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LETTER’S: Barrowsgate, Crime, Cover-up and Conspiracy at Cerritos City Hall

Note: Los Cerritos Community Newspaper welcomes letters and opinion pieces from residents and community leaders. All opinions expressed in this letter are of the author, not LCCN.

By Chris Fuentes
Resident of Cerritos for 42 years

“I don’t give a sh** what happens. I want you all to stonewall it, let them plead the Fifth Amendment, cover up or anything else, if it’ll save it—save this plan. That’s the whole point. We’re going to protect our people if we can.”
The previous quote is the words of Richard Nixon back in the days of the infamous Watergate crimes and cover-up that eventually forced Nixon from the White House. They were probably the words of Acting Mayor Bruce Barrows with regard to Barrows’ admitted battery of Cerritos resident Jay Gray.
What did he do and when did he do it? The facts are plain; Bruce Barrows admits to committing battery upon Cerritos resident Jay Gray. Barrows’ own account of the incident to the Cerritos Sherriff’s Office states that Barrows initially profaned Gray, calling him an a**hole BEFORE Barrows says Gray responded “Your wife doesn’t think so” which then resulted in Barrows’ actions, in Barrows own words “I LOST CONTROL” resulting in a clear case of BATTERY; grabbing and pushing Gray in a threatening manner, indicating a threat of bodily harm.
Gray withdrew pressing legal charges against Barrows in order to give Barrows the opportunity to do the right thing; apologize publicly, tell the truth and own up for his actions, instead Barrows has engaged himself and the City of Cerritos in a shameless cover-up. At a recent city council meeting from up on the dais, Barrows contradicted his own account by claiming that he was “Defending the honor of my wife” A cowardly and patently false obfuscation of what really happened.
The District Attorney brought Barrows in to the Los Cerritos Municipal Courthouse DA’s Office and reportedly asked Barrows to take Anger Management and/or Psychological Therapy to deal with his erratic behavior. Barrows counter claims against Gray (Barrows claimed Gray “Disturbed my peace”) were dismissed by the DA’s representative out of hand.
Council Cover-up and conspiracy? The entire city council was silent on the issue of Barrow’s altercation and assault upon Gray, they neither commented on this nor responded to community members asking that they condemn this behavior in the strongest terms. Barrows should be censured and/or removed from office. Barrows himself along with Mayor Jim Edwards and the full city council voted to Censure former City Councilmember John Crawley for sending an email under Edwards name, Crawley eventually resigned from office. How long will it take Barrows to own up to his actions?
Curiously, the Cerritos City Council went on the attack, cutting their print advertising from the Los Cerritos Community News after LCCN printed the Barrows story and demanded answers from the silent city council and city management.
Why all of a sudden, after MILLIONS of lost revenue on the Performing Arts Center, is it necessary to cut PRINT advertising in LCCN? This is an obvious attempt at taking punitive measures against Publisher Brian Hews to silence the paper that exposed ousted L.A. County Tax Assessor Noguez under a corruption scandal. Will ‘Barrowsgate’ be the downfall of a Cerritos City Council that appears to be in collusion with Barrows to lie, deny and get by’?
Losing Control in Public Office: Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is reportedly undergoing treatment for a “Mood Disorder” but his office only came forward with this revelation, months after he took a leave from his elected duties and under pressure from congressional colleagues. Unlike Barrows, Congressman Jackson, never assaulted a constituent but the stigma of mental illness was apparently too great to come forward in a forthright manner and admit his problem. Barrows has not only not been forthright he has devised a delusional version that contradicts his own testimony and that of eye witnesses. Barrows may in fact have a psychological problem and definitely has displayed out-of-control anger issues but his latent maniacal tendencies go unattended while Barrows drags the city of Cerritos deeper into his cover-up.

Chris Fuentes
42 year Cerritos Resident

  • Mad says:

    Mr. Fuentes hit the nail right on the head. I watched the City Council meeting where Bully Barrows contradicted himself, and nothing was said by any of the other Council members. Then the June 28 meeting where they obviously got together to financially injure our hometown newspaper Los Cerritos Community News. It is a conspiracy led by Barrows…get him out!!!

  • John Q. Public says:

    Conspiracy or fiscal mismanagement? Let the people decide. How could any competent city leader(s) destroy the advertising budget of it’s crowned jewel, the Performing Arts Center? The Center is losing millions of dollars and the response of the city council is to cut its print advertising budget by $220,000. Ironic, that Pulido and Barrows along with the rest of the city council traded advertising funds for a “crime prevention” helicopter. Where was the sky knight helicopter when Barrows allegedly battered Mr. Gray?

  • James Yee says:

    Yes, Chris. Mr. Barrows admitted that he did commit battery on Mr. Gray. Mr. Gray did not press charges. Why not? We can only speculate. After reviewing the police reports, the DA decided to handle the case with an in-house hearing on June 29. I haven’t read the outcome of that hearing.
    Yes, Chris. When Mr. Gray and you made comments at the City Council meeting, as you know, the Council does not have to respond to comments on a topic that is not on the Agenda. However, Mr. Barrows did choose to respond, and he admitted the battery cited above. Neither you nor Mr. Mad can expect the rest of the Council to respond in the meeting or in public. However, if enough people demand that censure of Mr. Barrows be considered, then the Council should add it as an agenda item in a future meeting.
    Yes, Chris. The Council decided to cut the print advertising in LCCN. As you know, it had to make many more cuts. I didn’t hear that it was in retaliation to the paper. It was a business decision that print advertising was not productive.
    Yes, Chris. You have been a long time opponent of the Performing Arts Center. You may have noticed that its budget was also dramatically reduced. The current fiscal year shows only about 75 shows. Think of the CCPA employees who would be jobless if we closed the theater. Think of the many children in the South Bay area who would no longer benefit from attending a performance sponsored by the Friends. Think of the local businesses that would no longer benefit from the patrons who come to performances at the Center. You have to look beyond the income and expenses of the Center to assess its worth to the City.

