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EXCLUSIVE: Los Angeles County District Attorney Reviewing Allegations of Election Fraud in Montebello

Courtesy KNOE

 

Sunday Dec. 16, 2018 9:15 am
BY BRIAN HEWS

Hews Media Group-Community News has obtained documents through a public records request showing that several election fraud complaints were filed with the Norwalk Registrar-Recorder’s Office (NRR) two weeks before the November 6 Montebello City Council election.

But for reasons unknown, Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan waited until Nov. 11 to forward the complaints to Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Alan Yochelsen, head of the D.A.’s Public Integrity Division.

HMG-LCCN confirmed with District Attorney spokesperson Greg Risling Friday that the D.A. is reviewing the allegations.

Logan wrote in his letter to Lacey, dated November 8 but emailed November 11, “enclosed are copies of emails summaries from Alex Olvera, Division Manager for Election Information and Preparation on my staff who has fielded telephone calls regarding alleged candidate and voter activity in the city of Montebello. My office does not have any additional information or verification of the alleged activity. However, based on the nature of the allegations and the serious correlation to build voter confidence and election integrity and transparency, I believe it is appropriate to refer this information to your office.”

 

 

 

Vivian Romero

The complaints were filed by former City Councilwoman Vivian Romero along with City activist Linda Nicols, who is the mother of newly elected Montebello Councilwoman Kimberly Ann Cobos.

The grievances started Oct. 22 when then-Councilwoman Romero, with three other people on the phone, called NRR’s Olvera to lodge her complaints.

The last names of the three other people were redacted in the documents, but it was not difficult to ascertain the names as Linda Nicols, Kimberly Ann Cobos, and Romero’s partner, Shannon Calland.

The first complaint alleged fraud in the election qualification of current Montebello Treasurer Ashod Mooradian.

Romero alleged that four non-residents signed Mooradian’s nomination papers

Under California election law, registered voters who sign nomination papers must live in the city where the candidate is running for election.

Romero wrote in her complaint that Aron Petrosian Sr., Aron Petrosian Jr., Ms. Roxy Petrosian, and Haik Petrosian, whom she alleged all live in Glendale, signed Mooradian’s nomination papers.

Refuting Romero’s allegations, sources close to the Petrosians told HMG-LCCN that they live on 7th Street in Montebello. In addition, Mooradian had over 25 signatures, when only twenty were needed to qualify.

At the time, Romero asked the NRR to invalidate Mooradian’s candidacy based on “intentional fraud.”

Romero’s second complaint, if true, could land current Montebello City Councilman Jack Hadjinian in legal hot water.

Romero asserted that two people who voted in the November election, Juan Sandoval and Ms. Xio Sandoval, used Hadjinian’s business address at 830 N. Wilcox as their registered voter address, alleging that the Sandovals do not live in Montebello.

Internet research shows that Xio Sandoval works at 830 N. Wilcox, which is Hadjinian’s real estate office.

In a third complaint, Romero alleged Murad Minasian, who is registered in Montebello, was “picking up and tampering with City of Montebello vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots.”

According to Olvera, Romero did not offer any evidence of the Minasian misdeeds.

HMG-LCCN contacted Minasian who denied the allegations and called Romero, “a sore loser.”

 

Email from Olvera to Logan describing the Romero complaints.

 

Eight days later, on Oct. 30, Olvera reported to Logan that a random anonymous male caller had left a voicemail stating, “I’m a resident of Montebello, and I’ve been told by a few residents that there’s been rumors of the Armenian church off of Montebello Boulevard and Lincoln that they’re advising the elderly Armenian community to…not to vote their ballots, to take them in and they’ll assist in filling them out. From our understanding, they’re to take them in on the day of the election and they’ll help them fill them out so they can make sure that they don’t get mixed up.”

Two days after that on Friday November 2, Romero once again called Olvera and put a “young lady” on the phone who wished to remain anonymous.

The young lady told Olvera that in October “an Armenian gentleman was walking up to people’s homes along Bluff Road in Montebello stating to residents that he was representing the landlord and was there to help fill out and/or pick up ballots for the city’s November election. When he approached me, I told him that’s not entirely legal. He got into his charcoal gray Toyota Camry and drove away.”

Olvera stated that Romero said she believed that the Armenian gentleman was working for (Murad) Minasian who is the owner of multiple properties on Bluff Road and that, “Minasian was associated with Montebello City Council candidates Mooradian, Art Barajas, and Angie Jimenez, and a possible relative of Mayor Pro Tem Jack Hadjinian.”

Then on November 8, Romero emailed a written statement from a Montebello poll worker named “Edwina,” who alleged illegal ballot activity.

Romero stated that “Edwina was happy to discuss all of the details provided in the email if you would like to contact her.”

Edwina wrote, “I am a Montebello Resident for over 40 years and I worked at the polls November 6 at the Senior Citizens Center on Whittier Blvd.”

“There were at least 80-90 Provisional Ballots filled out at that polling place, we overheard and witnessed many comments made by the voters stating they were poll voters and they never registered as a vote-by-mail VBM voters, and that they never received their sample ballots.”

“These 80-90 people confirmed and were adamant that they never registered as a voter by mail.”

Edwina finished, “another Clerk who has worked the polls for over 15 years stated she had never seen this high number of provisional voters at any time, even the county inspector at our site, ‘Laura,’ commented on the high amount of provisional ballots.”

The last statement was apparently enough for NRR Clerk Dean Logan, who emailed his letter to District Attorney Lacey stating, “I believe it is appropriate to refer this information to your office for review.”

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