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Cerritos Council Candidate Chuong Vo Collecting Thousands in Questionable Donations While Showing False Endorsement on Campaign Website

Current Cerritos Planning Commissioner Chuong Vo.

Current Cerritos Planning Commissioner Chuong Vo.

By Brian Hews

Hews Media Group-Community News has obtained Cerritos city council candidate finance documents that once again show candidates willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars to be elected to a city council job that pays $1,500 per month.

The documents also show one candidate, current Cerritos Planning Commissioner Chuong Vo, collecting thousands of dollars in donations from very suspect individuals.

With the current filing period ending Jan 17, 2015, Grace Hu leads all candidates with nearly $47,000, followed by Naresh Solanki $38,000, Sophia Tse $37,000, Chuong Vo $23,000, current Cerritos Mayor Mark Pulido $17,000, former Cerritos Mayor Jim Edwards $8,000, Manny Sehti $5,000, Sultan Ahmed $3,500, and Frank Yokoyama $600.

No statements were filed by former ABCUSD Board Member James Kang.

Several candidates have loaned themselves substantial amounts of money to support their campaigns.

Tse loaned her campaign almost $26,000, Pulido over $13,000, Edwards $10,000, Yokoyama $8,000, Hu $7,000, with Sehti, Solanki and Vo each giving their respective campaigns $5,000.

Chuong Vo is a Torrance Police Detective who is heavily supported by current Cerritos Councilman Bruce Barrows and Cerritos Mayor pro tem Carol Chen.

Chen is giving Vo a campaign office rent-free in her building at 11306 183rd St. in Cerritos.

Vo leads all candidates in third party donations with over $18,000.

But it is where those donations came from that will place a magnifying glass on Vo and his financial judgment.

Vo received $2,500 from Deiter Dammeier and Saku Ethir who are partners in a law firm implicated in a high-profile lawsuit filed by two Costa Mesa councilmen.

Ethir was also suspended from the State Bar in 2013.

The Costa Mesa councilmen allege members of their city’s police union, along with Dammeier and Ethir’s law firm, harassed and intimidated them.

The police union, private investigator Chris Lanzillo and Dammeier and Ethir’s Upland-based law firm were all named in the civil suit filed in August 2013.

The suit accuses investigator Lanzillo and the law firm of intimidating the Costa Mesa city councilmen and planting a GPS tracking device on the car of one of the councilmen after contract negotiations between the city and its police union broke down.

That GPS device led Lanzillo to a bar from which he tailed one of the councilmen and falsely reported him to police as a drunk driver, according to the lawsuit.

“So Vo, a police detective, is collecting campaign money from two lawyers who are being sued for taking part in a scheme to frame two city councilmen because negotiations between the police union they represented and the city broke down,” said one candidate who did not want to be identified, “this shows a complete lack of judgment by Mr. Vo.”

The police association fired Dammeier and Ethir soon after the Lanzillo 911 call reporting a possible drunk driver.

Vo Contributors Sued for Malpractice and Fraud

In 2013, a Sacramento-based police union lobbying firm alleging malpractice and fraud relating to overbilling practices sued Dammeier and Ethir.

According to the lawsuit, Ethir had billed for a total of 4,275 hours in one year (11 hours for every day of the year) and Dammeier billed for more than 70 hours in a single day.

In addition, Ethir billed in 2012 on days he was suspended by the State Bar from practicing law, and neither Ethir nor Dammeier told anyone of Ethir’s suspension, according to the lawsuit.

See story click here.

Connections to Cerritos Mayor pro-tem Carol Chen

Vo’s connection to Cerritos Mayor pro-tem Carol Chen is also evident in the campaign filings.

Vo received $6,000 from Charles Zhang President of Zion Enterprises based in San Clemente. HMG-CN reported in March of 2013 that Zhang gave Chen $5,000 in late contributions for her 2013 Cerritos council campaign.

See story click here.

Zhang is a developer of three large shopping, residential, and retirement projects in Artesia.

Zion Enterprises’ website says they “develop incredibly diverse products, from commercial medical office buildings, to big box anchored retail sites, to residential senior condominiums.”

