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Court Slams Downey Patriot Publisher For Filing False Norwalk Documents

>Emails obtained through Freedom of Information Act indicate Norwalk Mayor Kelley, Norwalk Chamber Executive Director Vivian Hansen, Chamber President Joe Derthick, and others played a role in failed deal.

Downey Patriot publisher Jennifer DeKay-Givens, who, under questionable filing papers, went to court to obtain legal adjudication in the city of Norwalk in March of this year, had the adjudication struck down by the same judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court; the Motion to Vacate the adjudication was filed by Publisher Brian Hews and the Los Cerritos Community News.

Using a law firm based out of Camarillo, Ms. DeKay-Givens filed her notice to publish Norwalk 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 published… for at least one year…and publishing news about the city for three years”

The filing notice (found at the end of this article) is signed by Ms. DeKay-Givens under penalty of perjury.

The newspaper DeKay-Givens used to secure the adjudication was the Norwalk Business Call (NBC), a paper that was “owned” by the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber and DeKay Givens entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement where DeKay Given “bought” the paper from the Chamber.

When asked about the NBC and the deal cut between DeKay Givens and the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director Vivian Hansen refused to comment; Derthick did not return phone calls.

With the help of Norwalk Mayor Cheri Kelly, Norwalk Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Vivian Hansen and then President Joe Derthick, DeKay Givens bought the NBC name. In an another unusual move, the Chamber allowed DeKay Givens to use their office as the official publishing office of the NBC.

DeKay Givens’ claim that it was printed in Norwalk, and that it was established and published for over one year was a complete fabrication, and the Chamber of Commerce was a partner in that fabrication, we have several emails that say this is a “new” newspaper, how can it be established for one year if they said it was a new newspaper?,” said Hews.

“We have emails (end of this article) that clearly show the Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Kelley (along with others), pushed very hard to get DeKay-Givens to publish the NBC”, said Hews.

When LCCN learned of the filing, Hews was ready to challenge in court but was told by DeKay-Givens’ attorney that it was too late to object. “I called DeKay-Givens’ attorney four days before the hearing, gave him evidence, but he said you are too late to object, so I did not go”, said Hews.

Since no objection was heard, and with the judge trusting that DeKay-Givens’ filing statement was true, the judge awarded the lucrative adjudication to her.

Immediately after, DeKay-Givens sent letters to all legal posting companies and to the city of Norwalk. When a newspaper has the city legal adjudication they must publish notices with that paper. “DeKay-Givens probably saw an increase in revenue of $1,000 to $2,000 per week after the ruling”, said Hews. “I had to file the Motion to Vacate, if she would fabricate papers about the NBC publishing status, who knows what else she would have tried”.

In an apparent acknowledgement of her  fabrication, DeKay Givens sent out the following the day before the August 15 Motion to Vacate hearing:
“I must inform you the Norwalk Business Call, will, until further notice, will no longer be able to print your legal notices.  Brian Hews, publisher of the Los Cerritos Community/Norwalk Community News/Hews Media Group filed a Motion to Vacate Judgment Adjudicating Norwalk Business Call as a Newspaper of General Circulation. The legal notices that are currently publishing will run their course, and will conclude on August 25, 2012.

“DeKay Givens knew she filed fabricated papers. The day before the hearing she sent out a letter acknowledging she was going to lose the hearing, and that it was my fault”, said Hews. “If she knew then, she must have known when she initially filed the papers.”

LCCN has also been told by a source that, along with Mayor Kelly, Councilmen Marcel Rodarte and Leonard Shryock were behind the rise of the NBC. “We were told by this very credible source that they met to discuss the publication and how best to assure its’ success”, said Hews. “ The source also told us that our front page coverage of the crimes in Norwalk, along with several other investigative articles-the Cerritos College Board of Trustees cash-in-lieu fiasco and the Hawaiian Gardens Barry Bruce/Cathy Nevejas scandal angered “high-level” people, so they decided to bring the NBC into Norwalk.”

LCCN contacted current Norwalk Chamber of Commerce President Lynda Fisher but she would not comment. “she was actually extremely rude about our line of questioning, told us to (expletive deleted) and hung up the phone”, said Hews.

LCCN also sent questions via email to all Norwalk Council members: Mayor Kelly, Rodarte, Shryock, Mendez, and Vice-Mayor Vernola, with Vernola the only councilmember to respond.  “Given the evidence, I think this is wrong and should be looked into”, said Vice-Mayor Vernola.

“We use a system that enables us to see if the recipient opened the email and every councilmember did, so they cannot say they did not read our questions”, said Hews. “It is very interesting the others did not respond.”

Asked what next steps he will take Hews responded, “ my attorneys and I are looking at all options as it relates to DeKay-Givens and the city. There was a clear intent by all involved to financially injure and hurt the reputation of my newspaper”.

The “conformed” copy of the Motion to Vacate can be found at www.loscerritosnews.net.

