Wednesday, October 7, 2015

John Wuo Resigns. Few At Last Night's Arcadia City Council Meeting Seemed To Care Very Much.

Photo courtesy Terry Miller

So we won't have Johnny GemCoins to kick around any more. Apparently we are now required to pass him on to the FBI, SEC, FPPC and all of those various other alphabet soup government law enforcement agencies. Places stocked with officials well-prepared to process and then package him off to someplace deep within the criminal justice system.

Unless he cuts some kind of a deal with the Feds we have probably pretty much seen the last of Mr. Wuo for a while. Except as a forlorn figure in occasional news stories detailing his experiences in Court, and then after that prison. Quite an abysmal end to a 12 year political career that included three terms as Mayor of Arcadia.

Even in resigning John Wuo could not bring himself to confess or admit to the real reasons for his departure and disgrace. Here is his goodbye statement to both the City Council and people of Arcadia, as transcribed on the Behind MLM blog (link).

I am resigned due to person(al) and health reasons. For the past 12 years I have enjoyed serving on the council with you. It has been an experience that I thank you for and will treasure. I love Arcadia and it is time to say goodbye. Best regards, best wishes, John Wuo.

No indication of what those health problems might be, though I suspect it may have been an overdose of FBI. Or perhaps the effects of a high speed collision with the SEC.

In many ways John Wuo had already left the building. Out of all the residents who spoke at public comment last night, not a single one said anything about his resignation. No thanks for the years of service, no goodbyes, regrets or any what might have beens. It was like the guy no longer existed, and had already been forgotten. A non-person. The people and government of Arcadia did not even bat an eye.

All anyone seemed to want to do was quickly move on. The now former City Councilmember and Mayor had already become irrelevant. Maybe even before he resigned.

If the development interests thought Wuo's resignation would somehow provide the public with what they really wanted, the sight of a disgraced and humiliated corrupt official resigning in shame, and then slinking off defeated into the night, I am afraid they were wrong. Nobody cared that much. Nobody celebrated. Nobody said a word. It was like nothing had happened.

And maybe it didn't. The endlessly colorful Arcadia development and land use debate will now go on as if John Wuo never even existed. The only question now being who will occupy the seat next, and will that person favor McMansions or something a bit more modest.

One thing that I found particularly disheartening last night was the unthinking rejection of democratic processes by those residents who spoke on behalf of mansionization. The concept of direct citizen participation in the pressing land use and development deliberations of their government, or putting something on the ballot so the people could vote and decide for themselves, all that seemed strangely abhorrent to them.

Like it was something no decent person would ever want to do.

Instead they appeared to demand that everyone just stop talking about it and let "the government and experts" handle everything. Even though it was the glaring failures of their government and its so-called experts to do anything about these very matters that led to so much citizen discontent in the first place.

To me that kind of unquestioning acceptance of government authority, no matter how bad or incompetent, was pretty disheartening.

Bonus Coverage: The Pasadena Star News Version


For the rest of this article click here.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

52 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. And this little piggy went Wuo, Wuo, Wuo all the way home.

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  2. Neither do I....

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  3. If you stuck it out to the end of the meeting it appears there is a good chance that Mickey Segal will be appointed to take Wuo's seat.

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  4. The bigger they are, the harder they fall - only in their own minds of a crooked Politian's even on the heels of his down fall there are plenty who are willing to take his place and continue their odyssey to the top of a white collar criminal enterprise of elected or appointed position. Another city or another town we will all stunned to hear this type of behavior has once again played it's self out with the same out come, arrest and conviction with great lose to his or hers family and associates while reaching for the brass ring of life.

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  5. I think part of the reason why the McMansion people were so willing to trust City Hall last night is that they knew the cards were stacked in their favor. Should the person who takes Wuo's place be less sympathetic to their position they might have a change of heart.

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    1. Most of them are not US citizens and can't vote.

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    2. The residents who spoke out are not necessarily McMansion people, but their puppet masters are. They were encouraged by local realtors and developers, many from outside Arcadia, and of course councilman Sho Tay to read from the "speculators" handbook - don't change the law, don't affect my property values.

      Most don't understand the issue but they have been made to fear a loss of money and rights by Sho Tay. Shot Tay can't come out and oppose citizen-action to change the zoning code directly - recall that he was the one who glibly stated in council chambers "if you don't like the law, change it" - so he and his development-at-any-cost buddies, including rich and powerful men like Kin Hui of Singpoli, are setting up mostly Chinese residents to oppose the ballot initiative under the guise of "information sharing" sanctioned by the city council.

      It's disgusting. Arcadia residents are being used.

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  6. Some countries play be different rules, anyone in fear of their lives?

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    Replies
    1. The person whose name is attached to the class action lawsuit against Chen, Wuo etc elected to remain anonymous due to death threats.

