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Press Telegram Reporter Called ‘Irresponsible and Lazy’ in Story About Downey Councilman Rick Rodriguez’ Residency

Downey Councilman Rick Rodriguez.

Monday June 5, 2017, 9:16 a.m.

By Brian Hews

Los Angeles County District Attorney is reviewing a complaint that newly elected Downey City Councilman Rick Rodriguez does not live in the city.

If found to be true, Rodriguez’ Council seat would immediately be vacated.

Rodriguez is vehemently denying the complaint.

The story was first broke by the Long Beach Press Telegram’s David Downey.

The complaint alleges Rodriguez lives in a Long Beach coastal neighborhood, not in Downey, and reporter Downey used a Facebook photo to prove the allegations.

The photo shows Rick and his wife at their second home in Long Beach with a caption of “HOME.”

Rodriguez countered that he does live in Downey, in fact on Rio Flora Place, a home that is on the Rio Hondo Golf Club.

The complaint contained a certified copy that the Downey City Council candidate listed his address as 8255 Firestone Blvd., Suite 308.

Reporter Downey wrote that it is the address of  former Downey Mayor Mario Guerra’s office across the sidewalk from Porto’s.

When he heard about the story Guerra blasted reporter Downey saying, “If the reporter would have bothered to make a simple call to the city clerks office he would have known that they verify his address in several ways. By voting records, property taxes and verification. But you can see him there everyday too. The sheet he is referring to is a contact mailing info page that the city clerk asks as a courtesy for the media to have contact.

“Lazy reporting and a character assignation attempt by a losing candidate have no place in local politics.”

Impugning reporter Downey’s ethics Guerra said, “This story was shopped around to several papers until a misinformed and uninformed reporter would bite. Rick Rodriguez is one of the most ethical people I know and has nothing to hide. Shameful, lazy reporting to do such a ridiculous and politically motivated story. I’m proud of my friend and all that he represents.”

Rodriguez told HMG-CN that he is not worried about the investigation.

“Not in the least, records show where I live.”

Property records show Rodriguez owns both the house on the golf course and the home in Long Beach.

Guerra continued, “If anybody wants to know why good people don’t want to get into politics this baseless story is a good example. An irresponsible reporter that obviously doesn’t know our city nor the political landscape  was convinced by a losing opponent (sour grapes also by the losing candidate Frine Medrazo) to repeat a lie she said during the campaign for Downey City Council.”

“I am disturbed that she would continue her attempt to deceive Downey residents, probably because she got trounced by Rick in the last election.  Rick has not only lived at his home in Downey for almost 30 years but he’s also been such a big part of Downey (Chamber President and Gangs out of Downey president) and that is why he won with such an overwhelming majority. #downeystrong #workingtogether #alwaysforward”