The little paper that can — and did expose criminality in the L.A. County Assessor John Noguez’s office — has published an article based 640 pages of documents accusing L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel of spending ” an overwhelming majority of her official schedule for the past three years attending lavish dinners, lunches, breakfasts, and social events in an effort to advance her 2013 mayoral campaign.”
In a copyrighted article, Los Cerritos Community Newspaper reporter Randy Economy and Publisher Brian Hews said Greuel’s campaigning activities represented a possible violation of city ethics laws. It took six months to pry the records of Greuel’s calendar out of her office, an apparent violation of the California Public Records Act.
“We had received tips from inside her office that Gruel was campaigning on county time, so LCCN requested copies of her 2009-2012 daily calendar,” Hews said. “LCCN was able to conquer a bureaucratic maze created by the Controller’s Office that included being told more than 15 times that our request was being ‘gathered’ by personnel in her office.”
“The process to obtain the records was extremely arduous and involved. As a public official, whose calendar is open to the public, I expected this process to be simple, and for city staff to be helpful rather than adversarial toward releasing information about a public employee, especially to a community newspaper,” Hews said. “This treatment certainly raised some red flags.”
The newspaper broke the story a year ago about how Noguez and his aides were giving massive property tax deductions to clients of individuals while funneling large campaign contributions to the Assessor. Charges are pending against Noguez and several others.