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Controversy Surrounds Submission of Commerce Recall Signatures



By Brian Hews

Los Angeles County Registrar of Voter officials are currently verifying nearly  2,200 signatures that were submitted last week by organizers of four current members of the Commerce City Council.

Brian Hews, Publisher of Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper spoke to City Clerk Victoria Alexander last week to check on the “legal status” of the petitions and to verify that all of the signatures were properly submitted for verification to county election officials in Norwalk.

Hews was told by the one of the recall proponents that she had been waiting for Ms. Alexander at the Registrar/Recorder’s Office but she had not shown by 1 p.m.

The proponent told HMG-CN that Ms. Alexander said, “I do not have a ride to get down there.” She then called Hews at HMG-CN offices who then called Ms. Alexander. “We have a responsibility as a community newspaper to serve as a Watchdog on behalf of the taxpayers and residents, and this recall effort conducted on behalf of the residents has been strictly watch and critically scrutinized by our investigative reporters,” Hews said.

Hews was told by Alexander that she “guaranteed” that all of the signatures submitted by recall organizers were properly and legally submitted as required by law.

“A group of Commerce residents and community leaders have turned in more than enough signatures on petitions to call for a special election that will remove Mayor Joe Aguilar, and City Councilmembers Tina Baca del Rio, Leila Leon and Ivan   Altamirano from office,” Hews said.

Recall proponents tell HMG-CN that a total of more than 2,100 signatures were collected and turned into Commerce City Clerk’s Office shortly before 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 13.

A total of 1,577 valid and verified signatures must been approved by the Los Angeles County Registrar Recorder in order for a special election to be called against the four embattled elected officials.

“We are confident that we will have more than enough valid signatures and that the recall election will commence,” said Mike Alvarado one of the leaders of the recall movement.