West Covina resident files campaign violation complaint

You know it’s election time when the district attorney’s office starts getting ethics complaints about campaign literature.

West Covina resident Lloyd Johnson sent a letter to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Friday questioning the legality of three campaign mailers sent to residents about Measure D.

The measure — which has been under debate for months — proposes dividing the city into five council districts.

The mailers support the measure, and one features West Covina Mayor Roger Hernandez superimposed over a chalkboard.

In Johnson’s letter, he accuses the Concerned Citizens for a better West Covina of sending out the flyers but not reporting the postage and printing costs of the three mailers in their Oct. 22 campaign finance reports.

Those reports show a total of $3620,18 in expenditures, including $2,575 for posters and $1045.18 for flyers.

“We ask the District Attorney’s office for swift action with regards to this falsification and illegality in the current election,” Johnson writes in the letter addressed to Dave Demerjian, head of the district attorney’s Public Integrity division. “The residents have a right to know who is funding the Yes on Measure D campaign.”

Johnson also takes issue with the committee’s treasurer Dana Sykescq, who is West Covina Council candidate Fred Sykes’ wife. Fred Sykes is largely behind the push for Measure D and council districts.

Dana Sykes said this is a political ploy by the opposition to Measure D.

“I was a member of the group prior to (my husband’s bid for candidacy),” she said. “When it comes to doing the books, I really don’t do the books, someone else does them because right now I am helping with my husband’s campaign.”

Johnson, a Vietnam veteran, said he is against Measure D, but that has nothing to do with his stance on the issue.

Demerjian could not be reached for comment Friday, but officials in his office confirmed they did receive a faxed letter about the issue.

  • Tar and Feather

    Mrs. Sykes is the Treasurer of the group and she doesn’t do the books? Well maybe she can just tell us all where the Yes on D money is coming from? This is just another reason to vote “No on D”. Thanks Mr. Johnson for bringing this to the attention of West Covina residents. Vote No on Sykes and No on D.

  • WC Trojan

    I’ve lived in West Covina my whole life. I’m not voting for Sykes because he is a con man and a now it looks like they’re trying to cook the books on their campaign to divide our city. DA, please investigate and get to the bottom of the money behind Yes on D.

  • Watch School Board Challengers

    At least two of the school board challengers in West Covina have the support of the “Yes on D” crowd. If you have questions about the ethical standards of the Sykes/Hernandez group, what type of candidates do you think they will support??

  • J. Fishman

    This is outrageous, I smell Alhassen. Show me the money. Where are the measure D people getting their funds? Hernandez, you are the Mayor and on all these flyers, tell us the truth, we know you are in on this one. The voters demand fairness.

  • I RIGHT I

    Talk about corrupt, deceitful and no honor. My word is my bond? What a joke! Mr.Sykes you lack integrity.The veterans in this community smell a rat.Vote no on Sykes. Vote no on measure D!!!!

  • Tar and Feather

    Ok, so they show no money, no expenditures for mail or postage, and only sign expenses. What could be more corrupt. Well today we all received to more mailers. That now means five mailers for $3400. This is the most corrupt campaign in the history of the City of West Covina. This is too big of an issue (dividing our city) for the DA to wait until after the election. Dana Sykes and Alfred Williams, the head of the group must come clean and face the music.

  • Voter

    Who is really behind the hit pieces? Must be Mike and the other two. Check to see where their dirty contributions (big bucks)came from. Just follow the bread crumbs.

  • Voter

    Who is really behind the hit pieces? Must be Mike and the other two. Check to see where their dirty contributions (big bucks)came from. Just follow the bread crumbs.

  • GLENN KENNEDY

    I’m asking all veterans to please stand behind me and VOTE NO ON MEASURE D.Don’t give your right to vote away.You fought for our freedom to give us this right to vote and to be free. THANK YOU AND WELCOME HOME!

  • Please Explain

    What hit pieces? They report where there money comes from, how about Yes on D.

