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|Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 6:00 am
District Attorney Steve Cooley Rescinds his
endorsement of John Noguez for L.A. County Assessor
Huntington Park, CA - District Attorney Steve Cooley has removed his endorsement of
John Noguez for L.A. County Assessor.
John Noguez is mayor of Huntington Park, a city hard adjacent to Bell, whose indicted
officials Noguez has intimate "political entanglements" with, according to a Sunday
report in the Times (Voter Guide, published on September 10, 2010).
Noguez failed the Times endorsement for L.A. County Assessor. The Times endorsed
John Wong, a Monterey Park businessman, who is Chair of the Property Assessment
Appeals Board of the Assessor's office.
On March 31, 2010, with much fanfare, Noguez quickly posted on his Facebook page the
following announcement touting a trio of endorsements by Sheriff Lee Baca, Rick
Aurbach, then County Assessor, and D.A. Steve Cooley:
Noguez added D.A. Steve Cooley to the "Endorsements" page of his campaign website
(www.johnnoguez.com). Then, recently, very quietly and without any fanfare, and just
as quickly, Noguez removed Steve Cooley's name from his endorsement roster of VIP
On Monday October 12, 2010, WatchOurCity.com reported that the District Attorney's
office had opened a preliminary investigation into John Noguez, prompted by an official
letter from County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, looking into allegations that Noguez is
really Juan Reynaldo Rodriguez who has not legally changed his name to Noguez.
Two other prominent elected officials whom Noguez actively sought endorsements from,
and they enthusiastically gave it to him, were Bell mayor Oscar Hernandez and Bell
council members Teresa Jacobo and Luis Artiga, all three recently arrested by the District
Attorney's office along with Robert Rizzo and George Cole, Bell's former mayor and
intimate political ally of John Noguez. Noguez just as quickly removed any traces on his
Facebook page of these high profile endorsement from indicted Bell officials after their
arrests. Noguez's two previous campaign managers were convicted. Former Huntington
Park mayor Edward Escareno, Noguez's manager for the 2003 campaign, was convicted
by D.A. Steve Cooley in December 2005 of "Grand Theft" and misuse of public funds, a
felony. Noguez's 2nd campaign manager his 2007 re-election campaign was Bell Gardens
councilman, and State Senator Ron Calderon's staffer, Mario Beltran, who was convicted
not once, but twice by the D.A.'s office.
Noguez's intimate connections and "political entanglements" with corrupt Bell officials
seems to be taking a toll on Noguez's Assessor campaign.
To begin with, though Noguez came in first place in the June 8 primary, he received only
28% of the vote, a bit more than twice the votes for John Wong's 13%. Noguez
outspent Wong by a 10 to 1 margin.
John's weak showing during the June 8 Primaries was helped by the fact that the Bell
corruption scandal had yet not broken.
But now that the a spotlight is shining on Bell, Maywood, and Huntington Park, Noguez
risks loosing the $640,000 campaign contributions thus far received from his supporters,
who expect to see a spectacular return on their investments. WatchOurCity.com
reviewed Noguez's list of campaign contributors. Tens of thousands of dollars are given
to him by attorneys and tax reps representing interests of large multi-national
corporations with a keen interest in seeing their property and equipment assessments
reduced by tens of millions of dollars, if not by hundreds of millions of dollars, as was
recently the case during a most unusual Assessment hearing held on September 7, 2010
involving Tidelands Corporation, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum.
One particular contributor to the Noguez campaign, lawyer Richard J. Ayoob of Ajalal
Pollez Ayoob and Matarase, has given thousands of dollars in combined contributions
(including his wife, and other Ayoob family members) to Noguez. Gary Townsend, the
second in command in the Assessor's office who is actively fundraising for John Noguez,
has allowed a reduction in property assessment worth $150 million benefiting Tidelands
Corporation, a client of Ayoob's law firm. The understanding is that a Quid Pro Quo took
place, that reduction in property assessment to Tidelands would be given in exchange
for quick infusion of badly needed campaign contributions to John Noguez.
