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FishbowlLA: The Scoops and Acclaim Keep on Coming for Enterprising Los Cerritos News Duo

Los Cerritos Community Newspaper would like to thank Richard Horgan, Co-Editor of the website FishBowlLa for featuring Los Cerritos Community Newspaper Publisher Brian Hews and Reporter Randy Economy for their accomplishments in unearthing the massive criminal probe that is unfolding here in Los Angeles County Hall of Administration.  Please feel free to visit FishBowlLA at http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlla/

By Richard Horgan October 18, 2012 12:45 PM

The last time a pair of reporters did this much damage on the municipal corruption front, it led to a Pulitzer Prize for the LA Times. Whatever awards the Los Cerritos News tandem ofRandy Economy and (owner) Brian Hews win in the near future for their enterprise reporting about the massive scandal tainting the LA County Assessor’s office will be equally well-deserved.

Every other day, the duo have been detonating another bombshell, the culmination of many thousands of hours of investigative work and dozens of thoroughly documented articles. On September 27 for example, Economy (pictured) and Hews wrote about some bogus property value breaks given to The Grove developer Rick Caruso. More recently, on October 12, it was about how a modest Huntington Beach home owned by the man at the center of the graft – John Noguez – had somehow earned historical status.

On the top left-hand corner of the Los Cerritos News website, there is a quote given byWarren Buffett to the LA Times this spring on prominently display. It reads: ““In towns and cities where there is a strong sense of community, there is no more important institution than the local paper.” A principle that is at the very heart of Economy and Hews’ reporting for the website and weekly print edition.

Economy has also been blogging about his diligent efforts. About a year ago, when he first revealed that assessor Noguez’s real name is actually Juan Reynaldo Rodriguez, people laughed. No one is laughing now, and Economy has a career-crowning achievement blowing up nationally. In his own words:

If you have read my blog in the past number of years, I was one of the loudest voices about the seedy political ways of Juan Reynaldo Rodriguez, aka John R. Noguez, the Assessor of Los Angeles County who on Tuesday was arrested in the “biggest political scandal” in Los Angeles County history. I have never been more proud to call myself a “Community Newspaper Reporter!” The system works. Community Newspapers are the backbone of America’s news rooms. Going to be in an court room tomorrow [October 18] to see Noguez, Ramin Salari and Mark McNeil all in handcuffs, and all in Los Angeles County jail garb.

By the way, the Bell corruption scandal that led to that aforementioned LAT Pulitzer is a story that the Los Cerritos News initially had, and turned over to the paper. Economy has been doing all kinds of media since D.A. Steve Cooley gave his paper credit at press conference. And as far as Caruso is concerned, well, the developer is no longer running for mayor.

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  • Elaine Bridger says:

    Dear Mr. Economy:

    I believe Los Angeles County is in deep yogurt here and I also believe there is more to come. I say to you with all due sincerity, stay with it, continue to lead the charge to help win this war against corruption! I can assure you that one of the awards you will get is extremely strong consideration for a Pulitzer Prize, if not the award itself. However, and even more importantly, is that you will set the example for others and will reign in Media as one who is a true believer in exposing and eliminating corruption where ever it is found! This goes hand in hand with your philosophy which implies and mandates those great qualities called, Honor, ethics and integrity are essential in public service, in fact, everywhere! You have the “Fire in the Belly” and your actions to-date reflect this and more! You are a rare bird and we need more like you!

    Thank you, sincerely,

    Elaine Bridger
    Washington State