March 4, 2008
Honorable Mayor and Council,
For many months, the Vietnamese American community has found the pattern of behaviors of Councilmember Madison Nguyen to be suspicious. It appears that Nguyen had violated Brown Act as part of her securing a majority support from the Council to adopt her proposed name “Saigon Business District”, as evidenced by the television interview with Councilmember Forrest Williams made by Vietnam Liberty News TV.
With the publication of the attached email and other evidences, we now have discovered that Councilmember Nguyen had directed City staff to meet privately with the developer of “Vietnam Town” mall, Mr. Lap Tang, and his staff. Councilmember Nguyen also instructed city staff at the Redevelopment Agency to name the area “Vietnam Town Business District” after Mr. Tang’s mall. In addition, Mr. Lap Tang was to be given the right to design the banner and the monument and an additional $100,000 of taxpayer money for the benefit of promoting his shopping mall.
Councilmember Nguyen’s action on this issue raises many disheartened issues about whether it was simply a matter of quid pro quo favor for a personal friend and political supporters or whether there’s more. It raises question of whether Nguyen had exerted undue and improper influence on City staff, in particularly, those at the Redevelopment Agency, to adhere to her instructions. At the very minimum, it also raises questions about her ability to understand that it is not appropriate to reward a public benefit to a private interest regardless of how supportive that person might be to her political future.
The most alarming aspect comes from Councilmember Nguyen deleting or intentionally omitting these emails when we requested them from her Office. If she has nothing to hide, then why did she and her staff delete or omit these relevant emails?
In order to bring closure to the issue, we as a community need to know the truth, the full truth of the facts surrounding her decision and why she would intentionally delete or omit these emails from the public record request.
Cc: Lee Price, City Clerk