Community & Events

Mayor Steve Ly Tells Hmong TV That The Women Are Lying After He Apologizes & Says He Believes Them On English News Media

Mayor Steve Ly speaks on stage at the Elk Grove Mayoral Town Hall
Photo Credit: Jackson Phan

Mayor Steve Ly appears to have landed back in hot water once more. Recently, Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly was interviewed by two Hmong television channels. In those interviews, Ly discusses several women who have accused him and his associates of harassment, bullying, intimidation, and misogyny. Then Ly accuses the women of lying in an attempt to help his challenger win his seat as Mayor of Elk Grove. Consequently, these statements clash with his previous public apologies to the women and his statement that he believed them which was widely shared by local news media on August 7th. These contradictory statements have come to light when the Hmong television interviews were recently translated by a credible translation service.

Many Female Victims Come Forward;
4 Currently Serving Female Community Leaders

Mayor Ly’s troubles began when a former campaign employee pointed out Ly’s faux pas on social media. Basically, Mayor Ly made an ambiguous remark about linking a South Sacramento fire to Black Lives Matter protestors. At any rate, that statement was false and Ly was forced to take down the post. Following these actions, the former employee was harassed by the Hmong community, as verified by screenshots. She then wrote an Op-Ed for Elk Grove Tribune criticizing the Mayor of Elk Grove. It should be noted that the Elk Grove Tribune did run Mayor Steve Ly’s response. Unfortunately, Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jacqueline Cheung reported being threatened, harassed, intimidated by a Hmong clan, having a miscarriage from the stress, and having her car egged. Afterwards, EGUSD Trustees Bobbie Singh-Allen & Nancy Chaires Espinoza, Cosumnes CSD Director Jaclyn Moreno, and Planning Commissioner MacKenzie Wieser stepped forward with their own troubling stories about Mayor Steve Ly. After weeks of turmoil, in a surprise announcement, Bobbie Singh-Allen announced she was running for Mayor of Elk Grove.

The harassment and accusations snowballed. Some had called for the censure of the Mayor, which would be decided by the City Council. A censure has no legal bearing but it is a formal reprimand by the City Council. Others believed that the women’s statements were false and that Ly was a good, family man. In two City Council Meetings, dozens of callers called in to support Mayor Steve Ly and to try to discredit the women in what Vice Mayor Detrick called “an orchestrated attack with the same bullet points.” Ultimately, the City Council decided to send the investigation to the Grand Jury. However, while the public and City Council await the grand jury investigation to begin, Election Day looms nearer.

The Hmong Interviews

Mayor Steve Ly gave two interviews on Hmong USA TV and 3HMONGTV NEWS. One interview was on August 21 and the other on August 25.

3HMONGTV NEWS

“The US politics is like this. Even though you are severely accused, you could only let them do it. There may be a lie or truth in politics, and the opponents are using lies to accuse and cause me troubles. About the lady who is having a problem with me right now, she is manipulated by someone who is recently competing with me in an election.”

“They are accusing me because they are not smart enough. They can do whatever they want, but they will never win. It is all political.”

“I must discuss with you and tell you that those are baseless accusations. This is politics.”

Here is the transcribed interview from 3HmongTv: 3HmongTV-Mayor Steve Ly talks about accusations made against him.

HMONG USA TV

“The entire rumor is only political. I would say it for you to understand easily. The US is a country of freedom of speech. It is only part of my opponent’s political campaign to accuse me, so I do not need to come out and solve this problem. What I want to tell you all is that the rumor is not real. This is the truth, and please understand that it is only political.”

“I am not the one who forces the 18 Hmong Clans to harass the women. My opponents are doing dirty jobs to accuse me.”

“There are a few people who have lost to me in the past election. When I won, they were not happy about this and waiting for an opportunity to attack me. This is not the first time they do like this, but they have been doing it for the past twelve years. My opponents who have lost to me found a Hmong lady and may ask her to come out and speak.”

“The rumor is a lie, and I need to defend myself. If I don’t defend myself, it will affect my supporters who are like the spine of my campaign. If I was accused like this, my reputation will be gone, and it will be messy.”

Here is the transcribed interview from Hmong USA TV: Mayor’s Hmong Supporters Accused of Bullying. To clarify, the translations were done by court certified interpreters. The Elk Grove Tribune has verified that the translation service used for the translation is legitimate.

Effect On The Hmong Community

There is little wonder now why the Hmong community seems to, for the most part, ignore the allegations of the women who have stepped forward. Mayor Ly is telling them in Hmong that the women are lying and that they are doing everything for political gain to help Bobbie Singh-Allen become mayor. Furthermore, Mayor Ly is essentially portraying the accusations against him as an attack on Hmong culture. This gaslighting only proves and highlights the claims of harassment, bullying, intimidation, and misogyny told by these women. The women who have come forward have all said they do not have any issues with Hmong people or culture. However, they have an issue with harassment and bullying which has occurred and  is still occurring. Even based on just screenshots of Facebook posts alone, the women’s claims of harassment and bullying seem to have merit.

This was posted on Facebook by John Thao, Mayor Steve Ly’s right hand man. John Thao resigned from his position with the City of Elk Grove July 31. He was identified as one of the people who called into a City Council Meeting to attack the credibility of the women who have come forward.

What Ly Told The Local English News Media

The statements Mayor Steve Ly made on Hmong television directly contradict the statements he had made to Linda Vwj, Dr. Jacqueline “Jax” Cheung, Bobbie Singh-Allen, Nancy Chaires Espinoza, Jaclyn Moreno, and MacKenzie Wieser. On August 7th, Mayor Ly issued a public apology. Mayor Ly had apologized to the women, said he believed them, and asked his supporters to stop such “reprehensible behavior.” His words were shared by major news outlets, and given to the Elk Grove City Council.

“I have had time to reflect on the disturbing and unaccepting incidents experienced by women in our community. I believe them and acknowledge their pain. I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering they have endured. To any supporter or anyone who claims to be acting in my name as a way to show their support, this is not the way. Please stop such reprehensible behavior.”

It should be noted that all of the women rejected Ly’s apology and his request to meet up. In fact during a heated City Council meeting, Dr. Kenneth Cheung told Mayor Steve Ly, to leave his wife alone.

“Mayor Ly, today you emailed my wife. Please do not ever contact my wife again in this life or have any of your associates contact her. All contact with my wife in the future coming from you needs to go through her lawyer Thanh Foxx. The number is (916) 922-2255.

My wife, Jax, won’t meet up with you now. She will meet up with you in my presence and the presence of her lawyer and all the other women who have come forward AFTER you name each woman by name and apologize to them for everything they have been through.”

Furthermore, Dr. Cheung did not hold back.

“I think Mayor Ly should be asked to resign so Elk Grove can heal. It’s what’s best for everyone, and best for Elk Grove. Mayor Ly, you are a disgrace, a cancer pervading our city, and a boil on the butt of humanity. Thank you.”

 

Will The Real Steve Ly Please Stand Up?

Obviously, the implications of such conduct by Mayor Steve Ly are truly alarming. It appears that Mayor Ly actually attempted to apologize to the women and do some damage control as shared with local English speaking news media while simultaneously telling another story to the Hmong community via Hmong television. The grand jury will almost certainly be looking at everything that has transpired. They will also  just as certainly be subpoenaing Linda Vwj, Dr. Jacqueline “Jax” Cheung, Bobbie Singh-Allen, Nancy Chaires Espinoza, Jaclyn Moreno, and MacKenzie Wieser. May the truth be uncovered. The Elk Grove Tribune will be here to bring you news as the grand jury investigation of Mayor Steve Ly gets underway.











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