers you questions

  • Nicole P says:

    It looks like you could call this Under New Management, that happens sometimes you know. This article makes you look pathetic and threatened. My hope is that you can stop this pettiness an do your job, let your work speak for itself.

    • Nick on Van Nuys says:

      You obviously don’t read the Los Cerritos Community Newspaper on a regular basis. If it wasn’t for the GREAT INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING of the LCCN, the current corruption that is going on at the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office would NOT be taking place. Just ask CBS News and KCAL and KRLA about the accuracy of this publication.

    • Brian Hews says:

      We have been in Norwalk for over six years, if you read the paer you would know that. When you stop publishing a paper your legal status immediately stops, if you re-start the paper you have to wait a year to apply for legal status. It is essentially more than a year because another requirement is publishing a minimum amount of news about the in that paper for three years.The Patriot has not done that. Hope this answers your questions.