It doesn't help Noguez's campaign when John Wong was the first County official to
publicly break the news back July 26, 2010 that Bell's property taxes are higher than in
Beverly Hills. To this day, Noguez has remained deathly silent on the whole Bell property
tax issue. During all this time, Noguez has been in hiding, and has been quietly holding
fund raisers for his campaign.
In a report posted by WatchOurCity.com on September 7, 2010, "Trillion Dollar County
Tax Roll, Million Dollar Deals, Some Benefiting John Noguez, County Assessor Candidate",
Gary Townsend, second in command in the Assessor's office, is cutting deals with multi-
national corporations reducing their property and equipment taxes in exchange for
campaign contributions to Noguez. Noguez's campaign contribution list is a Who's Who
of specialized law firms with lucrative business interests before the L.A. County
Noguez, who does not have a college degree, and has not ever managed any large
organization, let alone a private business, pretends to become the L.A. County
Assessor, an office which manages 1,200 Assessors and the highest assessed property
tax roll on American soil, over $1 trillion dollars.
Noguez is implicated in Bell's corruption probes, having awarded multi-million dollar
contracts to George Cole, Bell's former mayor who was arrested by the District
Attorney's office in a historic sweep of Bell elected officials.
Under Noguez, the city of Huntington Park has seen its property taxes rise to become
the 6th highest in L.A. County's 88 cities, only 4 notches below Bell's. In 2005, under
Noguez's leadership, Huntington Park city council was quite literally the poster child of
salary abusers, paying themselves up to $900 per hour for sitting on sham city
commissions which met for not more than one minute and got paid almost $2,000 per
month extra. Assemblyman Hector De La Torre's AB 11 made specific mention of
Huntington Park's salary abuse in a press release pressuring his fellow lawmakers to
seriously consider passing AB 11 into law.
On July 13, 2005, Assemblyman De La Torre issued a press release strongly making the
case for passage of AB 11 stating right after the State Senate had approved the bill:
“While serving as a council member in South Gate, I witnessed a corrupt majority of the
city council give themselves a big pay raise for serving on city commissions and
"One extreme example is the City of Huntington Park, which awards its city council
members $1,950 per month for serving on their CDC."
AB 11 was signed into law in late 2005 by Governor Schwarzenegger.
Under Noguez, Huntington Park's city attorney Francisco Leal has billed the city in fiscal
year 2009-2010 close to $700,000, an amount more than twice what L.A. City Attorney
Carmen Trutanich makes. Mr. Trutanich also endorsed John Noguez for Assessor.
Attorney General Jerry Brown is still looking into George Cole's Oldtimers Foundation's
under-reporting a few millions of dollars it received in contracts from officials in
Huntington Park, Bell, Norwalk and Fontana.
All indications are that Huntington Park is the next Bell. Sources tell WatchOurCity.com
that the media should brace for revelations of allegations of official corruption on a grand
scale in Huntington Park, all orchestrated by mayor John Noguez and city attorney
Francisco Leal. Huntington Park does not have a Rizzo, but it does have a Noguez and a
Leal. In Huntington Park, city manager Greg Korduner only does what Noguez and Leal
orders. Korduner is certainly no Rizzo.
Corruption allegations involve official actions in city council and inside the city's Police
Department, and the mayor's connections to HP Tow, the city's official vehicle tow
contractor. HP Tow is a heavy contributor to John Noguez campaign. Campaign filing
reports show that HP Tow has given thousands of dollars since 2003 to Noguez, and
thousands more for Noguez's Assessor's campaign.
Current Huntington Park police chief Javier Cisneros, a former Long Beach PD lieutenant,
was hired more for his personal friendship with councilwoman Elba Guerrero and
Noguez, than for professional qualifications, though all indications are that he is
qualified. Pending lawsuits in federal court by former Huntington Park officers allege
wrong-doing at the hands of city council members and high-level police brass, which if
successful in court or not, would cost the city millions of dollars in either settlement
and/or attorney's fees. The law firm of Lynberg and Watkins is reportedly already hired
by the city in preparation for those lawsuits. Lynberg and Watkins is the same firm which
defended Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona. Noguez recently dismantled the premier
Narcotics unit, started under former Huntington Park police chief Randy Narramore,
whom Noguez and Leal fired in February 2006 (see WatchOurCity.com report "Police
Chief Fired in Close Door Session", 2-23-06).
