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District Attorney Cites Impropriety on Secret Meeting Held by Cerritos Mayor-Pro Tem Chen

Controversial Cerritos Mayor Pro Tem Carol Chen coordinated private meeting with other elected officials to talk about upcoming ABC School Board Bond worth $235 Million,

Controversial Cerritos Mayor Pro Tem Carol Chen coordinated private meeting with other elected officials to talk about upcoming ABC School Board Bond worth $235 Million,

By Brian Hews

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey cited “potential impropriety” and as a result will not be formally prosecuting Cerritos Mayor Pro-Tem Carol Chen after Hews Media Group-Community Newspapers reported that the controversial local council member held a private meeting with other area elected officials to plot a secret strategy to defeat an upcoming $195 million general improvement bond by the ABC Unified School District.

HMG-CN confronted Chen and Cerritos City Councilman Bruce Barrows, as well as ABC School Board Members Lynda Johnson, and past city council member Grace Hu, past ABC School Board Members Cecy Groom and Dixie Primosch and at least two dozen others who attended the closed-door meeting before the July 4 holiday.

The meeting was held at Chen’s private real estate office located in Cerritos.

Long time Cerritos resident Jim McMahon filed the formal complaint against Chen with Lacey and the Public Integrity Unit on July 6.  The complaint was sent to the District Attorney’s Bureau of Fraud and Corruption Prosecutions Public Integrity Division.

Lacey and her office reviewed the circumstances of Chen’s meeting, and in her response to McMahon said “although the circumstances give the appearance of potential impropriety, we do not find that the meeting held by the Cerritos Mayor Pro-Tem (Carol Chen) and selected members of the ABCUSD (Yoo and Johnson) violated the Brown Act.

“While members of both the city council and the ABCUSD board attended the meeting, as far as can be determined, there was not a majority of either body present.  Therefore, the meeting was not held in violation of the Brown Act,” Lacey stated in her response to McMahon.

The Ralph M. Brown Act is also known as the California Open Meeting Law.  Violating the Brown Act has resulted in countless indictments and infractions given against elected officials during the past several decades.

Lacey said in her response that there was “no evidence that any serial communications actually occurred.” Bjorn Dodd, who is a Deputy District Attorney in the Public Integrity Division, also signed the response.


  • M c M a h o n says:

    This so called private meeting, was more or less a KKK rally, in order to investigate the Mello Roos School Bond.

    I am in favor of Proposition 13 and violently opposed to proposition 39 which is fish wrapping paper for this Mello Roos Bond. FYI: City already has 3 Mello Roos Bonds and poss more.

    This is not the first run with Carol Chen. When she was the Cerritos Planning commissioner, during a much heated debate over RV’s in the city of Cerritos, she was questioned over the Brown Act, and also the city attorney.

    Politics is supposed to be in the public, transparent, and participated by all the residents. This quasi KKK meetings were very prevalent in the formation of city of Cerritos during the conception of Cerritos from Dairy Valley. Can remember as a child, hearing and attending these KKK spec. rallies. Now the Chinese immigrants are capitolizing on KKK underground movements.

    Another big issue, which I am waiting to hear back from Mayor Pulido and staffer directors Greg Berg and Ther. Flowers.

    DONT LIKE THIS AT ALL………..where is our CCC on this and why not written in the CERRITOS NEWS.

    There’s been a change in Long Beach animal control (AC) policy for Cerritos!!!. AC do not come out to the properties to remove pets-strays anymore.

    If resident traps a: possum, rat, frogs, turtles, rabbits, skunk, squirrel, coyote, hawk, raccoon, snake, cats, duck, birds, AC will not pick it up. It belongs in hood habitat and left alone. Will remove a dog only.

    Against the law to pick up animals, residences have to leave them in their natural environment, even if they’re at your house, trapped or injured.

    If AC pick up a stray cat, they bring the cat to be neutered and have its ears clipped and return the stray wild cat to the property, where cat was picked up, even if it was a wild cat. I called on trapped wild cat, AC took it away and told me will be returned to my house, so I can feed the wild cat to the coyotes and raccoons.

    AC responded to me, said, “Wild cats are natural feeding habitat for coyotes and raccoons. This is why they put animals back in the natural habitat, so the Coyotes & raccoons can eat them up. Hawks are stealing our picnics and BBQ grilling, plus eating all song birds, pet fish, crows, doves, pigeons, parrots, etc. Coyotes are eating our small pet dogs & wild park ducks and rabbits………..

    Coyotes and Raccoons are feasting on deli- animal poop manure too, plus bathing in our home spas-pool. Over doz neighbors filled in there pool, as pool was full of manure from animals bathing……..

    Our Los Coyotes Creek cranes and peacocks are being eaten by coons and coyote packs.
    This is not what the Humane Society used to do. My take on this, we are just asking for neighborhoods full of rabbies and mass killing of pet animals. Homeowners can not use patios, outdoor sun bathing, as compounds are freeway for animals of prey, etc.

    ABCUSC is worrying about our babies, in this Mello Roos Bond Tax, hell animals will be cannibalisms and eat babies and kids too. What about the 47% seniors, as they can not mug coyotes and raccoons from attacking us.
    Today, drove from Norwalk, thru Cerritos and in to East Lakewood. My G o d ; I could not tell the city boundary lines anymore, as Cerritos appears to be a greener version of Norwalk-E. Lakewood. My 40 yrs living in Cerritos, the public landscape areas, maintained by the City of Cerritos, have never appeared in such horrid condition. Drove around the perimeter streets of LCM, appeared to look like war zone after the Watts Riots, in summer of 60’s.

