LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The publisher of a southeast Los Angeles weekly newspaper filed two complaints today accusing City Controller and mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel of misusing city resources for campaign purposes.
Brian Hews of Los Cerritos Community Newspaper submitted letters to the District Attorney’s Office and the city Ethics Commission, requesting investigations into Greuel’s city emails that he claims have been used to further her mayoral campaign.
In the letters, Hews contended that the majority of Greuel’s “day-to-day activities” have been “dedicated to political activities including the solicitation of campaign donations to her mayoral campaign.”
Included with the complaints were copies of 130 pages of emails the newspaper requested from Greuel.
Greuel spokeswoman Laura Wilkinson called the complaints a “campaign stunt” by Councilman Eric Garcetti, Greuel’s opponent in the May 21 runoff election.
Wilkinson claimed Garcetti’s “own supporters” have filed ethics complaints against him and said their campaign would not “dignify” Garcetti and his “political smear machine” with a response to the newspaper’s claims.
Jeff Millman of the Garcetti campaign denied any involvement with the newspaper’s complaint.
Former City Councilwoman Ruth Galanter filed a similar complaint against Greuel with the Ethics Commission last week. In response to that complaint, Wilkinson said the campaign emails were “inadvertently” sent from Greuel’s city account, and the candidate “recognizes that she could have done a better job of keeping her two email accounts separate.” Wilkinson also said that over a two-year period, “there were only about 50-60 emails that were inadvertently forwarded by Greuel.”
During a news conference discussing the complaints, Hews and reporter Randy Economy were asked if they were blurring the line between journalism and politicking or advocacy.
“We’re just operating as a newspaper,” Hews said.
Some of the newspaper’s stories in recent months have served as attack fodder for primary election mayoral candidate Kevin James, who finished third and did not qualify for the May 21 runoff. James has since endorsed Garcetti.
Hews conceded he has been friends with James since he appeared on the former candidate’s radio talk show to discuss the newspaper’s stories on County Assessor John Noguez, who has since been charged with multiple political corruption counts.