Document -Vivian Hansen calls meeting

Document-Chamber sells “newspaper” to DP Publisher

Document-Press release from DP Publisher calling the Norwalk Business Call NEW.

Document-Notice filed by DP Publisher DeKay Givens under penalty of perjury

Document-Motion to Vacate adjudication decree from Superior Court



  • John Q. Public says:

    >> “I called DeKay-Givens’ attorney four days before the hearing, gave him evidence, but he said you are too late to object, so I did not go”, said Hews.<<
    I'd also like to hear what the judge and the California Bar think of this attorney, who is a sworn officer of the court.
    REAT JOB, Mr. Hews!

  • John Q. Public says:

    GREAT JOB, Mr. Hews!

  • Ricky Meehan says:

    Regardless, The Norwalk Business Call is a great vehicle for what is happening
    In the City I care about, instead of glancing and discarding-I actually pick up and read.
    I wish nothing but the best for this Community paper-Real Issues, Real people, all
    About the City I car about exclusively .

  • mark hylland says:

    I am curious to know why Council Members Rodarte and Councilman Shyrock were included in this article? I do not see any evidence that they were involved in any way shape or form.

    • Moderator says:

      Hi Mark:

      You are usually a big fan of the paper, leaving many favorable comments on our stories. Why the change? We have a source that is very high up at the city. They will come forward if need be, suffice to say given their position it is true about Marcel and Leonard.

  • Missy Page says:

    I find it very interesting that a little while ago a comment supporting the Norwalk Business Call was posted and now it’s gone. Now, questions about the article are raised, and the Moderator becomes defensive. What happened to letting all comments be seen – or do you only want comments supporting a staff report. Funny, this article is a Staff Report…not sure why Brian didn’t write it after his big story a few weeks ago.

    • Moderator says:

      Our mistake. We do not intentionally delete comments.The reason it was a Staff Report was because the entire Staff contributed to the story: Brian, Randy, Jerry, and others.

  • Chewy says:

    As Mentioned before communities in southeast cities such as Maywood, Huntington park , Bell, Cudahy , South Gate , Bell Garden… Don’t have a community news paper like Los Cerritos community news to investigate city halls and be independent of those city halls . But they have so called The Wave news that collects most it’s daily income from the city councils that they need to report on. But you know what is more strange and dangerous then that the fact that a currant City of Bell councilman whom was elected to fix the corruption in city of Bell is Now this crook of politician who
    has been unemployed and desperate for buying groceries for his family and going around Bell , Maywood, Cudahy … And asking for money which is more like pay or I come after you ” on line with a 2nd or third hand news blog” and would tarnish your reputation . Yes this guy does his dirty blogs with a former 5 times mayor of Maywood who has been under investigation for years and now these two want to stop the progress that has been going on in City of Bell. Yes this councilman is desperate for money and maybe collecting bribes to support his “WATCHOURCITY.COM” shame . Please tell him to fine a job and stop extorting people.

  • Monica says:

    To a great disappointment after reading this article that the newspaper has taken this route. In my opinion this article has false assertions of fact, period. This should be contained in the opinion section of the paper. Ethically, a newspaper editor cannot print anything containing an assertion of fact that the editors knows not to be true. If at any time this “credible source” was legit you would have printed his/her evidence and be done with it. Instead the same reaction is said numerous of times and nothing in the matter of FACT is shown. Aside from just what appears to me to be False information or just an opinion from someone at your newspaper, the factual evidence from this “credible source” should be posted. It does not make it right to pin point any councilmember’s in this article just because the paper is upset. Nor does any elected official owe anything to the newspaper. If you choose to support any officials it’s by choice not to gain profit. To me this sounds like the paper is upset over a loss of an account. The paper should be familiar with the regular business world, you gain or you lose accounts. In fact is it the papers duty to get the facts right, even on the opinion pages. I don’t blame the city or any of its officials to respond to such allegations, in fact I would just consider this as nonsense and move to other important things like how could we get more small business owners to invest in our city. On another note we have so much other news to report around the city, that wasting it’s time because someone’s ego was hurt is a waste of talent.

  • OMG says:

    What planet are you from Monica? First of all if newspapers revealed their sources no one would come forward with hard stories, so you would have any revelations like this story.

    Second, what is not factual in the story? It was backed up by documents!

    I guess you are referring to the Rodarte/Shryock assertion. They say the source is very credible if they came out (which they might) everyone would be very surprised. There have been millions of newspaper articles written where a source was cited and not revealed and the credibility of the newspaper/tv/radio should be enough for most readers. The newspaper has a spotless track record and will be up for a Pulitzer Prize for breaking the Noguez story.

    They have told Rodarte and Shryock that they could write a letter to the Editor and go on the record that this is false. So where is your assertion? No where, unless you are friend of one of the people in the story…

    • John Q. Public says:

      Most people complain about corruption and wrong doing by public officials. They want our government to be legitimate and honest.
      However, it seems whenever this paper writes an article about government wrong doing they get complaints for binging the issues to the public.
      Either these posters are part of the problem or they are idiots. Or maybe both!