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  7. Wuo has got woe.

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  8. Most likely, Wuo is going to flip state's evidence against Mr. Sunglasses, Steve Chen at USFIA. After that Wuo will leave CA, most likely for Hong Kong or Beijing.

    "I didn't know what Chen was doing...."

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    Replies
    1. If Wuo didn't know what was going on, how can he be a government witness? And if he does show he knew more than he originally admitted, doesn't that leave him vulnerable to law suits?

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    2. law suits? He'll just file BK and screw everyone...

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    3. Wuo iknow many people who commit crimes and belong in jail. If Wuo talks then many others go to jail. They very afraid of what he knows.

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  9. None of this would happened without the intervention of the Feds. Arcadia City Hall would have left Wuo in place and he would have finished his term.

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  10. Are Chen and his gang even still in the country?

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    Replies
    1. Feds said Steve Chen is in country.

      Chinese newspaper (yes, just one), however, were floating rumors that most of the core crew had left for various destinations in Asia. No confirmation at all.

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  11. John Wuo has left the building.

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  12. "City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto said in an interview this month that he, the police chief and the city attorney regularly review all concerns related to GemCoin, but to date they had not found any direct evidence of criminal activity." - From a Pasadena Star News report

    The City Manager needs to resign as well.

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    Replies
    1. A questionable City Manager ...No way!

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  13. "Some investors who feel they have been victimized by this business have voiced their concerns at recent City Council meetings. Some of those investors have said current City Council Member and 2014-15 Arcadia Mayor John Wuo should be held accountable as well because he has been photographed at USFIA/Gemcoins promotional events which have been used in marketing materials. But investigations by city and federal officials have not resulted in any citing of Wuo for any wrongdoing." - Scott Hettrick

    The head of the Chamber of Commerce should resign as well.

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    Replies
    1. Hettrick's opines are biased and compromised due to his lifeline at city hall.

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    2. So the cover up comes from the top?

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  14. Wuo will soon be indicted and under the RICO statute, this will be a very wide ranging investigation with the Feds having broad powers. I suspect there will be many others ensnared by this investigation. While its unrelated to GemCoins, I think a couple of other Arcadia City Council Members may have something to worry about.

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    Replies
    1. It looks like Wuo has ruined everything for the powers that be in Arcadia. The attention he brought to that city had to have been most unwelcome in certain questionable quarters. I personally think the party has only begun.

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  15. Was it the lawsuit filed against Wuo by the Gemcoin investors or the FPPC investigation initiated by David Arvizu? I need to know who to send the Thank You card to.

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  16. Some people just deal in myths. Wuo was not implicated in the SEC/FBI investigations. Property values in Arcadia continue to rise unchecked. McMansions make everybody rich. It's all just lies.

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  17. John Wuo has sucked everything he touched into this vortex, including Arcadia Methodist Hospital Foundation and Christine Antonovich. They've been raising tremendous amounts of money over there, and now all the money trails have been opened up to public examination of corruption. I can only imagine what Antonovich is doing behind the scenes...

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    Replies
    1. Oh no. I sure hope the hospital is protected.

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  18. Arcadia resident David Arvizu gets my vote as citizen of the year. Without his efforts John Wuo would still be in office. Mr. Arvizu kept asking all the right questions about John Wuo's business and financial relationships and didn't back down when confronted with considerable opposition from members of the city council, Wuo's supporters and Wuo's stone-cold silence. Citizen action is real and it works. Thank you Mr. Arvizu for showing courage.

    San Gabriel attorney Long Z. Liu gets my vote as lawyer of the year for supporting the victims of Steve Chen, Leonard Johnson, Solomon Yang, John Wuo and the others at UCCA, AFG, USFIA who preyed on Chinese immigrants and fleeced them for millions. Attorney Liu kept the spotlight on the victims, giving them courage to speak out and helping them to contact the authorities leading to the SEC and FBI actions. I hope he wins his lawsuit so that others will think twice before running scams in California. Victims have a voice in the legal system. Thank you Mr. Liu for your leadership!

    Courtney Tompkins and the editorial staff of the Pasadena Star News, as well as Joe Taglieri of the Arcadia Weekly, and of course the Sierra Madre Tattler, deserve our thanks and gratitude for their determination to stay on the Gemcoin story and follow it wherever it led. Ms. Tompkins' reporting kept a spotlight on the USFIA and the despicable acts perpetrated by Chen, Johnson, Yang and Wuo. Everyone knows of this scheme and so it is less likely to happen again. A vigilant and free press is a cornerstone of democracy. Thank you Ms. Tompkins, Mr. Taglieri, Mr. Tattler and your news teams for your determination!

