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Artesia Council Tony Lima, Monica Manalo, Former City Manager and City Clerk Named in Felony Search Warrant

January 9, 2022

A felony search warrant has been issued by the LA County Sheriff’s asking for all texts and computer and electronic devices belonging to former Artesia manager Bil Rawlings and communications between him and Artesia City Clerk Ernesto Sanchez, and Councilmembers Tony Lima and Monica Manalo.

The warrant was obtained by the Press-Telegram.

According to the search warrant, evidence was presented to a judge by Detective Brian Judge who then issued a warrant under Penal Code section 1524 pertaining to the 2020 City Council election.

The search warrant states that electronic equipment either was used “as a means of committing a felony and tends to show that a felony has been committed” and  that “a particular person has committed a felony.”

The warrant is asking for electronic material for a 17 day period between July 28, 2020 up to and including August 13, 2020.

The search warrant is seizing everything from the city building including computers, laptops cell phone tablets that Rawlings used or is still in possession of Rawlings.

The search warrant also asked for any letters emails, including emails from personal accounts, recordings, memos, notes, messages, or other communications between Rawlings City Clerk Ernesto Sanchez and Councilpersons Tony Lima and Monica Malala for the same 17 day period.

 Councilwoman Monica Manalo sent a statement today, January 10, 2022, and denied any involvement,  “The City is fully cooperating with local law enforcement in this matter. The City does not comment on investigations or personnel matters. As for myself, I did not engage in any election misconduct nor do I have ANY knowledge of impropriety regarding the election.  My only communication with City staff during the filing period (referenced in the article) took place with City Clerk Ernesto Sanchez who provided instructions on the filing process along with a list of individuals who had pulled campaign packets.  I also met with Mr. Sanchez at City Hall to submit my campaign document.

Texts to Tony Lima have yet to be answered.





  • Moz says:

    Someone should look into the property that was bought at 11464 178th Street (now a “city park”). Rawlings was deeply involved in that real estate transaction along with another councilmember and the community development director to low-ball the property owners and destroy any potential development on that property. A real estate developer proposed 12 new single family homes ( million dollar homes) but the city manager and councilmember worked the property owners into believing that the property was not worth that much. The million dollar homes were denied by the community development director as “high density development” which helped Bill’s game plan to buy the property as a “city park”. In addition, Bill Rawlings directed the Community Development Director to demand at minimum $300,000 per home as an incentive to recommend approval to the Planning Commission and City Council.

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