Zhang’s projects included the Artesia Oasis Plaza a retail shopping center, Artesia Grace Court, a residential development, and Artesia Senior Housing.

Vo also received $3,000 from Si Vi Ton from Monterrey Park, $2,000 from Shen Yen a resident of Cerritos, $250 from Carol Chen and $200 from Cerritos Councilman George Ray.

Bogus Website Endorsement

Vo’s website boasts major endorsements from retired Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, Carol Chen, Assemblywoman Young Kim of the 65th District, Cerritos Councilmen Bruce Barrows and George Ray, Artesia Councilmen Ali Taj and Tony Lima, former Cerritos Mayor Bob Hughlette, and ABC School Board Member Soo Yoo.

All were sent emails asking for comment. As of the time of this article posting, only Artesia Councilman Ai Taj responded.

Bringing into question the endorsements Vo exhibits on his website, an irate Councilman Taj told HMG-CN, “I am very surprised at this. I have endorsed only two candidates for the Cerritos City Council race, Mayor Pulido and Sophie Tse. My endorsement does not include the above mentioned candidate Chuong Vo.”

Others endorsing on Vo’s website are Nick Kim, Cerritos Planning Commissioner; Becky Lingad, Cerritos Planning Commissioner; Larry Sagert, Former Cerritos Planning Commissioner; Brad Beach, Cerritos Parks and Recreation Commissioner; Jack Reidy, Cerritos Parks and Recreation Commissioner; James Fong Yee, Ph.D, Cerritos Parks and Recreation Commissioner; Robert D. Buell Cerritos Economic Development Commissioner; Rosalinda Law, Cerritos Economic Development Commissioner; Philip H. Hickok, Cerritos Property Preservation Commissioner and Retired Judge; Samuel Chu, Cerritos Property Preservation Commissioner; Waldo Arballo, Cerritos Property Preservation Commissioner; Elayne Shiohama, Cerritos Fine Arts and Historical Commission; Gordon Hom, Cerritos Community Safety Committee Member; Victor Gau, Cerritos Community Safety Committee Member; K.Y.  Ma, Cerritos Community Safety Committee Member; Matt Kauble, Cerritos Community Safety Committee Member; Jennifer Hong , Cerritos Let Freedom Ring Committee and Laverne Tancill, Friends of Arts Education Trustee.

Other campaign documents show that Grace Hu, who has the most cash on hand, has not taken one dollar in donations. Similarly, Frank Yokoyama has $8,000 in the bank with no donations.

Campaign Statements for Each Candidate can be found by clicking links below.

Chuong Vo

Grace Hu

Naresh Solanki

Mark Pulido

Sophie Tse

Sultan Ahmad

Frank Yokoyama

Jim Edwards

Manny Sehti



  • Police of Sheriff says:

    Candidate VO:

    Photos are worth million words. Photos Dont lie. He is 100% for asians in the city . Represent Mainstream only and not all of the community, he is typical cop mentality. Photo reminds me of some farm town in China hoods. VO (R)| No Blacks- No Handicap- No Gays- No redheads- 2 Blonds | 99% Asians | 100%Asian Kids| No Spanish‏…..


    How would you feel if you were one of the minority residing in Cerritos or raising a family in Cerritos and were not even asked to participate in this grp photo? This photo is being passed around ABC/ PTA, vote no for racists.. This is one of the reasons, so many white kids have fled ABC, as enrollment is dropping, as white kids have no peers.

    Please we had many police-attorney council in former years, they were all disasters. Vote no for Vo. Police-Sheriff-Attorneys and council persons do not mix…..with city politics.

    Additionally, Torrance to pay $1.8 million to settle surfer David Perdue’s lawsuit in mistaken Christopher Dorner shooting. Yes, Vo who is head of the Torrance PD Union, was part of this horrific history to City of Torrance.

    Not mistaken, former realtor-councilperson gave a loan to another councilperson mayor and was part of the reasons both councilpersons resigned from City of Cerritos Council. Is current councilperson giving free loan too?

    Also, Vo is campaigning on poss. changing our Sheriffs to Cerritos Police and renaming to CERRITOS COMMUNITY PATROL, as he is vying to make changes ???