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  19. Tattler - Pulitzer

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  20. John Wuo's resignation should energize the pro-responsible growth movement. However, have no illusion the fight is won, far from it. While the Manisionization cabal of Chandler, Tay and Wuo has lost a member, there is no indication the council will change its ways.

    This issue came to a head late last year when the city council usurped authority granted to ARB's in the design review zones to hold "de novo" hearings for planning commission appeals and insert their "opinions" in place of neighborhood and resident decisions. There is no indication this will change. Chandler and Tay remain steadfast in approving any project anywhere in Arcadia.

    The settlement of the lawsuit brought by SavetheArcadiaHighlands means the residential zoning code update will be restarted. However, the planning commission can only recommend changes to the existing code. The city council has to vote to adopt the changes before they become law. There will many opportunities to change, quash or simply ignore any proposed changes to the zoning code. Residents will get to weigh in again, the consultant firms will get to make their proposals, the planning commission will make drafts. But don't hold your breath for any substantive change.

    Even if there was substantive change, Chandler and Tay will kill any change to the zoning code. They have staked their political careers on it.

    The only course of action is a resident-led change of the law. It may not be perfect, it may not please everyone but it is the only path to see that the zoning code is changed.

    A lot of hard work remains. The Arcadia Association of Realtors, the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce, realtors and developers who conduct or hope to conduct business in Arcadia, and Chandler and Tay are ramping up their efforts to discourage, distract and derail the ballot initiative. While their opposition if formidable, they can be defeated.

    Steve Chen has fallen. John Wuo has fallen. Will the out-of-touch zoning code be the next to fall.

    Residents of Arcadia unite! You can do it!

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    Replies
    1. All true.
      Democracy can work, but get ready for an enormous and exhausting fight.

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    2. Thank you 11:00. This is Arcadia's Waterloo. We can do it. Don't give in to the demoralizing, negative stereotyping by the opposition. Remember, the majority knows the truth and sees how ridiculous the arguments of decreased property values and racism are. Spread the word and tell everyone to follow the Tattler, join the conversation and rally the troops!

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  21. The Tattler collects another trophy. Well done, Crawford.

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  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  23. Is that really Scott or just someone making a fake post?

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    1. Hey Mod, where's my post? Jeez. SH

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  24. Yup. Definitely fake and that's why it got removed.

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  25. Sorry 10:41 but I just threw up in my mouth a little bit....you funny!

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    1. That's OK. Where did you throw up when Wuo resigned?

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  26. What's going unspoken here is the potential liability of the City of Arcadia for the gemcoin fraud given the fact that the city manager claimed he and the city attorney regularly reviewed any conflicts etc and made the decision that everything was just great. If Wuo misused his office and the city manager was negligent in preventing it then they City is arguably liable for the tens of millions that were taken from people.

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    Replies
    1. Pick your fights carefully. If you have evidence of the city's liability, let's have it. If you have concerns about Chandler or Tay, have at 'em. Otherwise save your muscle for the ballot fight just beginning per 11:00's comment. We need your help!

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  27. Bell has NOTHING on Arcadia's government. It's time Arcadia Unified is looked at. The district receives $3.05 per square foot built on every McMansion built. That opens the door, even more, to corruption. Not to mention not *a* single administrator lives in town. There is no reason why some employees, of both the district and city, that make well in excess of $200,000 a year. Like the residents of Sierra Madre found, Arcadia's employees are feeding at the platinum trough.

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    1. The City of Bell's compensation plans were blessed by Edward Lee of Best, Best & Krieger, the city's law firm. BBK also employs Steven Deitsch, esq. Arcadia's attorney who just can't say no, or whoa, to Chandler, Tay and Wuo.

      When the 2 lawyers on the council Kovacic and Beck cried foul on votes to stop zoning code reviews and other nonsense, Deitsch was mum.

      When non-lawyers like Chandler, Tay and Wuo wanted to overturn decisions on home projects that eventually led to the lawsuit by SavetheHighlands, it was Deitsch who provided the legal opinion (but not fact) to hold "de novo" hearings. Meaning the council could throw out all prior work and decisions by the ARB, petitions by homeowners ... and do a re-start ... and insert their opinion over the voice and decision of residents. All without a finding of cause or malfeisance. Truly shameful.

      Deitsch is a yes-man who views his job as doing everything legally possible to support the efforts of council members. There's no allegation of impropriety (yet) just a clear message: Arcadia get what it pays for.

      Oh, well, he does sign-off on all those fat employment contracts for the Arcadia city manager and the other non-residents administering the Peacock Coop.

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  28. Recall? We don't need no stinking recall!

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  29. 1 down, 2 to go.

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  30. Vote to end the UUT in Arcadia. Starve the beast. It is the only thing the city understands.

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  31. Woodward and Bernstein took down Nixon and now the Tattler has taken down Wuo.

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