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By Brian Hews
Hews Media Group-Community News has obtained several documents via a simple public records request to the Downey City Clerk that clearly show Councilman Rick Rodriguez wrote his Downey address as his resident address on 95% of required election documents, once again calling into serious question the ethics and motives of Long Beach Press Telegram editors and their reporter.
The Press Telegram broke the story this week, accusing Rodriguez of living in Long Beach and not in Downey.
The article was immediately blasted by Rodriguez and former Downey Mayor Mario Guerra with Guerra calling the reporter “lazy and irresponsible.”
Guerra told HMG-CN, “If the reporter would have bothered to make a simple call to the city clerks office he would have known that they verify his address in several ways. By voting records, property taxes and verification. But you can see him there everyday too. The sheet he is referring to is a contact mailing info page that the city clerk asks as a courtesy for the media to have contact.
Rodriguez’ wrote his Downey address on the Nomination Papers document, and on the receipt Rodriguez signed acknowledging he received the Candidates Handbook.
Those documents were signed July 2016.
Rodriguez’ also wrote his Downey address on the Affidavit of Eligibility of a Candidate for Member of City Council, on the Ballot Designation Worksheet, and on the Candidate Statement Agreement.
Those documents were signed August 2016.
The address was even included on the document the City Clerk “gives to the media,” the City Council Candidate Public Information Resume (Resume). No date was written on that document.
The resume states, “during the election, the city may be contacted by the news media and various community organizations to obtain information of interest about you to provide to the general public.
Please fill out any item (on the Resume) you are willing to issue to the press as public information.”
The only documents that did not have Rodriguez’ address was the Certified List of Qualified Candidates and the Release of Personal Information Prior to Filing as a Candidate for City Council.
On both of those documents, Rodriguez indicated the 8255 Firestone Blvd. address, which is where former Downey Mayor Mario Guerra’s business office is located.
Those were filled out in July 2016.
Apparently that was the source of the article by the Press Telegram, with the reporter not checking other documents for Rodriguez’ true address.
Rodriguez vehemently denied the residency article in the Press Telegram saying it was sour grapes by those that opposed him in the election.
Allegations were made that Frine Medrazo, the alleged source of the documents, who ran against Rodriguez and lost by a wide margin, “shopped” the article around to different newspapers finally getting the Press Telegram reporter to publish the story.
A simple public records request, much like a HMG-CN asked for, would have confirmed that Rodriguez always indicated his home address was in Downey.
“If anybody wants to know why good people don’t want to get into politics,” said Guerra, “this baseless story is a good example. An irresponsible reporter that obviously doesn’t know our city nor the political landscape was convinced by a losing opponent (sour grapes also by the losing candidate Frine Medrazo) to repeat a lie she said during the campaign for Downey City Council, #downeystrong #workingtogether #alwaysforward.”