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Opinion: LCCN Criticized for Investigative Reporting

Go away Community News.

That’s the way certain factions in Cerritos are operating these days. They don’t like LCCN’s investigative articles and want to put the paper out of business because of it. That is a quote from one member of the faction (see Feb. 14 Council Meeting on Cerritos’ website.)

First was the Bruce Barrows/Jay Gray incident. Then we got criticized for our Assessor Noguez story. Next up was the LA County CEO coordinating a discredit campaign for our story on Rick Caruso. Then we got hammered for our Wendy Greuel calendar story. All stories turned out to be true.

Our latest investigative article, Cerritos Council Travelgate, seems to have hit a nerve, as another campaign is underway to discredit this paper via the City Council and City Council meetings.

Let me make my case.

This past week, one resident, obviously coached (and not very well for that matter), criticized LCCN’s February 8th article on the high-flying lavish travel escapades of Cerritos Mayor Jim Edwards, Mayor Pro-Tem Bruce Barrows and Councilwoman Carol Chen.

The resident spewed a vitriolic attack against LCCN’s coverage on the taxpayer owned TV3 Cerritos. The guy was so nervous he had to read his prepared statement and was visibly shaking throughout. His name rhymes with Smearhiemer (SH).

SH seemed to think it was OK that the council spent so much on meals.

SH kept deducting the tax and tip on receipts (obtained by LCCN) to make his point that “the check was $500, not $600, and that it was not one $65 steak/fish, but two $33 steaks.

Not true about the $65 steak/fish, as you can see on the top of the print edition this week, but it seems interesting a $33 steak was OK with SH.

SH went on to deduct tax and tip from other receipts. The IRS (and Cerritos) should check SH out since he thinks taxes don’t count on your bill.

He also conveniently omitted council-members getting paid hundreds of dollars for mileage while receiving a monthly car allowance.

SH went on to say, “I have all the expense receipts if anyone want to see them.”

That is very interesting SH.

It takes ten days minimum to get public records, longer if the request has many pages, which ours did. Our request covered six years and the travel receipts were from different years.

The LCCN article was written Feb. 8, SH spoke six days later at the Feb 14 council meeting. Six days not ten. Which makes SH a lackey for the faction.

Just in case, I requested from Cerritos a list of everyone who has made a PRA in the past two weeks.

Surprise! Mr. Smearheimer was not on there.

You can see the document below.

After Smearhiemer’s speech, Mayor Edwards immediately said, “and if you want, you can see Cerritos travel policies online at the city’s website.”

I looked and council-people get $113 a day for meals. No wonder they eat Foie Gras, $65 halibut and $55 mixed lobster grill.

And its no wonder they want us to go away.

List of people who have pulled public records in the past two weeks.

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