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Hews Media Group-Community News Finalist in LA Press Club Award News Category

Staff Report

Hews Media Group-Community News Publisher Brian Hews and Investigative Reporter Randy Economy have once again garnered another LA Press Club finalist nomination at the 7th Annual National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards.

HMG-CN was nominated in the News Category for Print Newspapers or Magazines for their hard-hitting investigative story entitled “Billionaire Gave $50,000 to Obscure Committee Supporting James McDonnell for Sheriff.”

HMG-CN was in a category of finalists that included much bigger publications in term of circulation, The Hollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Times.

HMG-CN won four of the prestigious awards in 2012 and 2013.

In 2012 HMG-CN won 1st place in the Investigative Series category for its exclusive expose on Assessor John Noguez in what turned out to be the biggest financial scandal in Los Angeles history.

As a result of the series, Noguez was arrested on bribery and corruption charges and is awaiting trial and a number of other arrests were made, including Tax Agent Ramin Salari and Mark McNiel one of Noguez’ deputies.

Noguez was charged with 30 felony counts, including four counts of accepting bribes; five counts of perjury; two counts of conspiracy; and 19 counts of misappropriation by a public officer. The complaint alleges the fraud and embezzlement exceeded $500,000.

If convicted as charged, Noguez faces up to 38 years in state prison.

Salari was charged with 59 felony counts, including 24 counts of bribing an executive officer; two counts of conspiracy; 19 counts of misappropriation; seven counts of embezzlement; and seven counts of grand theft.


If convicted, he faces up to 60 years in state prison.


McNeil was charged with 20 felony counts, including one count of conspiracy and 19 counts of misappropriation by a public officer.


If convicted, he faces up to 29 years in state prison.


Wholesale institutional changes were also made at the Assessor’s office to future abuse of the system.


HMG-CN took home 1st place in 2013 for Best News Feature entitled “Undercover FBI Agent Rocky Patel Used Dal Rae in Pico Rivera to Stage Calderon Sting Operation.”


HMG-CN also took home two 2nd place awards in 2013 for Hard News and Investigative Series.


Other nominees were Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter for No Animals Were Harmed Scott Johnson, The Hollywood Reporter, How Sarah Jones Lost Her Life; Danielle Miller, Los Angeles Times, A Hollywood Drama Over Movie Museum; and Janice Min, The Hollywood Reporter, Anne Sweeney Shocker: Why I’m Leaving Disney.


The awards will be held November 23 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Quincy Jones will receive the Visionary Award for his Humanitarian work, and be introduced by Lisa Sinatra.  Comedian Alonzo Bodden will entertain.


The evening is being dedicated in loving memory of Robin Williams.


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