Sunday, November 28, 2021

La Mirada man sent to state prison in 2020 shooting

Norwalk-  A La Mirada man has received a state prison sentence after pleading guilty to firing shots at the home of his former girlfriend in the Foster Park area of La Mirada in November 2020.

Justin Serratos, 21, received the maximum sentence of four years for aggravated assault with a firearm and additional 8-months for firing a weapon in a negligent manner under a plea agreement with prosecutors. In exchange for his plea, charges alleging attempted murder and felony vandalism were dropped.

Serratos was arrested November 25, 2020 after deputies tracked him to his home in the 13900 block of Bora Drive after he fired shots into the home of his ex-girlfriend in the 13200 block of Woodridge Dr the night before.

Serratos initially refused to surrender to deputies, eventually surrendering after a 5-hour standoff that ended without further incident.

There were no injuries in either incident.

Serratos is currently being housed at the LASD North County Correctional Facility pending his transfer to the Wasco state prison intake center.


Friday, November 26, 2021

Controversy continues around local blogger

FPPC hands down $750 fine for election law violations

Aiello and Sarega pictured together
on 2017 mailer together. Both were 
not charged after FPPC investigation

The owner of a local news blog has been fined for violating state election laws during the 2017 contest to fill two seats on the city council.

Tony Aiello, editor of the La Mirada Blog website was hit with a $750 fine by the Fair Political Practices Committee (FPPC) after it found that the candidate-controlled committee Aiello for Council 2017 failed to file campaign finance reports to the state commission in a timely manner on three occasions as required by state elections law. 

Aiello was not charged with a second allegation accusing him of campaign coordination with council member Andrew Sarega and Residents for a Better La Mirada (RBLM) after a La Mirada Lamplighter investigation determined all three utilized the same company in Arlington Texas to printed mail campaign materials to voters.

Campaign mailers viewed by many as political hit pieces sent by RBLM attacked Aiello's opponent John Lewis and Sarega's opponent Pauline Deal.

The flyers were funded from a $6,500 donation received from a business owned by Stelian Onufrei, a friend of the Sarega family. Andrew Sarega was Onufrei's campaign manager during a failed bid for Congress in 2018.

Tensions between Aiello and City Hall surfaced into the public eye in late 2019 after the city ended a contract with Aiello for placement of theatre ads on his blog due to a sharp drop off in internet traffic the ads were generating from the ads for the city according to La Mirada News sources who have asked not to be named.  

The drop in ad clicks may possibly be attributed to a lack of content in 2019 that saw only 15 posts placed for the entire year of which most were community event plugs seen on other platforms. The blog has been inactive since Sept. 2020, (14 months).

Mr. Aiello has promised a relaunch of the news blog on January 1 despite cutting ties with City Hall in May when he resigned from the city Historical Preservation Advisory Council (HPAC) after complaining on social media the city failed to notify HPAC that it granted access to a media outlet to produce a video about the contents inside the city archives room.

The resignation came shortly after being informed HPAC lacked oversight authority and served in an advisory capacity only to the city council on projects assigned to it.