Mountain Views News, Pasadena edition

Pasadena Edition

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Inside this Week:

Community Calendar:
Local City Meetings

Political Ad:

Pasadena – Altadena:
Pet of the Week

South Pasadena / San Marino:

Sierra Madre:
Walking SM … The Social Side
Sierra Madre Police Blotter

Arcadia · Monrovia · Duarte:
Arcadia Police Blotter
Monrovia Police Blotter

Best Friends and More:
The Missing Page
Happy Tails
The Joy of Yoga
Katnip News!
SGV Humane Society

Education & Youth:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two

The Good Life:
Senior Happenings
Easter Message

The World Around Us:
Looking Up
Christopher Nyerges
Out to Pastor

F. Y. I. :

Section B:

Arts and More:
Jeff's Book Pics
All Things
Family Matters
Business Today

Opinion … Left/Right:
Blair Bess
Joe Guzzardi
Tom Purcell
The Funnies

Legal Notices (1):

Legal Notices (2):

Legal Notices (3):

Legal Notices (4):

Legal Notices (5):

Legal Notices (6):

Political Ad:

Jeff Brown
Deanne Davis
Peter Dills
Bob Eklund
Marc Garlett
Lori A. Harris
Chris Leclerc
Christopher Nyerges
La Quetta M. Shamblee
Rev. James Snyder
Keely Totten

Recent Issues:
Issue 12
Issue 11
Issue 10
Issue 9
Issue 8
Issue 7
Issue 6
Issue 5
Issue 4
Issue 3
Issue 2

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1


 SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 2018 

VOLUME 12 NO. 13

for Attempt 


Pasadena Man Sentenced 
for Fraud and Identity Theft

 A Pasadena man was 
sentenced Monday as part of 
sophisticated identity-theft 
ring that defrauded several 
victim financial institutions out 
of millions of dollars. Posing 
as shoppers’ they purchased 
Rolex watches, iPhones, Van 
Cleef & Arpels jewelry, and 
Chanel purses totaling millions 
of dollars.

 Lei Chen, 51, was sentenced 
by United States District 
Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald. 
Chen was further ordered 
to pay restitution to eight 
victim financial institutions 
–American Express, Bank 
of America, Barclays, Capital 
One, Chase Bank, Citigroup, 
Discovery, and U.S. Bank – in 
the amount of $2,725,451.96. 
He was also sentenced to over 
six years in prison followed by 
five years of supervised release.

 Chen pled guilty in 2016 to 
conspiracy to commit wire 
fraud and bank fraud and 
aggravated identity theft. The 
conviction for aggravated 
identity theft required the 
Court to impose a mandatory, 
consecutive term of 24 months’ 
imprisonment in addition to 
the custodial sentence for the 
fraud conspiracy.

 Chen, known by the moniker 
“Uncle Chen,” was the leader of 
a large criminal organization 
that engaged in extensive credit 
card fraud and identity theft 
in Los Angeles and Orange 
Counties. According to court 
records, as part of their fraud 
scheme, defendant and his co-
conspirators obtained personal 
identifying information (such 
as names, dates of birth, and 
social security numbers) of 
the victims for the purpose 
of obtaining credit cards in 
those identity theft victims’ 
names. Chen’s subordinates 
contacted credit agencies and 
financial institutions to change 
the victims’ addresses to “drop 
addresses,” that is, locations 
controlled by the organization. 
Co-conspirators working for 
Chen then applied for credit 
cards in the names of the 
victims and picked up the cards 
once they were delivered to the 
drop addresses. 

 This case was investigated 
by the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation and is being 
prosecuted by Assistant United 
States Attorney Terrence P. 
Mann of the Santa Ana branch 

For more information go to

 Pasadena police arrested, 
last week, two men wanted in 
connection with a shooting in 
Northwest Pasadena earlier 
in March. 

 According to the Pasadena 
Police Department, officers 
responded to the 1200 block 
of North Los Robles Avenue 
regarding multiple calls of 
shots being fired, March 03, 
at approximately 9:53 p.m.. 
Officers arrived on scene 
and located a female adult 
suffering from a gunshot 
wound. Officers summoned 
the paramedics, who 
transported the victim to a 
local area hospital. 

 The on-going investigation 
culminated in the serving 
of multiple search warrants 
in the area as well as the 
identification and arrest of 
both suspects on March 23. 
Interim Chief John Perez 
stated, “We continue to use 
our resources, expertise and 
partnerships, in collaboration 
with the public, to safeguard 
our local community. These 
Detectives worked with the 
commitment to ensure justice 
is served and that Pasadena 
remains the safe city it has 
always been”.

 The suspects are identified 
as Khy Charles, male adult, 21 
years old, Pasadena resident, 
and Davian Thomas, male 
adult, 23 years old, Pasadena 
resident. The case was 
presented to the Los Angeles 
County District Attorney’s 
office on Tuesday.

 One count of attempt 
murder with gun allegations 
was filed on Charles.

 One count of attempt 
murder with gun allegations 
was filed on Thomas.

 Both had bail set at 

 Anyone with information 
about can call Pasadena 
Police at (626)744-4241, 
or anonymously by calling 
“Crime Stoppers” by dialing 
(800) 222-TIPS (8477)

By Dean Lee

 Newly named Altadena 
Library Board President John 
McDonald suddenly resigned 
Friday morning, a day after 
numerous legal allegations 
were made against three 
sitting Altadena Library board 
members --during a special 
meeting-- including alleged 
violations of open meeting 
law and of intent to destroy 
government documents related 
to the violations. McDonald also 
is accused of conspiring against 
this newspaper for reporting the 
alleged violations.

 McDonald was absent from 
Thursday night’s meeting.

