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Jim McDonnell for Sheriff Campaign Sent Suspect Email Seeking Donations, Jeopardizes Status of Non-Profit


LA County Sheriff candidate Jim McDonnell.


San Olivito , Executive Director of CCCA, stands with LAC Sheriff's Candidate  Jim McDonnell and Artesia Councilman  and President of the CCCA Victor Manalo

San Olivito, (l) Executive Director of CCCA, stands with LAC Sheriff’s Candidate Jim McDonnell and Artesia Councilman and President of the CCCA Victor Manalo. The photo of both Olivito, Manalo and McDonnell appeared in the controversial email.


By Brian Hews and Brian Hews

It appears that the campaign for Los Angeles County Sheriff candidate Jim McDonnell broke California non-profit status laws on Tuesday when it sent out an email announcing the endorsement from the California Contract Cities Association and its president Artesia City Councilman Victor Manalo.

The email had a donation button at the bottom of the announcement that directed readers to “Donate” to the Mc Donnell for Sheriff Campaign.  Readers of the email were sent to a page where campaign donations can be made directly to Mc Donnell campaign.

The McDonnell campaign sent Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper as well as other members of the media a copy of the email.

In the email, Manalo states the following: “Fellow Voters, As President of the California Contract Cities Association (CCCA), it is my honor to report that on Wednesday, August 20th, the California Contract Cities Association unanimously voted to endorse Chief Jim McDonnell for Sheriff of Los Angeles County.”

“For 57 years, the CCCA has represented cities that contract their critical services with counties, including the County of Los Angeles.  Our organization represents over seven million people across the State of California,” Manalo states.

“The CCCA puts great thought into whom we endorse.  Our member cities rely heavily on the services and support of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD); LASD is the primary provider of law enforcement service to 42 contract cities. Our Board of Directors, comprised of Mayors and Councilmembers from across the county, knows that Chief Jim McDonnell is the right person to lead the Sheriff’s Department—our police department—forward.

“I am writing not simply in my capacity as the leader of CCCA, but also as a career social worker, educator and City Councilmember in Artesia, California.  Artesia is one of the many cities that contracts with the Sheriff’s Department for public safety support and I know first-hand how important the upcoming election is for our communities.  We must restore trust in the Sheriff’s Department’s ability to partner with the community and work with city government to keep our communities safe,” Manalo continues.

“Thank you for joining me and so many other community leaders, advocates for police reform and law enforcement organizations from across the political spectrum in supporting Chief McDonnell for Sheriff. Together, we will ensure that the people of Los Angeles County have a Sheriff’s Department they can trust and be proud of.”  The email concludes, “Sincerely, Victor Manalo, President, California Contract Cities Association; Councilmember, City of Artesia.”

Directly under Manalo’s email is the “Donate” button.

On Wednesday, Sam Olivito, the Executive Director of the California Contract Cities Association told HMG-CN that the email “did not in any way seek campaign donations to the McDonnell campaign.  To do so would be in violation of our state 501-C (6) non-profit status.”

On Thursday, Olivito backtracked on his original statement in a second interview with HMG-CN.

“The donation solicitation was not in the final draft email that I approved that the McDonnell Campaign sent out.  I am trying to talk to the McDonnell campaign to find out how it happened and how to correct the situation,” Olivito said

Becca Doten the former Chief of Staff to convicted felon Richard Alarcon is managing the McDonnell campaign. Calls into Ms. Doten and the McDonnell campaign went unreturned.

Alarcon and his wife were convicted two months ago on voter-fraud and perjury charges brought in a case that accused them of lying about where they lived so he would be qualified to run for his council seat.  At the time of the controversy, Doten served as Alarcon’s chief of staff.

“I have been in contact with Becca Doten, and trying to see how this happened, and what our next step is going to be,” Olivito said.

McDonnell is facing former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka in the upcoming November election.  Tanaka is the current Mayor of Gardena.

HMG-CN has calls into the California Secretary of State’s Office and the LA County District Attorney’s office for comment.

See donation email click here.


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  • FLFF says:

    If old Vic Manalo was a career social worker, then it is a LEAD pipe cinch he is a liberal democrat, although the article never mentions this. Maybe it should. Now days your party affiliation clouds ALL judgement and if you think otherwise, then I have a bridge to sell ya over in San Pedro! I know of not one person who is in that field or is a teacher that is conservative, they are all lilly white socialists. Playing by rule of law is NEVER in their playbook of politics. It is WIN WIN WIN no matter how you do it or bend or break the law!

  • Honorable City Councilman says:

    When I got this email from Artesia Mayor Manalo on “behalf of California Contract Cities” I immediately told one of my fellow city council members that this was going to come back and “grab” CCCA right in the ass.

    Now I read this, and well, I guess this really is a bad situation that could get much worse.

    The Mc Donnell campaign for Sheriff needs to publicly distance themselves from this “ENDORSEMENT” and from the dirtbags who run California Contract Cities Association.

    Yes, taxpayer money funds Contract Cities.

    I hope the California Attorney General and the Los Angeles County District Attorney can look into this situation.

    We deserve an honest campaign for Sheriff.

    We don’t need more seedy stunts like this one….voters are not STUPID….

    • Wendy says:

      Great point… I hope voters arent stupid. California Attorney General wouldn’t look into this… they ENDORSED MCDONNELL… why would they investigate him?

  • Danny from Artesia says:

    Vic Manalo, your California Contract Cities Exec. Director Sam Olivito is really walking a tight rope. Why is he so foolishly placing your organization at risk of losing it’s non-profit status?
    Spending public funds (city tax payers money) to pay for endorsing any candidate is utter nonsense. I believe the voters are smart enough to decide on their own candidates.
    Don’t forget, after all, we did vote for you, my friend.

    • Randy R. Economy says:

      Great point, Danny, we are asking the same questions…..

      Calls into Councilman Manalo for comment have not been returned.

      Sam Olivito on the other hand called HMG-CN this afternoon after we published the article, lashed out with a profanity laced tirade to express his “outrage.”

      Randy Economy
      Investigative Reporter
      Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper

  • James says:

    This article and non-issue are ridiculous. The donation request was clearly part or an email template and not tied to the text of the letter, which made no such appeal. Yellow journalism at its finest.

    • Editor says:

      Thanks for your comment! I ask that you talk to any other politician about this, they will cringe, all politicians who we know told us “they have never seen this.” Check out our other stories, Noguez supporters bashed us just like you, Greuel supporter the same, Caruso supporters same. We put Noguez in jail and knocked Greuel and Caruso out of the race. I always love how people like to shoot the messenger instead of reading the message.