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Torrance Police Officer and Cerritos Council Candidate Secretly Removed Bogus Campaign Website Endorsement After Hews Media Group Article

Staff Report

Last week HMG-CN broke the story that Cerritos City Council candidate and Torrance police detective Chuong Vo solicited donations from corrupt lawyers embroiled in two civil lawsuit, one for fraud, malpractice and overbilling, and another, a high profile case that involved bullying two Costa Mesa city councilman.

HMG-CN also found that Vo received $6,000 from other dubious supporters who did not reside in Cerritos, one of whom donated $5,000 to Cerritos Mayor pro tem Carol Chen’s campaign in 2013.

The story broke 9 hours before a 7:00 PM public candidate forum that took place at Cerritos City Council chambers, televised by Cerritos TV3, and one that was the most well attended forum in the history of Cerritos.

After an hour of answering questions, the time came for the candidate’s two-minute closing statement and finally for Vo to speak.

What came next might define Vo’s career as a politician and as a police officer.

In a closing statement filled with anger and hate, a statement that did not at any point address why he was running for City Council, Vo accused HMG-CN and Publisher Brian Hews of fabricating the entire donation story even though there was ample documentation online to refute his claims.

Vo said that “he never took money from lawyers, and the entire story is a lie.”

Click on images to view fullscreen.

Campaign documents showing donations from attorneys Deitmmeir and Ethir

Campaign documents showing donations from attorneys Deitmmeir and Ethir

 

VO-16

Campaign documents showing $3,000 donation from Charles Zhuang. Zhuang donated $5,000 to Cerritos Mayor pro tem Carol Chen.

 

But it is what Vo did not mention in his tirade, the second part of the article that called into question endorsements on his campaign website, that could land the current Planning Commissioner in hot water.

HMG-CN sent an email out at 6:22 AM this past Tuesday Feb.3 to several endorsers who were on the website asking for comment about the impending Chuong Vo donation story.

The email included current City Councilman Bruce Barrows, Cerritos Mayor pro tem Carol Chen, Cerritos Councilman George Ray, Cerritos College Trustee Bob Hughlett, ABC School Board Member Soo Yoo, and Artesia Councilmen Ali Taj and Tony Lima.

AT 9:16 AM Artesia Councilman Ali Taj replied to the e-mail by saying he was in no way was endorsing Chuong Vo.

 

Email from Artesia Councilman Ali Taj indicating he did not endorse Chuong Vo.

Email from Artesia Councilman Ali Taj indicating he did not endorse Chuong Vo.

 

No other recipients of the email responded, but documents suggest that either Barrows, Chen, Ray, Hughlett, Lima, or Soo Yoo told Chuong Vo the contents of the email and set a plan in place to discredit the donation story at the public candidate forum that set a record in attendance.

New facts and evidence have been uncovered by HMG-CN that show that Vo knew Councilman Taj was a bogus endorsement, that Vo attempted to cover it up, and, as further evidence, did not bring the subject up during his public closing statement blasting HMG-CN where he said the “entire story was a lie.”

The evidence came from Google and website history.

Google “crawls” the web and takes snapshots of each web page on the internet as a backup. These pages then become part of Google’s “cache,” or history.

If a user goes to www.Cachedpages.com and enters a website address, they will not see the current page of the website but a previous version of the site that Google has stored.

The cached page is usually 2-3 days old, and then is replaced by another version.

Apparently the Vo camp does not know about Google cache or Cachedpages.com.

The link below is Vo’s endorsement page on his website from Cachedpages.com,  dated of Feb. 3, 8:05 AM PST.

webcache.googleusercontent.com.nyud.net:8080/search?q=cache:http://www.vo4council.com/endorsements

Click here to see page.

Scrolling down to Endorsements, thirteen names down the list reveals Artesia Councilman Ali Taj’s endorsement between Artesia Councilman Tony Lima and Torrance Mayor Patrick Fuerry.

Note: This kind of page will eventually be deleted and replaced with another cached history page. An HMG-CN screenshot of that page is below.

Click on images to view fullscreen.

 

Screenshot 2015-02-13 19.03.21

 


This evidence indicates that Taj’s endorsement was on the site since the site was created, that Chuong Vo knew that it was false, but left it on the site anyway.

Three days later, on Feb. 5, a visit to Chuong Vo’s live website at 7:00 AM shows Councilman Ali Taj’s name, which was between Lima and Fuerry, removed.

 

 

Screenshot 2015-02-13 19.03.42

During his tirade on Feb. 4, Vo blasted HMG-CN for “fabricating the entire story.”

Vo said the story was fabricated knowing that the Taj endorsement was false, and aware that his campaign had, or was in the process of removing Councilman Taj’s name due to HMG-CN’s story.

HMG-CN emailed Mr. Vo at [email protected] several times for comment Wednesday and Thursday, there was no response at time of publication.

Contact the editor: [email protected]

 

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