 In emails dated January 24 
obtained by this newspaper, 
Boardmember Armando 
Zambrano wrote, “John 
[McDonald ] can we please 
prepare a draft news release 
about her [Altadena Library 
Executive Director Mindy 
Kittay] contract term, because 
the public is still being 
misinformed. I think you also 
need to prepare a response to 
allegations in this news article,” 
he said.

 Board members Ira Bershatsky 
and Gwendolyn McMullins 
were part of the email 
discussion, in violation of The 
Ralph M. Brown Act. The act 
guarantees the public’s right to 
open and fair public meetings. 

 Brown Act violations were the 
topic, Zambrano referenced, of 
the article in this paper, Jan. 20.

 Eagle Rock based attorney, 
Dale Gronemeier, said other 
emails between board members 
suggest that they are referring 
to Kittay’s contract being up 
for renewal this summer. Not 
renewing her contract would 
be a way to remove Kittay as 
director. Numerous other board 
emails refer to Kittay as being a 

 “We really need to start 
letting the public know 
about all the behind the 
scene problems at the 
library and all the pending 
lawsuits that have occurred as 
a result of Mindy’s management 
style and how the taxpayers 
may be on the hook for $$$,” 
Zambrano wrote.

 Gronemeier said he was only 
aware of one lawsuit Melloney 
Collier vs. Altadena Library 
District, Case No. BC682812. 
The issue was on the agenda 
Thursday night and discussed 
in closed session. The board 
reported no action was taken.

 At that meeting, Gronemeier 
and attorney Elbie 
Hickambottom Jr. made public 
other emails related to rewriting 
the board’s own bylaws in secret.

 “I agree with both Ira and 
Armando that we do not need 
input from the director [Kittay] 
or staff on this subcommittee. 
The By-Laws are the rules 
governing the Board and 
neither of them are Trustees 
so this is really a task for us to 
address collectively,” McDonald 
wrote in an email Jan. 9.

 Hickambottom said the emails 
reflect a criminal mind that 
understands what is illegal.

At Thursday night’s meeting, 
McMullins said the ongoing 
process was transparent and 
that the by-law’s were posted 
on the website. She welcomed 
anyone that would like to help 
update them.

 Gronemeier said other emails 
showed that acting director 
Ryan Roy was appointed outside 
of a regular meeting in violation 
of the Brown Act.

 “I am okay with Ryan 
being named acting director 
immediately,” Bershatsky wrote 
in an email Jan. 23. ”Can we 
pass along that she is on leave 
and say medical or not?”

 Bershatsky lashed out at 
Gronemeier saying he and 
Kittay, made Kittay’s, medical 
leave public, a private personal 

 Gronemeier said McDonald 
tried to delete the emails. 

 “He first deleted the January 
23 email from his library inbox,” 
Gronemeier said. “Then he 
deleted it from his trash folder 
by clicking ‘delete’ and clicking 
‘yes’ to the inquiry.”

 Emails were found in a backup 
folder on the library’s computers 
hard drives and obtained 
through a Public Records Act 
request by Gronemeier.

John Mcdonald

Local Public Health Week 
Outreach in Pasadena 

 The Pasadena Public Health 
Department (PPHD) invites 
the public to participate in 
local National Public Health 
Week events from April 2-6, 
including a 125th anniversary 
celebration. PPHD will host 
free community events to 
highlight the successes and 
importance of public health 

 Monday-Friday, April 2-6, 
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. History 
of PPHD Health Officers 
Pasadena Public Health 
Department, 1st Floor, 1845 N. 
Fair Oaks Ave.

 Learn about the history of 
over 20 Health Officers who 
have served Pasadena since 
1887. The Health Officers have 
provided medical supervision 
and direction for health 
services and programs, and 
have the authority to declare 
public health emergencies. Dr. 
Ying-Ying Goh is the current 
PPHD Health Officer.

 Tuesday, April 3, 1:45-2:45 
p.m. Farm 2 School

 Washington Elementary 
School, 1520 N. Raymond Ave.

 Support the farm-to-school 
program by buying locally-
grown produce.

 Wednesday, April 4, 1:00-
3:00 p.m. Climate Change: The 
Effects on Health, Food and 

 Pasadena City College (PCC), 
Circadian Room, 1570 E. 
Colorado Blvd.

 Engage in a dialogue with a 
panel of experts on the impacts 
of climate change on health, 
food and diet, and water quality.

 Wednesday, April 4, 4:00-5:30 
p.m. Power in You

 Pasadena Central Library, 4th 
Floor, 285 E. Walnut St.

 Be empowered to supercharge 
your mental wellness at the 
Youth Network meeting, 
a community coalition of 
youth advisory and advocacy 
organizations! Youth will 
share stories around mental 
health issues and launch Power 
In You, a campaign to raise 
awareness on youth mental 
health conditions.

 Friday, April 6, 3:00-4:00 p.m. 
Community Celebration

 Pasadena Public Health 
Department, 1845 N. Fair Oaks 

 Celebrate 125 years of public 
health services in the Pasadena 
community with raffles, games 
for kids, a dedication to newly 
installed banners that highlight 
Pasadena’s diversity, and more.

 “The Pasadena Public 
Health Department has been 
providing community services 
for over 125 years,” said Michael 
Johnson, PPHD Director. 
“National Public Health Week 
gives us an opportunity to 
educate the community on the 
work we are doing to prevent 
disease and improve wellness, 
build a stronger network of 
partners, and advocate for 
healthy and fair policies.”

 National Public Health Week 
has been celebrated for over 20 
years, bringing communities 
together to recognize the 
contributions of public health 
agencies to improve the nation’s 
health. For information on our 
local events, visit https://ww5.
health/ or call (626) 744-6011.



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