Tuesday, February 18, 2020

La Mirada Political News: A meltdown at City Hall ends council meeting

La Mirada- During the seven years Andrew Sarega has held a seat on the La Mirada City Council he has been the center of discord on a number of occasions.

Despite the lingering resentments between Sarega and others on the council past and present many were caught off guard by the prolonged hostility directed at Mayor Steve De Ruse at last week's council meeting. 

It is generally accepted among those that follow the local political scene that council candidate Jackie Fowler who is running against Mayor De Ruse in the 4th council district and Matthew Morse who is running against two other candidates in District 5 are proxies in an attempt by Andrew Sarega and his father Ion 'John' Sarega to capture control by controlling three seats.

Morse was appointed to a seat on the Planning Commission last year after Sarega recommended him for consideration. Each council member is afforded one selection each to fill spots on city commissions.

Last week's outbreak of emotions is rooted in the appearance and conduct of Krystal Fowler, the daughter of Jackie Fowler, at the meet-and-greet for Mayor Steve De Ruse at the home of a supporter on Jan. 16.

In this photo taken at the De Ruse campaign event Krystal
Fowler can be seen in the front row extreme left smiling

Several people that attended the event support the claim by the mayor that Krystal Fowler with her children in tow was disruptive at the event. She is alleged to have listened to the mayor address people attending the event for a short time then began to challenge statements the mayor was making.

Krystal Fowler has not explained why she was at a campaign event in support of the man her mother was attempting to unseat and has not denied creating a disruption. Krystal Fowler will only say she was 'forced' to pose a group photo that those in attendance gathered to take and can be seen smiling in the photo.

Fast forward two and a half weeks to Feb. 4th to the conclusion of the final candidate's forum at La Mirada High School.  

After the event, a member of Mayor De Ruse's family was seen having a cordial conversation with Jackie Fowler that turned heated as soon as Jackie's daughter, Krystal became involved. 

 An unnamed source tells La Mirada News that shortly after the incident involving the Fowler's the same member of the De Ruse family was confronted in the La Mirada High School parking lot by John and Andrew Sarega.

Both Fowler's claim they were approached again a short time later by two men as they were leaving the meeting room that the forum had been held at the high school. Both confrontations were verbal and no threats or any other crime was said to have occurred. The identities of the two men were not given publicly if they were known.

Last week at the Feb. 10 city council session the elder Sarega appeared with Jackie and Krystal Fowler appearing intent on shaming the mayor for the disagreements the previous week.

Sarega was blocked from an attempt to criticize the mayor for an argument he had with a member of the mayor's family before the meeting began because it did not involve anyone on the council and verbal conflict was not under the jurisdiction of the city council.

Mayor De Ruse further stated he was not even present when either the Feb 4th or last week's conflict occurred, he also said he had no way of knowing the incidents were to take place.

The mayor allowed both Jackie Fowler and daughter Krystal more leeway with Jackie Fowler stating the 'verbal attacks' made them afraid. La Mirada News has received comments from unnamed residents stating the Fowler's have not taken responsibility for beginning the controversy in the first place at the De Ruse campaign event and failing to offer any explanation should be viewed as a huge 'red flag' surrounding core principles that should be seen in elected officials including truth, honesty, accountability, and credibility.

Decorum in council chambers experienced a meltdown as the mayor told those in attendance that "personal attacks have no place in here".  

As De Ruse explained he chose not to engage in public mudslinging after Krystal Fowler crashed his meet-and-greet, John Sarega, and both Fowler's began yelling at the mayor. 

Ion Sarega was furious that he had been told earlier he could not engage in personal attacks and started shouting at the mayor from behind the audience just inside the council chambers resulting in his ejection from the meeting.

Meanwhile, both candidate Fowler and her daughter continued yelling at the mayor angered he brought up Krystal's behavior at his campaign event offering that they (Krystal and Jackie Fowler)  never called out the mayor or his family by name even though it was clearly worded leaving no question who their target for criticism was.

After John Sarega was ejected, candidate Jacke Fowler and daughter Krista continued almost non-stop yelling at the mayor also from behind the audience refusing to allow Mr. De Ruse to speak free of interruption as he attempted to offer a public explanation through the commotion and yelling the mother and daughter were also doing from behind the audience.  

Once it became obvious the yelling was not going to end and not wanting to escalate emotions any further the meeting was hastily adjourned.  

The final swing of the gavel was hardly noticeable over the shouting from the pair.

Coming Wednesday and later in the week Part II - and Part III Including:

Andrew Sarega slings a little mud of his own
A look at the path to last week's meltdown
A look at some notable  positions seen in the candidate platforms
Candidate endorsements are in
City Council actions (Yes there is still business to attend to by the council)


  1. Loose the blue text, it is indecipherable and my eyes can't even focus for several minutes after looking at it.

    1. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, and I tend to agree with you. Consider it done.

  2. I was at this meeting with my youth football team. These three people were so disrespectful to the Mayor.
    Mr. Sarega the father made a racist statement and just continued to make personal attacks against the mayor. The other two did the same thing minus the racist comments. City council meetings are for city business not for these people to make personal attacks because we're in an election year.