Asian Resources suing independent expenditure committee for trade libel over political mailer

Dr. Sonney Chong (left), Stephanie Nguyen, and Ognian Gavrilov. | 

At a press conference this morning at their Sacramento headquarters, officials with Asian Recources Inc. announced they would file a lawsuit against an independent expenditure committee. The lawsuit stems from a mailer where ARI officials said the committee made unfounded claims against the non-profit community-based social service provider.

Flanked by about 100 of their clients, ARI Board President Dr. Sonney Chong and Executive Director Stephanie Nguyen said they will seek damages from the committee called Housing Providers for Responsible Solutions. That group produced a mailer targeting Nguyen, a candidate For California State Assembly District 10 against Eric Guerra.

The battle between Guerra and Nguyen is fierce, and several independent expenditure committees have supported and opposed both candidates. 

The mailer, and a TV commercial that has reportedly not yet aired, stated that ARI had delinquent property tax liens. However, as fact-checked by the Sacramento Bee today, the tax lien was, according to the Sacramento County Tax Accessor, "due to an erroneous assessment."

Also, regarding ARI, the mailer implied that Nguyen owns the non-profit. During their news conference, Nguyen and attorney Ognian Gavrilov said the committee would be sued for trade libel defamation.  

Noting the increase in anti-Asian crimes over the last several years, Nguyen said the false claims were detrimental to ARI clientele which is primarily people of Asian descent. Nguyen suggested the mailer could stoke more anti-Asian hatred.

"In the last several months, there has been an increase in Asian-Americans being targeted right here in our area, right here, in the little Saigon district," she said. 

Nguyen and attorney Ognian Gavrilov, who ARI has retained for the lawsuit, both called for the resignation of Laiza Negrete, who, according to disclosures filed with the California Secretary of State, is the committee's principal officer. According to information found on her social media account, Ms. Negrete is the Vice President of political affairs for the California Association of Realtors (CAR). 

Negrete did not respond to a request to comment.

Before today's announcement, on October 21, ARI sent a cease and desist letter to Negrete and the committee. In that letter, Chong threatened further legal action.  

When asked if the CAR would be named in the lawsuit, Gavrilov said if they were found to be involved in the production of the mailer or TV commercial. Gavrilov also said they believe the CAR was involved.     

"We believed they are involved, but we don't know for sure yet," he said. "We are hoping they'll stand out there, go to the media and reject this kind of attack on the Asian community, which they haven't done yet."

See the video for more commentary from Nguyen and Gavrilov. The video that is to be aired with the allegations can be viewed here

You may not like us, but here you are!
Follow us on Twitter @ElkGroveNews
Follow us on YouTube
Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2022. All right reserved.


Government & Politics 1686538997290623647

Post a Comment Default Comments


D.J. Blutarsky said...

I haven't seen this much mud slinging since Mayor Bobbie threw a mudbath for Steve Ly!

Atticus Finch said...

If allegations are true, ARI may have a case here. Just because 45 gets away with stuff, doesn't mean others can. There is only 1 Teflon Don!

Follow Us



Elk Grove News Minute

All previous Elk Grove News Minutes, interviews, and Dan Schmitt's Ya' Gotta be Schmittin' Me podcasts are now available on iTunes

Elk Grove News Podcast