_____________________________ ST. NORBERT CHURCH           RATES ________________________


Cerritos Mayor Barrows, Council-persons Carol Chen and George Ray’s Double Standard on Frank Yokoyama

Former Cerritos City Planning Commissioner Frank Aurelio Yokoyama.  Randy Economy Photo

Former Cerritos City Planning Commissioner Frank Aurelio Yokoyama. Randy Economy Photo


Publisher’s Corner
By Brian Hews

When Mayor Barrows, Councilwoman Carol Chen and Councilman George Ray voted to remove Frank Yokoyama from his Planning Commissioner seat, all three cited Mr. Yokoyama’s State Bar of California transgression as published in this paper two months ago.

Yokoyama was suspended by the California State Bar from practicing law after he was cited for several violations on January 7, 2012 by Judge Richard A. Platel of the California State Bar Court. Yokoyama told State Bar officials that he “was in compliance with the MCLE requirements,” when in fact he had not complied with any MCLE courses within the compliance period.”

Contrary to what Barrows and Chen said at a public Council meeting, Yokoyama took the test, paid a fine and was reinstated by the State Bar.
“This (the suspension) is the reason we are not reaffirming the appointment of Mr. Frank Yokoyama,” said Councilwoman Carol Chen.

But, a closer inspection of Cerritos commissioners shows a clear double-standard existing on the Cerritos Council between Barrows, Chen, and Ray.
Cyndi Yen Chen, a Pulido appointee was fined $79,000 in 2004 by the Federal Maritime Commission for transporting toxic chemicals. It was alleged that Zen Continental unlawfully collected forwarder compensation on shipments booked on behalf of its related NVOCC, Sunway, and failed to seek prior Commission approval of changes in the licensees’ organization and qualifying individuals.

Ms. Chen compromised with the Commission, and paid the fine. With this type of resolution, Chen avoided going to court and facing possible prosecution.

Sound familiar?

Just like Frank Yokoyama, Ms. Chen is a commissioner and ran for council.

Just like Frank Yokoyama, Ms. Chen was found culpable (on a much larger scale), and fixed the situation through a compromise.

Just like Frank Yokoyama, Ms. Chen was removed from her position as commissioner.

No she was not, double standard. One now must seriously question the motive behind the removal of Frank Yokoyama.

Call it for what it is.

The case and fine against Cyndi Yen Chen, click here.

  • John Transue says:

    I guess it could have been worse. Frank could have accosted a citizen outside council chambers and still retained his position. Oh right! That has already happened. Good to see Mayor Barrows continues to uphold the high standards for holding public office in Cerritos.

  • McMahon, J. says:

    Friday, May 03, 2013.

    State Bar and other Licensing –Insurance Departments and other agencies, are useless layers or quasi bureaucrats, which act as an attack dog, during campaigns, in order to make certain candidate shine during the elections. Many acquitations are fraught with innuendo and conjecture and pushed, pushed as free advertising, for future rising political candidates, to ponder votes such as State Attorney or Depart. of Insurances, etc. Boy have we seen this played out in the recent Depart of Insurance, Elected Corona- OC Sheriff, San Ofre Nuc. Facilities and the federal fallout from Loan Modification chaos by USA Banks.

    Former Mayor/ councilperson Diane Needham was state censored and was appointed by (R) Carol Chen as planner and no Tar and Feathering to her.

    Due diligence was not practiced by CCC in public for this decision and poss lies to prevent a Democratic from gaining a (R) majority council seat.

    Mayor Battery Barrows flat out and lied during the 4/ 2013, CCC. hearing; stating Frank was not an active attorney, when Frank was an active Attorney at Law during this hearing! Frank has been an attorney, poss. just not a Lic. Attorney at law, which is Franks business and not a pre-requisite for the appointee.

    This is a concern to all residents and not just the circle around Frank. All residents should tell our seated CCC, this type of back door investigative choosing appointees, has to be done in public.


  • Mike Johnson says:

    Thank you Mr. Hews, you are so RIGHT-ON. The whacky trio,Barrows, Chen & Ray have got to be the poorest excuse for council members in California. They refuse to reappoint Frank Yokoyama and look the other way on Commissioner Cindi Yen Chen?? This action is disturbing. It’s time the residents take a good look at who we have elected.
    Do we need to take recall action?
    What happened to all that sage advice from wise old George Ray. Very disappointing, sorry I voted for him. He jumped right into Barrows back pocket along with Carol Chen.
    Keep the facts coming Mr. Hews and Mr,Economy you two and the LCCN are doing a great job.