  • Voter too

    Voter – you need to stop protecting your friends. You know there are no hit pieces. The only thing going on here is your friends Fred and Dana Sykes are in trouble for hiding where they are getting their money. They are telling lies to the voters.

    My neighbor told me Mr. Sykes said if you vote “NO” on D you will be voting to divide the city. He has said this to many unsuspecting voters. He bullies them into putting signs in their yard and scares them.

    Now Mrs. Sykes, the treasurer of the Yes on “D” group is saying she doesn’t do the books? And to top it off she claims it’s a political ploy. PLEASE!!!

    Will these maifia type people ever stop blaming others for their ways?

  • U R Guilty

    It’s time for Sykes and his wife to come clean. Where did you they get the money. DA, please look into the Yes on D Campaign and the loans to Fred Sykes campaign. You will find corruption. Election fraud is evident for both campaigns.

  • Democrat against Measure D

    Not only are we to believe that the Sykes family D is getting free postage, free printing, free signs, but I also received a robocall asking me to vote yes on D (to split up our city). I guess the robocall people are giving free services too.

  • U R Guilty

    This just in, Sykes and Rosatti’s daughters don’t attend school in their school Districts. So the two candidates that say vote yes on D and want Districts for us, actually have children in Schools outside their own School District. Hey South Hills High, wake up and enforce your boundaries, Rozatti must not understand rules, just like the Sykes.

  • Veteran

    YES ON D

    VOTE NO TO THE REAL CROOKS (gang of 4) AND THEIR SUPPORTERS.

    YES ON D

    JUSTICE FOR ALL

  • Anonymous

    VOTE YES on NO and NO on YES.

    It’s really quite simple.

  • Lloyd Johnson

    As a real Viet Nam veteran not one of the few who are saying they are war veterans. I went to Viet Nam at the age of 18 years. As war veterans we fought beside all different nationalities it didn’t matter what your back ground was. Now a small group of residents want to divide our great city up in to districts for their own gain. They can’t win in an open election so they need to stack the deck. As a war veteran we fought so we all would have the freedom to vote for the person you felt is most qualified to do the job. please don’t throw that right away. Please let the veterans who fought and those who died defending our way of life. That it wasn’t done in vain. Please vote no on meausre D on Nov 3rd Thank you

  • Lloyd Johnson

    As a real Viet Nam veteran not one of the few who are saying they are war veterans. I went to Viet Nam at the age of 18 years. As war veterans we fought beside all different nationalities it didn’t matter what your back ground was. Now a small group of residents want to divide our great city up in to districts for their own gain. They can’t win in an open election so they need to stack the deck. As a war veteran we fought so we all would have the freedom to vote for the person you felt is most qualified to do the job. please don’t throw that right away. Please let the veterans who fought and those who died defending our way of life. That it wasn’t done in vain. Please vote no on meausre D on Nov 3rd Thank you

  • Anonymous

    I too, thank all the veterans of the United States for fighting and protecting our freedom. But Measure D isn’t about destroying our city. It is an attempt by people who perceive a wrong and are trying to rectify it. First, the fact that Dana Sykes is the treasurer and that her husband is running for council means nothing. That is not unethical and saying that it is in nonsensical. I will be greatly surprised if the DA’s office does anything with that; not reporting contributions is another story however.

    Second, let me state that I signed the petition. I was not bullied. I do not feel that I was lied to about anything on the petition. I signed it because I thought the best way for this issue to be decided was for it to be aired in the open and voted on by the people.

    I will not be voting for measure D. Not because it divides the city, I don’t think that will happen, and not because I will “give up my right to vote” for all 5 members. I don’t vote for all 5 county supervisors. I don’t vote for all members of the water district. I don’t vote for all 80 members of the State Assembly. I don’t vote for all 40 members of the State Senate. And just because I vote for all members of the school board or all members of the Mt. Sac Board, that doesn’t mean that all 5 of either body truly “represent” me. As a matter of technical representation, yes they do. But the word “represent” means so many different things to people that I am unsure if it can be reconciled.