  • Sunshine Park says:

    Fifty years, the Republicans in Cerritos have maintained elite society. Torrance PD are being brown nosed by now CERRITOS Group, to maintain financials and mob like ruling. Wonder how many Cerritos residents are Torrance Police Officers?


    Same possie locks the basketball hoops, courtyards at Sunshine Park, to maintain Elite Park Goers.

  • Sundance says:

    Carol Chens:—–ELEVATION INVESTMENTS——, Los Cerritos Mall, fingerprints are all over his candidates financials.

    Hmmmm, Paddlefords, Artesia Multi- millionaire Residents, sit on the Cerritos Economic Commission and big players for HIS campaign contributions, PLUS, big real estate owners in city where he was planning commissioner. Hidden deals w/City of Artesia and Cerritos?

    Puzzled, why do appointed Cerritos Commissioners and Councilpersons, contribute to his campaign, reads like continuance power trips. MOST ALL REPUBLICANS AND CHINESE REPUBLICANS.

    Politcal Parties are not to entre in to local campaigns, sure see this bullseye. Reading above contributors, this list is all about political party paybacks.

    Hope said newspaper interviews HIS colleagues in the TORRANCE POLICE DEPARTMENT.

  • Anza Res says:

    Mr Vo,

    Your Torrance PD coworker, has cause nothing but embarrassment to his homesite, near the intersection of Anza-Lomita, my home area for decades. His home is always targeted by spray painters taggers, over ill agreements between your police department and his parolee.

    Mr Vo,

    T Police Department has created a lot of issues over the illegal wiring transmitters near the intersection 190th and Prairie. This has been an ongoing issues with the Torrance Police Department since the park was designated from Farm to city. Torrance has paid money out for restitution, but your PD created issues.

    Mr Vo,

    You represent the union, why have you not busted the location of the Torrance Police Department, sharing the same grounds as the South Bay courthouse, this been brought up many many times over corruption of unions and judges.

    Mr. Vo.

    Former mayors from downtown Torrance and Hollywood Riviera micro-sections, have crossed swords with the questionable character of the TPD & its over paid lawsuits and unions. You have been targeted over many past in office administration issues, as reported in Daily Breeze Newspapers, plus the PV News.

    Mr. Vo.

    Crime is out of control in the Del Amo Mall and shopping centers to the North along Hawthorne Blvd. TPD can not control Torrance Beach Front from hookers and drugs. Why? You are detective and failed to derail crime or try to abort. Crime is rising to the West of UCLA, section where TPD is present and you have done squat. PCH is home to some of the wealthiest hookers to the hill, but you overlook this crime as good crime. How many homicides have accured by Torrance Blvd and 110.

    Mr. Vo.

    Nissan-Hughes-Toyota left Torrance, not safe for their employees. Hi crime areas.

    The Torrance cops do not have a good name in the South Bay, poss one of the most corrupt policing agencies in the entire South Bay. This is why Lomita and some of the peninsula will not work with the corruption from your force and rely on sheriff patrol. Even Harbor City Division will not serve with the TPD.

    Mr. Vo.

    Last, do not run for any politics in Torrance, keep your crap to east east of the city, where you reside in…Cerritos.

  • B.L.F. says:

    Commissioner C Vo has an out of control temper, ignited &exploded at Chambers Forum. 2 minutes shouting match, slamming the newspaper. Vo thinks he’s holier than God; just because he has a policeman’s badge. Showed his true colors, council race is over blood. Wow, sure demonstrated attitude over the 1-2min opening statement allotment, plus his body language was abusive to former Mayor Grace Hu & no respect for woman which had the floor. Vo is above law!

    He sure is insecure about the money being reported to clerk, sure rattled and killed the CHAMBERS. Appears to be bad money used for campaigning.

    Today’s CCC must instantly censure or remove this cop from active planning commissioner, he has a vicious temper. Sure hate to have him as spouse, thank god, he cannot make it to USA president, could start WW@, w/paparazzi, military, world solders and reporters. Go home to your native country.

    This sure showed world, his warrior side of this bad cop gone bazarik and another chapter of the big bad ass cop from OJ Trials.

    He has been too long as cop, worn out and his reign as commissioner, has gone to his feed ego.