  • J. Marshall says:

    “Contrary to what Barrows and Chen said at a public Council meeting, Yokoyama took the test, paid a fine and was reinstated by the State Bar.”

    Not quite. The state bar issued a stayed suspension for Mr. Yokoyama which is still pending. The “test” you are referring to is the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam. Since this test is only offered three times a year and results from the first exam have not yet been released, no one, not even Mr. Yokoyama himself, knows whether he has satisfied this requirement yet.

    So contrary to what you said above, Mr. Yokoyama hasn’t been reinstated. He is on probation, and if he doesn’t comply with this, and several other requirements yet to come, he will lose his license for one year.

    As a result, your assessment of this story is about as accurate as Mr. Yokoyama’s CLE record keeping.

    • LCCN says:

      Here is the link Mr. Stupid Hurts:


      It clearly says he is active. Please comment on why they reappointed Cyndi Yen Chen?

      • J. Marshall says:

        But you didn’t say he was active, you said he was reinstated. He hasn’t been reinstated, he has been placed on probation subject to a stayed suspension. Massive difference. So what you reported above just isn’t accurate.

        As far Ms. Chen goes, I am not familiar with any of the facts surrounding her case, and given the incomplete nature in which you framed Mr. Yokoyamas situation I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable basing an opinion solely on what you posted above.

        What I do know, and what I’m sure you would agree with, is that anyone (much less an attorney who is held to a higher standard of veracity) who would lie to a regulatory body such as the state bar, isn’t fit to be elected or appointed to any public position.

        On the contrary, while you may take issue with the councils treatment of Ms. Chen, I would think a paper like yours, who has made it a point to highlight unethical people in government (Greuel, Noguez, et. al.), would applaud Mr. Yokoyama’s removal.

        Afterall, if the goal is honest government, then we shouldn’t appoint dishonest people right?

        • LCN says:

          Again it says active, not waiting for test results.

          Send us an email at [email protected] and I will send documents for you to look at on Cyndi Yen Chen.

          We were the newspaper that exposed Frank’s story first.

        • J. Marshall says:

          And again, your article didn’t say active, it said reinstated, with no mention of the probation or pending suspension. Why leave out these facts?

          At the very least do you not agree that regardless of what should or should not have happened to Ms. Chen, Mr. Yokoyama’s deliberate false statements make him unfit to serve.

      • McMahon, J. says:

        Sunday, May 05, 2013.

        Called the BAR, day following the past CCC hearing. Talked with director of the BAR, as staffer said Frank was active and there can be many dark holes with no explanations for the past character of Frank, which is unknown to the public. Staffer said the city should have performed due diligence and not relied on documents, as there can be errors in recordings or processing. I have forwarded the contact name and phone to LCCN on file.

        Remember, there are many sides to the pancake, as the CCC failed to do its due diligence in finding the facts and putting this on the agenda for public hearing.

        California and NY have the most attorneys in the USA, but attorneys in Calif are not all licensed under the Bar, as are in house attorneys for corporations or personal venues. Bar is only a paid subscription organization for elite hood as the Bar has lost its statewide appeal for the professional fields.

        Find it real repulsive, that Cindy Yen Chen is both an Council appointee and Chamber Of Commerce Board Member, as her character is not perfect. This should be censored on the public agenda & or modify the Protocol Manual for requirements for appointees.

        George Ray has created many conflict of interests in his appointees:
        • Retreads of former appointees to his cabinet.
        • Appointing former city employees to his cabinet, as walks fine line of conflict of interest & privileged information in due diligences, AKA: Pillow Talk Gossip .
        • Alternative Lifestyles relationships, referring to common law marriages.
        • Appointing residents who do not live within the city.
        • Appointees who are cabinet members of multiple councilpersons, as the city has over 40,000 residents.

        Still the non corrected breached Public Works is growing leaps and bounds. City has subscribed to Smart Phone Mobile App, called Go Request, not posted the app to city web home page; and are not responding nor making violations whole, the reports being processed via Go Request.

