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Los Cerritos Community News Publisher Receives Questionable Tax Letter From LA County

By Brian Hews

A copy of the letter can be found at the end of this article.

On the heels of articles written citing corruption and collaboration to discredit Los Cerritos Community News, Brian Hews, publisher of Los Cerritos Community News and President of Hews Media Group, received a highly questionable letter from the LA County Treasurer and Tax Collector demanding payment of over $5,000 on a delinquent “unsecured property tax bill.”

The letter, sent to Hews’ residence and referencing Carmen Hews’ Estate  (Carmen Hews is Brian’s mother who passed away in Jan 2011) states, “this notice serves as an official demand that unless payment in full…. is received in this office by 11-15-12, you will leave us no alternative other than to proceed with enforced collection for this delinquent tax bill.”

“This is outright intimidation, I was never on the title of that house, and my brother was the executor of the estate,” said Hews.  “The City Council here in Cerritos slammed me and the newspaper when we wrote an article on Councilman Bruce Barrows assaulting a resident after a council meeting. Barrows tried to change his story, we documented the changes, and at the next city council meeting, led by Barrows, they voted 5-0 to cut our print advertising budget.  LA County is trying to do the same thing, it is a personal attack and an assault on freedom of the press”, said Hews.

The demand letter went on to say, “if a payment has been mailed please disregard this notice.”

“Something is very suspect”, said Hews. “This is the only letter I received, and it came weeks before the payment was due. We all know that I would have received additional letters in the mail prior to this one, witnessed by the fact of the last sentence saying if a payment has been mailed disregard the notice”.

Hews emailed LA County Assessor Kreimann, with copies to his press secretary Louis Reyes, LA County CEO Fujioka and his press secretary David Sommers asking for an explanation.

Louis Reyes first response was cursory, “thank you for submitting an inquiry of a letter sent by the Treasurer Tax Collector. We can send your inquiry directly to the Treasurer Tax Collector for review. Or if you wish for the Office of the Assessor to look into the matter on your behalf, our property owner’s advocate can review the matter.”

In response, Hews reminded Reyes that he was never on the title of the house.

Reyes sent another email saying, “upon initial review of the property in question, it was noticed that there was no claim for reassessment exclusion for transfer filed with our office. There may be a possibility that a completed form is needed for the parcel inquiry. Given that there are specific deadlines with the exclusion, we are recommending that the attached form is completed and remitted as soon as possible.  You stated earlier that your brother is the executor; I would forward him the attachments.

“That is lawyer-speak. What is the meaning of “it was noticed” or “there may be a possibility”, Reyes obviously went to County Counsel for a response”, said Hews. Why would there be a reassessment, the house was sold, all outstanding balances would have been paid off in escrow. I am outraged, to harass me, my brother, and send the letter using my deceased mother’s estate is beyond egregious; what else will these people try”?



  • mark hylland says:

    Sounds like revenge…..check your brake lines, gas in the house etc……NO FEAR!!!

  • GMG Cerritos says:

    BTW. what ever happened to the Sky-Knight funds that cut off all city newspaper advertising? I never see that chopper buzzing around my neighborhood. Something is amiss! Councilmen Brucie Barrows and Mark Pulado, the promoters of this scheme,are both completely inept and should be recall! Where’s the $$ boys, it sure ain’t flying in the air??? You’ve got some big time answering to do.
    I will never vote for Barrows or Pulado or anyone they endorse for City Council ever again.