  • Doug Van Buren says:

    Cerritos Government has morphed into a social political group for Republican cronyism,, losing focus on its main purpose for Cerritos Charter & role model;

    Story has circulated the entire South Bay, inclusive Torrance City Hall- Torrance Unified School. In addition, the Torrance facility for UCLA area also upset.

    Torrance Chamber of Commerce is upset at the Cerritos Chamber for allowing this conduct. Employment or party affiliation must not enter in to local politics, or city is in spin off from Bell Politics.

    Vo, Barrows, Chen, Hughlett, knabe, Hu, Edwards, Ray, Solanki have lost focus on what they are suppose to do. SERVANT to residents and the voters and not FOR POLITICAL PARTY GAIN.

    Has this story been forwarded to Norwalk Voters office and district attorney?

    Doug Van Buren | 3rd Generation Family

  • AndyAmerican says:

    Let’s put out all the evidence in front of us, shall we?
    Exzhibit A: Chuong Vo LIED about his endorsements
    Exhibit B: Chuong Vo then later removed the false endorsements from his website after his false friends were found out to be lies but some great reporting. I don’t know about you;ladies and gentlemen, but when my cat keeps scratching the curtains and then frantically runs away after I discover what she’s doing.. I know she’s possibly guilty of doing something she wasn’t supposed to.
    Exzibit C: Chuong Vo is doing business with some questionable people such as these OC lawyers that have a checkered reputation. Mr. Vo, why are you dealing with these guys? If you’re in the market for a lawyer who is slightly less of a criminal- you better call Saul!
    Exzibit D: how, I ask you… HOW is a police detective going to manage his career as a detective, stay on the planning commitee and be a council member??? Does he not sleep?? Or will he be the ONE council member to turn down the free trips (all expenses paid by Cerritos taxpayers) to China. I bet Carol Chen won’t be too pleased. So Which one of the three will suffer (career, council member or committee)? What if your mother or father or child was murdered and their homicide case fell into Mr. Vo’s hands to solve?? Do you honestly that trust he can give 100% of his focus and dedication to solving their murder case?

    Closing argument:
    Mr. Vo is certainly flooding the city of Cerritos with his campaign signs. Goodness! I’ve even found one of his signs nailed to my dogs’ doghouse- no idea how he managed to get it there! Obviously whoever is funding Mr. Vo really wants him to win. But why??? What’s in it for the these henchmen? Why these goones? Don’t bother saying they’re on the up and up either! You might as well take endorsements from Waste Management- now I don’t know if you know this, but those guys who run that department are definitely not the Boy Scouts!! Only time will tell and dirty laundry always unfolds for everyone to see. Let’s do some math, maybe we can solve the equation that way?

    Chuong Vo + crooked lawyers + falsely naming supporters x 24 (the hours he plans on not sleeping) = a cop that isn’t interested in your safety or concerns but his own dirty secret plots!

  • Ester Wang: says:

    Hi Voters.

    Only time when any of these candidate remember voters- residents, when they run for office or looking for potential real estate contract listings or need public votes to push more crap thru to ABC.

    Bingo, bingo, soon as they take oath, they forget about us ( AKA:3 F’s ). Find us, finger us and forget us!!!

    Over the next 4 yrs in term, decisions are 100% based on following their money trail to their hind-end wallets/ stomachs, as these gutter slick politicians don’t give dam about us or the city.

    Please tell us one councilperson from Cerritos, over past 60 yrs has been true pro bono public servant?

    X: Ester Wang

  • Jeffery Moon says:

    Can any elected policeman, judge or attorney, practice fair n balance resolutions, as their career background, can polarize politics and the subject be debated?

    One appointee, ( Ret. Judge)on CPPC is prime example; his dialog scares living hell out of his colleagues and audience. Former Frank Y is another one of the planning commissioner, his dialog was gift wrapped as attorney-at-law, instead of coming from homegrown resident of Granada Park, Cerritos.

    BTW: Is candidate FY or his parents, M/M Y, part of the United HOA, nothing has been disclosed? United HOA gave endorsements/supporters this week.

    Most of Vo endorsements/ supporters are under his radar of police-law work; not from general organic mainstream.

    Jeffery Moon