    I think its a bad idea because the chance that you get someone truly not qualified on the council is very high. At least with at-large elections you can vet each candidate at large. They, in theory at least, don’t win because they are the guy or gal who is always having the BBQ or is always at the local softball game. While those traits are good, that doesn’t qualify someone to serve on the council.

    Is there an underlying motive to break up the “gang of 4?” Probably. Do I agree with that? Yes. But councilmatic districts are not the way to do it. I would propose modeling a term limit ordinance, like the one Arcadia uses. A person may serve X number of terms. Then, they must take one term off before they can run again.

    Appealing to James Madison and the Federalist Papers is useless. Honestly, most voters don’t know who James Madison was or what the Federalist Papers are.

    Think about Measure D first. But please don’t spout this vile hatred for Fred Sykes or his wife. They are doing what they think is best. And I hope that you, the reader, are doing what you think is best as well. This is democracy in action. I would only ask that you respect their point of view. Political discourse is possible without resorting to name calling. Ad hominem attacks only detract from the attackers character. If all you can do is call Fred names then you lose all creditability with me. Argue the facts and why you think you are right. Persuasion isnt accomplished by making yourself look bad.

  • Jess

    Anonymous – I read your post with great interest. I don’t see Mr. Johnsons move as an attack in any way. Where did the group that support measure d (districts) money come from? Clear and simple. You cannot send out over five mailers and spend no money to do this. It is against the law.

    I also find it ironic that people call the current council a gang as if they are doing something wrong. I have been to a few council meetings and the only thing I see is they are respectful to each other and do have their own thoughts on issues. And the funny thing, prior councils have be criticized because they fight and don’t get along. It seems no one is every happy.

    I read someplace where someone said councils come and go, but districts would be here to stay. The sitting members of council will change as they always do. We just want qualified good people to run our city.

    I’m glad you wont be voting for measure d it is a bad idea. But don’t turn a blind eye to the fact there are some wrong things going on from the candidate and the group that support measure d.

  • Anon of 12:08 AM

    Jess,

    I think your comments on this blog are more than appropriate. I am sorry though. Perhaps I chose the wrong words. I do not thing that what Lloyd is doing is an attack per se. I think that my use of the word “nonsensical” was a poor choice. I was merely trying to say that I think that one part of the complaint is unfounded. I agree that the reporting of contributions is required both under state and federal law. See. Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976).

    I agree that prior councils have fought. It is a sad state of affairs. I think calling the current council a ‘gang’ doesn’t imply that they are spiteful or bully each other, with perhaps the exception of Roger (which is the subject for another post on another day). Merely that they are a group of persons who agree with each other, the more classical definition of the term gang. They just all agree with each other. And yes, I too have attended council meetings and they have their own ideas.

    If mandated reporting is not taking place then that is a problem. See supra. I just do not think that the tone of some people’s comments are appropriate. I am all for the First Amendment; you may spout whatever vile hatred you please, within limits. But this is something that is important to all of us. Let’s all be adults about this. Speak intelligently and with respect. If you do, I will listen to you. If you don’t, I probably wont give you the time of day.

  • WCUSD watcher

    In response to school board challengers: George Fuller and Jessica Shewmaker do not support Measure D.

  • WC Voter

    Measure D is all about Roger Hernandez and his ambitions.

    Plain and Simple.

    He is trying to grab power at the expense of what is best for the city.

  • WC Gal

    Measure D is all about Roger Hernandez and his ambitions.

    Plain and Simple.

    He is trying to grab power at the expense of what is best for the city.

  • WC In the Know

    It’s time for Sykes and his wife to come clean. Where did you they get the money. DA, please look into the Yes on D Campaign and the loans to Fred Sykes campaign. You will find corruption. Election fraud is evident for both campaigns.

    Roger Hernandez is behind the committee. His treasurer shares the same office and address as the Yes on D committee.