    • Don't Lie About Me Yee says:

      Twist the facts about Barrows and look foolish all you want Mr. Yee but please don’t lie about me. I NEVER Opposed the CCPA in fact I have been a stalwart supporter of the CCPA wanting to eliminate the dead-end city run money pit administration in lieu of a financially SOLVENT Performing Arts Center. The CCPA has used their ticket giveaways to excuse the loss of MILLIONS of dollars EVERY YEAR in public funds. YOU Mr. Yee may feel good about being a big shot philanthropist with other peoples hard earned tax dollars but I do not. I think it is a shame that our city officials have ignored this serious problem for so long and not even bothered to explore alternative management strategies thinking that the gravy train of “Redevelopment” was going to last forever. NO Mr. Yee I have NEVER opposed the CCPA so spin your embarrassing apologies for Bruce Barrows Battery of a resident and twist facts to your hearts content if you think it will save your ‘leader’ but please don’t lie about me Mr. Yee.

    • Mad says:

      Mr. Yee:
      Gray dropped the charges because he thought Barrows would do the right thing own up to it and put it behind him. He is a Cerritos resident with a lovely family (three girls). Given Barrows response to his comments (BATTERY) what do you think would have happened to him and his family if he pressed charges…we can only speculate.

      That is why he was so mad at public comment session where Barrows lied on tape.

      Also rumor is two of the council people were going to censure then backed off again drawing the ire of Gray, but he spoke and did not assault like Battery Barrows.

      Watch the 6/28 council tape it is completely obvious Barrows targeted LCCN to injure LCCN financially. A newspaper that has and continues to bring great attention to Cerritos with its stories and investigations.

      I am at a loss why you and Ipsa continue to defend him….oh yes you are both Cerritos Commmissioners appointed by Barrows. Ask your self what you would be doing if Pulido assaulted a resident…..hypocrits…

  • John Q. Public says:

    Mr. Yee, can you tell us why when Mr. Gray refused to press charges why the DA continued the matter?
    It seems logical to conclude that the DA who is sworn to look after the public’s interest saw the bigger picture and felt Mr. Barrows needed to be held accountable for his actions.
    Tell us Mr. Yee, if the DA saw it best, in the public’s interest, to proceed without Mr. Gray why then do you think the city council, who is also sworn to uphold the law, lacked the courage to hold one of their own accountable?
    It seems you and another Barrows fan, who have been posting on this site, don’t understand an important fact of American government. A fact that I think Mayor Jim Edwards, who loves to tout his veteran status and the 1st CEB, also needs to be reminded of. You see, Mr. Yee, as well as other Barrows fans, politicians swear an oath to protect the US Constitution and not one another nor the reputation of a city.
    Mr. Yee, can you please enlighten us on looking beyond the income and expense of the Performing Arts Center? First, no one has suggested closing the Center. Don’t try to reframe the issue with such a bogus claim. Second, you seem concern about employees losing jobs. Mr. Yee, would it make more fiscal sense to bring in a professional company that could actually turn a profit? Would that not help employees and the city? of course it would, Mr. Yee.
    Tell us Mr. Yee how does cutting the print advertising help the Center or in the bigger picture the City of Cerritos and its residents?
    Mr. Yee, where is your proof that any single business benefits from a money losing Performing Arts Center? If the Center is losing Millions $$$ due to lack of attendance and lack of enough shows how can you claim it is helping local businesses?
    Mr. Yee can you explain if the Center is losing Millions $$$ every year, the Friends have a $10 Million dollar Trust?
    Finally, Mr. Yee, as you stated, Mr. Barrows has admitted to a criminal act — Battery — don’t you think the Cerritos City Council as an obligation to hold him accountable? If not, then why do we need legal system or a US Constitution.

  • Mr.Cerritos says:

    You guys, don’t get it. None of the other council members made comments or have made comments on this subject because of the recommendations ff the City of Cerritos trough the City of Cerritos City Manager. Why hasn’t the city manager done anything about this problem, let alone comment on this issue. The problems with the City of Cerritos Management are huge. The CCPA could be a great asset to the city instead of a burden. The City of Cerritos should and have been asked to look into other ways of marketing the CCPA, lower ticket prices and try to attract new shows that the residents want(like maybe a survey of different shows residents would like to see at the CCPA. I say having Councilman Burrows sensored is just the start. The city needs a new City Manager Who will take pride in running the city, andnot let other influence’s, like Mrs. Denise Manoogian run the city in the ground. The City of Cerritos residents deserve better.

  • Government on notice says:

    Mr. Cerritos’ comments brings to light an interesting thought. One I wonder if LCCN and other local papers might consider giving more thought. First, and anonymous way for city employees, ABC employees and others to quickly inform the newspaper and the public about questionable city activity. Second, a webpage, linked to the paper’s website, for residents to sound off about the city, city council, council/committee meetings and ABC. A sort of bulletin board.

  • Mr.Cerritos says:

    It is very sad, but this is just a small example of the problems the City of Cerritos has. It just shows what a wealthy city is able to do, just sweep it’s problems under the rug and create a front like everything in the City of Cerritos is just fine and peachy. It’s time for a new city manager that will clean house and be transparent. Art Gallucci has lost his umph, he use to take pride in running the city. Now, it’s just a power play for the City Manager that he still rule. Art could retire and still get 100% of his salary, like I said a “Power Trip”.

  • Gma says:

    Don’t let Barrows be our mayor after this episode. What might his big head make him do if we let him be mayor after what he did.