        We need all new (5) councilpersons, as these are all mess, no synergy, too old to crack smile or process their brains, besides the loyalty to (GOP) Grand Old Pussy Alumni.

      • J. Marshall says:

        Well, it looks like the fact checkers at LCCN are been asleep at the wheel. According to the Ca Bar, Mr. Yokoyama is ineligible to practice law as of the 7th of this month. It would seem that the bar thinks this matter is a bit more serious than the author of this article.

  • Cerritos resident says:

    I agree with all of J. Marshall’s comments. It appears that LCCN has completely failed to understand the gravity of Yokoyama’s offense and discipline from the State Bar. The order from the court explicitly states that by reporting that he was in compliance with his MCLE requirements when he was really wasn’t, Yokoyama “committed an act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty and corruption….” He is on probation for one year, had his license suspended for 30 days, has to attend the State Bar Ethics school and pass its exam, and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam again.

    Would you trust or hire an attorney that has the gall to lie to the State Bar? He only started complying after he got caught. Not the type of person we want serving in Cerritos.

    • LCCN says:

      We understand the gravity, but he did pay a fine, and is active according to the Bar Assoc site.
      The article was pointing out that they did not fire Cyndi Yen Chen for something that was much worse. You and “Mr. Marshall” seem to be avoiding that point.

      • Cerritos resident says:

        I am not familiar with what Cyndi Yen Chen did, and cannot simply rely on what LCCN has reported about her incident. Furthermore, according to your article, she paid her fine and resolved her issue with the Federal Maritime Commission. Unlike Cyndi Yen Chen, Yokoyama has to do much more than just pay a fine to resolve his ethics issue with the State Bar. Thus, their situations are not comparable. Also, while you keep citing to the State Bar website saying that Yokoyama’s status is “active,” you fail to acknowledge that he is still on probation and has to fulfill many other requirements before he is “reinstated”, as you put it.

        As a Cerritos resident, I would have questioned the City Council’s judgment if it had NOT removed Yokoyama, after hearing about what he did.

        • LCCN says:

          You realize we were the outlet that broke Frank’s case yes? You seem to imply motive where there is none. This is the link to the Cyndi Yen Chen complaint and fine.

          You will see she was handling toxic waste wrong. It is a clear double-standard.

        • Cerritos resident says:

          Yes, and thank you for breaking the story on Yokoyama’s bar suspension. His misconduct with the State Bar clearly affected people’s decisions in the City Council election. The residents of Cerritos sent a clear message when they chose not to elect him. Thus, the current City Council was right in removing him from the Planning Commission, regardless of Cyndi Yen Chen.

        • LCCN says:

          Why didn’t you mention the obvious double standard evidence….that we uncovered…. that you asked for and that we showed you on Ms Chen?

        • J. Marshall says:

          After looking at the link you posted, your article appears far weaker then even before. Perhaps you missed the part of the compromise agreement (which is not a citation/fine as you suggest) which states “in concluding the above compromises, the parties did not admit any violation of the 1984 act or the commissions regulations”.

          In short, you displayed your ignorance (if not your ability to misrepresent the facts) when you called this a “fine”. Its not. Its an agreement between the maritime commission and Zen Continental with one of the stipulations being that there is no admission or finding of guilt.

          So what you really did here is post evidence that Ms. Chen has not been found guilty or admitted to anything.

          How exactly is this the same as Mr. Yokoyama admitting he lied to the state bar?

        • OMG says:

          Marshall you are the ignorant one. She pays a $79K fine and she is not guilty? Yeah…here is my $79K because I DID NOT do anything wrong?…what an idiot you are.

          If you had half a brain you would know if she admitted guilt she would have been open to other lawsuits. It is less costly to NOT go to court for both parties. Just like the SEC is doing now with the banks paying fines and not admitting guilt, same goes here. Grow a brain.

        • McMahon, J. says:

          Saturday, May 11, 2013.

          Remember, the Cerritos (GOP) Republicans have always looked the other way, when crimes are in their candidate’s courts. Cerritos republicans wear bubbles to shield their party corruption. Republicans in this town, are quick to hide corruption dirt under the rug, not to loose the (R) seat in Cerritos. Remember how the Cerritos (R) chased away another (D) candidate back in the 60’s : Gay (D) Sheriff Couple who ran for CCC and the Cerritos (GOP) made lies upon lies; hence ran them our of town!!!

