La Mirada Lamplighter Publisher Under Fire for Fake News Story E-mail
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Thursday, 26 October 2017 20:33

Los Angeles~In a startling departure from traditional standards of journalism, Los Cerritos Community News and La Mirada Lamplighter publisher Brian Hews claims the ability to read the minds of people with whom he has neither met nor spoken with.

In a series of sworn statements made under oath, Mr. Hews made several astonishing admissions regarding the fake news story that he authored and published falsely accusing Central Basin Municipal Water District Board Member Leticia Vasquez and Montebello City Councilwoman Vanessa Delgado of attempted bribery and extortion.

The June 26, 2016 article states that during a meeting with Cook Hills Properties LLC officials, Ms. Vasquez and Ms. Delgado attempted to extort money from and solicit bribes from officials of the Newport Beach real estate development company.

Cook Hills’ officials, Ms. Vasquez and Ms. Delgado have all provided sworn statements in Ms. Vasquez’s Los Angeles Superior Court defamation lawsuit (Case No. BC658053) against Mr. Hews denying the allegations and stating that the whole story is fabricated.

In Mr. Hews’ court ordered deposition on September 20, 2017 he testified that he had no documentation or evidence whatsoever to support his fabricated story about bribery and extortion. Under questioning by Vasquez’s attorney Nana Gyamfi, Hews testified as follows:

“Question: Did you ever have documents in your possession that proved or showed... that Central Basin Director Leticia Vasquez and Montebello Councilwoman Vanessa Delgado attempted to extort money from Cook Hills’ officials?”

“Answer: No.” As a further insult to journalistic integrity Mr. Hews also admitted at his deposition that he had never even spoken with any of the Cook Hills’ officials involved.

“Question:  Did you speak with or communicate with any Cook Hills’ officials regarding Ms. Vasquez or Ms. Delgado asking for money, as you have described in your article, at all – any Cook Hills’ officials before June – before you published the article in June 26th?

“Answer: No.”

When attorney Gyamfi asked Hews why he would print such serious allegations about public officials without any proof he stated: “I published this article because I received a call from the individual identified as John Doe #1, who is and was known to me as an elected Director with the Central Basin Municipal Water District.”

Although Mr. Hews relies on this unidentified John Doe #1 as a source for publishing the fake news article, he has refused to identify this unknown source. Mr. Hews claims that a Cook Hills official allegedly told Central Basin General Manager Kevin Hunt about the alleged bribery and extortion and that Mr. Hunt allegedly told John Doe #1 who in turn allegedly told Mr. Hews.

Mr. Hunt and Central Basin Chief Engineer Lonnie Curtis have both filed sworn written statements with the Superior Court denying any knowledge of any extortion or bribery attempts. Hunt and Curtis have also denied under oath any conversations with any Cook Hills’ officials about any extortion or bribery attempts.

Ms. Vasquez has filed a motion with the Superior Court to compel disclosure of the identity of the alleged unidentified source. A hearing on that disclosure motion along with a request for attorney’s fees and costs is scheduled in Department 73 of the Los Angeles Superior Court on Nov. 6, 2017.

Mr. Hews filed a sworn written statement under oath with the Superior Court on June 15, 2017 falsely stating that he was able to determine the Cook Hills’ officials thoughts and motivations about his fake news story even though he has never spoken with any of them and said officials knew nothing of his soon-to-be published fake news article.

The following passage comes from Mr. Hews’ sworn statement where he apparently is attempting to read the minds of people whom he has never met nor spoken with: “Based on my communications with Cook Hill and the lack of returned phone call, I developed the impression that I was being given the run around by Cook Hill. Based on my experience, such a response (or non-response) is typical when the subject of a story is aware that the information already provided to the reporter is accurate, but does not wish to contribute in the hopes that the story is never published. Based on my communications with the secretary, I further developed the impression that Cook Hill was alarmed that someone had leaked its conversation with ...General Manager Hunt and ...Chief Engineer Lonnie Curtis to my office’s publication.”

Surprisingly, Mr. Hews further admits at his deposition that he has no knowledge whatsoever that the secretary he allegedly spoke with actually delivered his message to the Cook Hills’ officials:

“Question: And do you have any personal knowledge that the secretary, in fact, gave the message with your name and number to Mr. Witt?”

“Answer: No, I do not.”

“Question: Did you speak with Mr. Witt about why he didn’t get back to you?”

“Answer: No -- no. He wouldn’t talk to me.”

Central Basin Water Board Director Leticia Vasquez has been the subject of attacks and false stories by Mr. Hews for five years. “It is unfortunate that this fake news publisher is using taxpayer money to print these outrageous and false stories about elected officials and others made up out of thin air,” added Ms. Vasquez.

“He uses his newspaper to feed our community false stories about elected officials he disagrees with in order to influence the voters of the district negatively against us. I look forward to my day in court.”

Ms. Vasquez is demanding judgment against Brian Hews and Los Cerritos Community News for general damages, special damages, an injunction to prevent future fake news stories punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs of suit.

See original story at Gateway Guardian News.



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