The court case of a former Huntington Park police officer's wrongful termination suit is
calendared for October 26, 2010. Attorneys for Huntington Park will try to delay the case
long enough, past the November 2 elections, to avoid any potentially damaging
testimony from impacting John Noguez's Assessor's campaign.
The city's finances are already on shaky ground, running a hard deficit of $1.8 million. It
will get even worse.
It does not look good if D.A. Steve Cooley is both endorsing and investigating John
Noguez at the same time.
|March 8, 2010 WatchOurCity.com
Southeast Cities Schools
Charter Schools in
George Cole's Dirty Fat
|Tuesday July 13, 2010
Update Wednesday July 14,
Depriving the Public of
Honest Services: Bell,
Fiduciary fail by Maywood, Bell,
Huntington Park officials.
|Monday July 19, 2010
George Cole - The Brains
salaries and Charter City
|Tuesday July 13, 2010
Huntington Park in $1.2
Million Fiscal Deficit Partly
Caused by City of Bell's
Mayor Noguez gave George Cole
|Monday, October 4, 2010 6:00 am
Mayor Noguez in bed with
George Cole: Awards
Multi-Million Dollar Housing
Redevelopment contract to
Cole, Recently Arrested by
the D.A. & sued by the AG
Redevelopment Agency awards
$3.8 million for Fiscal Year
2009-2010 to Cole's Oldtimers.
|Monday, September 27, 2010 6:00 am
Implicated in Bell
Scandal with Cole
Noguez directed multi-million
dollar contracts to George Cole's
Oldtimers Foundation, shared
convicted felon as campaign
managers with George Cole.
|Monday, September 27, 2010,
Huntington Park's Mayor
John Noguez Shakes down
Charter School for
campaign Contribution in
Exchange for Project
Mayor John Noguez and City
Attorney Leal called meeting
with Charter school. Noguez is
running for L.A. County Assessor.
|September 24, 2010,
Huntington Park Attorney
Francisco Leal making
$630,000, more than twice
city of L.A.'s Attorney
Mayor John Noguez authorized
payments to Leal, and is good
friend to Bell's George Cole.
|August 20, 2010, 6:00 am,
George Cole and
Huntingtington Park Mayor
John Noguez at Southeast
Cities Schools Coalition
poised to grab $250,000
from LAUSD, intend to
breakaway from LAUSD
|Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010, 6:00 am,
sends formal request to
D.A. to investigate John
Antonovich "referred" letter to
the D.A.s' office "for his review
and appropriate action".
Complaint seeks to investigate
Huntington Park mayor John
Noguez based on allegations
that his legal name is John
Rodriguez. Noguez is in a
November runoff race against
John Wong for Assessor.
|Tuesday September 7, 2010, 6:00 am,
Trillion Dollar County Tax
Roll, Million Dollar deals,
Some Benefiting John
Noguez, County Assessor
|June 9, 2010
Noguez: A Study
in Corruption &
contracts to City of Bell's
L.A. County Assessor's Race:
Noguez and Wong forced into a
November Runoff for Assessor
Noguez Fails L.A. Times
Endorsement for Assessor
Times Endorses Wong for L.A.
"Today as we promote service to the community in honor of César E. Chávez
holiday, I am pleased to announce that Assessor Rick Auerbach, Sheriff Lee
Baca, and District Attorney Steve Cooley have endorsed my campaign for Los
Angeles County Assessor."
"As a Los Angeles County public servant with the Assessor’s office for 25
years, I am honored to have the support of all three County-wide elected
|Monday October 11, 2010 6:00 am
Times Endorses John Wong
for County Assessor, Again
Noguez Fails Endorsement
"Political entanglements" says
L.A. Times as reason not to
endorse Huntington Park mayor
John Noguez for Assessor.
Noguez awarded rigged
multi-million dollar contracts to
Bell's George Cole, recently
arrested by the D.A. in Bell's
Academic Degree Scandal
Widens - Huntington Park's
mayor Noguez Does not
have a College Degree
Noguez did not inform voters he
failed to get a college degree.