          (R)-Wong- absent more then attended meetings.
          (R) Beanum -DUI
          (R) Rabbit- DUI
          (R) Kappe- DRE Revoked
          (R) Hughlett- battery toward students
          (R) Bowlen- allegations by students.
          (R) Crawely- censorship
          (R) Grace Hu- DRE Lic revoked
          (R) Cindy Yen Chen – fined by feds
          (R) L Lee- taking public property out of the country for pleasure.
          (R) Barrow- battery charges.

          (R) Just want to make (D) Frank go away, as Frank has a very good chance of winning the next CCC election in MARCH 2015. This CCC really needs some (D) minority candidates take seat :

          • Handicaps,
          • African Americans,
          • Samonians,
          • Latinos,
          • Gay and Lesbians!!!!
          • Youth.

          Politics in Cerritos is too Orthodox Republicans, with a Communism twist, as CM and the (3) (R) stooges are turning this city in to a hybrid HOA/CCR’s and our American USA freedom is being dissolved by too many Rules- Regulations-Taxes. City has no data when all of the nonsense rules were being implemented, now we are left in a city occupied by Communism China and our residential tracts of homes, look like menopausal refugee camps!

          (D) Frank & (D) Chris Fuentes are being prosecuted by the new wave of Hitler Gas Chamber Fan Mail, by the (R) GOP!


  • Progress Through Intimidation says:

    What was done to Frank Yokoyama is plain and simple, intimidation.

    If Barrows and Chen really felt what Yokoyama did was improper why didn’t they do something earlier?

    Why did they embarrass him and fellow Councilman Mark Pulido? My answer, intimidation, to WARN anyone else who steps out of line and doesn’t want to play in their sick and twisted world.

    Yokoyama has been outspoken on a few key issues that the “axis of intimidation” doesn’t appreciate. Take for instance, the Good Will store. One has to imagine Yokoyama’s support pissed off the “axis”

    During the council race, Yokoyama called Chen out, as well as the entire city council, for the high number of burglaries in the city. Again, one has to imagine this too must have pissed off the “axis of intimidation.”

    City Council Candidate Yokoyama and Councilman Pulido are willing to listen to city employees and the their union. No raise, for city employees, in how many years? No raise for staff while in the meantime Barrows and Chen are traveling to where and spending how much city money on high priced hotels and dinners? Again, one has to imagine this too must have pissed off the “axis of intimidation.

    Unions are taboo to some. The pay and the benefits for regular city employees, the enemy. After all, why else does Cerritos employee so many part-timers? The “axis of intimidation” it would seem count on screwing city employees to suck the city treasury to fund their travels and lifetime benefits. Yokoyama it seems had a political heart, for his community, that got in the way.

    Does anyone else find it interesting that Democratic Majority Cerritos is being intimidated by the Minority Republicans?

    Cerritos revised motto should read,
    “Progress Through Intimidation”
    “A City with Double Standards”

    This newspaper it seems was also targeted for merely reporting a council member’s (Bruce Barrows) possible criminal misconduct and investigation and now Frank Yokoyama was caught in the cross hairs (and Pulido by association).

    Who’s next?

  • William says:

    Apparently, Chen, Barrows and Ray were right, Yokoyama does have serious problems. Subsequent to this article being published, Yokoyama has incurred another suspension of his law license. Since LCCN has been remiss in reporting this significant matter it relies upon us the people to set the record straight. Apparently, the agenda of the Hews organization have a political agenda rather than a desire for the truth to be told. Shame on you. http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/Member/Detail/169912

    • Frank Is A Good Guy says:

      I am a friend of Franks, actually William the report by LCCN was wrong, Frank was not suspended at the time hew was waiting for his hearing which just occurred and yes he did get suspended.

      LCCN just reported what it got.

      You are a hypocrite, Cyndi Yen Chen paid a fine and she is a commissioner, Bruce Barrows assaulted a resident and he is a councilman but all you right wing OLD GUARD Cerritos repulicant’s don’t say anything about that.

      Why can’t we see the decision by the judge on Barrows assault hearing? Why won’t he voluntarily show it to Cerritos residents, why don’t you demand for it William? HYPOCRITE

  • Erma says:

    This is a really good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Brief but very accurate info… Thank you for sharing this one.
    A must read post!