    • Billy says:

      “More or less KKK meeting”- really… That’s an insult to the victims of the past committed by KKK. Your in favor of prop 13 ? You must not have a mortgage anymore or your mortgage to you is a low expense.
      The animal issue eh I don’t know to much about that but you around right.
      In my opinion cerritos has come along way to the old gang banning cow smelling it use to be.

      • M c M a h o n says:

        In 1970’s, tax payers nationally revolted.

        A large contributor to Proposition 13 was the sentiment that older Californians should not be priced out of their homes through high taxes… The proposition has been called the “third rail” (meaning “untouchable subject”) of California politics, and it is not popular politically for lawmakers to attempt to change it.

        Mello Roos, Bonds, Propositions, Measures can all have significant tax consequences, which can force fixed incomes and retirees from their primary residences.

        Favin Riley, teamster union chair, can call the school bond a tax, but dont lie to the voters of ABCUSD, this is full blown MELLO ROOS, (wrapped in Prop 39 legislation paper)

        Ku Klux Klan (KKK), or just the Klan is the name of three distinct movements in the United States. They have all emphasized secrecy and distinctive costumes, and all have called for purification of American society.

        Carol’s Klan party maybe good or bad, very subjective. I protest that she invited me, and then reclined. State of Calif Ret. Assembly person was thrown out of the meeting, as was democratic. Carol is only an immigrant, only lived short time in Socal and feels like she is same caliber as governor and president. I have lived my entire life in Socal and feel greatly disturbed by immigrants running natives off of our land.

        1. Meeting was held in private construction zone.
        2. Meeting had door monitor.
        3. Meeting was held in poss. non- habitable building of large group of invitees, without permission by fire department.
        4. Meeting was held without Handicap Parking.
        5. Meeting attendees wore distinct uniforms.
        6. Meeting had the blueprint of a pseudo Klan Meeting.
        7. Meeting advertised public ABCUSD paid documents, which were not released to the general public. Attending Trustees did not get voice of trustees to brand said docs in public Klans meeting.
        8. Both Barrow and Chen are elected council officials, sworn in, to represent all the people. Both councilpersons showed questionable ethics and were flying in dangerous zones in the public-private eyes.
        9. Meeting was for select group of Republicans Voters, AKA: KLAN
        10. Organized crime is what took down the city of Bell. Blueprints are being formed by back door KKK Rallies.

        Decades, voters want study sessions, round table meetings, accessible government, transparency, etc. Stop back door Klan meetings. Believe me, 50’s-60’s, Cerritos and Dairy Valley, had allot of religious and political Saturday Nite, Klans meetings in our cow barns.

        Manure scent or stinch, comes in all shades of gray. Yes, we had dairy aroma, now we have Political odors, plus School Teamster Corrupt avenues for pay increases via Mello Roos.

        Billy, wait to you have a slip n fall accident, over pile of Coyote Poop at your door steps. Your injuries, you will not be able to pay for the infinity of Mello Roos line items on your tax bill.
        Hope you kids dont get bit by rabbie Coon, or your pet eaten by another animal.

  • gilman says:

    No surprise here. “potential impropriety” is not impropriety nor is it illegal under our open meeting laws. While you can certainly disagree with her holding such a meeting, it is not illegal.

    • M c M a h o n says:

      1. the quality or condition of being improper.
      2. inappropriateness; unsuitableness.
      3. unseemliness; indecorousness; potential conflict of interest.
      4. an erroneous or unsuitable expression or act.
      5. an improper use of language.

    • Mr. Gilman, like other people we expose there is always one supporter, like you with Carol Chen. Why don’t you tell us who you are?

      • gilman says:

        Brian, I am not a supporter of Chen…I am however a huge supporter of our open meeting laws. As such, I have become pretty familiar with the requirements called for under those laws. I am not justifying Chen’s actions, I think it was a horribly bad decision by a public official. That said, it wasn’t illegal…..which is my only point. I am a fan of your news site and appreciate the effort you make to keep the public informed. Again, I am no supporter of Chen.

  • Cincinnatus says:

    Hopefully the irony of an individual, who has falsely held himself to be an attorney in the past, and now files a complaint of impropriety to the public integrity division of the district attorneys office is not lost on too many. I wonder if there’s a Cerritos ordinance regarding glass houses?

  • AndyAmerican says:

    If all these people met in her private office and not having a “secret meeting” then what were they doing? Selling Tupperware? Discussing how they dearly enjoyed the campaign of Michael Dukakis? Ms. Chen selling Mary Kay? I promise you that in time, one of them will crack! Amongst thieves there is ALWAY a traitor. I also agree with the comments above. All political meetings should be made public and executed publicly. The City of Cerritos and the ABC school district are incahoots with each other… One example of how noble our beloved ABC school district is: Gahr High school has had ceiling leaks for over 15 years! All that is done to make repairs is plumbers tape, Spray sealer (as seen on tv)and plastic trash bags tapping down the edges with duct tape. I can testify to this because I was there for the repairs! SO while Gahr students are asked to place trash cans under the leaks and empty them out when they are full of water during valuable class time; the parking lot at the ABCSD is abundant with Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, Range Rover, Jaguar and several other NEW MODEL cars!
    …”follow the money and you will find your criminals.”

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