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Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Free For All

The ADDA convinces ERCOM that the new Personnel Evaluation system is unfair - click here to see President Hyatt Seligman's email.

But ...

... The ADDA website has been "suspended" www.LA-ADDA.com is off-line for unexplained reasons.

The latest Carmen Trutanich scandal has been picked up by the Mayor Sam blog and the LA City News blog, only a question of time before the mainstream media picks it up.

District Attorney Steve Cooley has a birthday this weekend, anyone got any suggestions for a birthday present?

Commenting is back on-line here after a temporary glitch was fixed.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Can't Comment? There's a Blogger/Google Glitch - Try the Dragnet Alternate Site

It's been a frustrating 24 hours. A glitch at Blogger.com has resulted in the restriction of comments. Only those with Google ID accounts have had the ability to comment since around midnight Wednesday.

 Obviously, judging by the lack of comments in the last 24 hours, most Dragnet readers prefer to comment anonymously.

As a temporary fix, we've mirrored this site onto a WordPress platform, so for the time being, please click here to comment on the past two posts, and any new posts, until Blogger/Google can fix the problem.

UPDATED:
As of midnight Thursday, the glitch appears to have been fixed, so comment away here!

DA Candidates - The First Poll

After yesterday's Carmen Trutanich scandal, we thought something less serious would be appropriate today.
 
With the June 5, 2012 primary election still a fair way off, and campaign finance reports not due until June 30, 2011, we were wondering how the candidates are doing. We thought that a poll might be interesting but as we're too mean to pay anyone for anything, we thought could use the number of friends each candidate has on FaceBook to give you a snapshot of how the candidates rank.

Bobby Grace
Bobby Grace is in first place with 511 FaceBook friends. If you want to boost Booby's lead, go to his website: http://www.bobbygrace4da.com/ and click the Facebook button. Bobby will friend you if he can take a break from winning back to back trials.

Mario Trujillo
Second place goes to Mario Trujillo (aka the Million Dollar Man) with 448 FaceBook friends. You can close the gap and maybe even put Mario in the lead by clicking the FaceBook button at his website: http://www.mariotrujilloforda.com/. Mario will friend you if he can take a break from counting money, making calls and campaigning like an old hand.

Alan Jackson
In third place Alan Jackson has 179 FaceBook friends. Alan's got some work to do to close the gap, so go to his website: http://www.alanjacksonforda.com/ and show your support. Alan will friend you if he can take a break from calling on Sheriff Baca to withdraw his support for Carmen Trutanich's fake campaign website.

Danette Meyers
Forth placed Danette Meyers has 171 FaceBook friends and you can help her by going to her website: http://www.danetteforda.com/ and clicking on her FaceBook button. Danette will gladly friend you if she can take a break from, yes, you guessed it, the never-ending Lindsay Lohan case!

Jackie Lacey
Fifth placed Jackie Lacey has a lot of catching up to do. You could go to her website: http://www.jackielacey.com/ but as she hasn't got a FaceBook button there (yet), go straight to her FaceBook page and ask to be her friend. Jackie will friend you if she can take a break from wondering when Steve Cooley is going to endorse her!

Carmen Trutanich
Last place goes to Carmen. He has no friends, well actually he has no FaceBook button on his fake website: http://www.drafttrutanich4da.com/.  But considering that he also does not have the required Fair Political Practices Commission disclosure statement there either, perhaps he doesn't need any fake friends. If and when Carmen goes legit with the website, he'll have a FaceBook friend button you can click, and Carmen will leap right out of your laptop, grab you in a bear hug, and friend you in an instant.

So congratulations Bobby Grace on leading the FaceBook Friend Polls for now, we'll revisit this next time it's a slow news day.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

EXCLUSIVE: The 3 'D's of Draft Trutanich 4 DA - Deception, Deceit & Duplicity

Deception, Deceit and Duplicity likely surrounds Carmen Trutanich's bid to become District Attorney, according to records examined by Los Angeles Dragnet showing advance planning and photographs secretly supplied by Trutanich to the creator of the so-called anonymous law enforcement campaign website; DraftTrutanich4DA.

Sheriff Baca's email message of April 14, 2011 was not a sudden or spontaneous
call for support, but an attempt to mislead planned well in advance.
Los Angeles Dragnet can reveal that the email sent in the name of Sheriff Lee Baca was not a spontaneous call to "persuade" (sic) Trutanich to run for Los Angeles District Attorney, but probably a trick or ruse which was the final part of a 'TRU" deception.

It was a deception that apparently started well before Sheriff Baca became the hapless instrument of Trutanich's plot. As the evidence will show, it was a plot which could only have occurred with the duplicity and complicity of Trutanich himself.

Records obtained from GoDaddy.com shows that the DraftTrutanich4DA website was registered three months before Sheriff Baca's email was sent out to unsuspecting victims.

GoDaddy.com records obtained by LA Dragnet shows that Trutanich's misleading website
was created three months before Trutanich released Baca's email on unsuspecting victims.


As previously revealed, the website's registrant, Jim Royer, is a close associate of Trutanich's chief investigator. This makes it highly unlikely that Royer came up with the idea to "draft Trutanich" alone, but rather more likely that it was at the behest of Trutanich himself.

However, the evidence of Trutanich's duplicity goes beyond circumstantial evidence linking Royer to Trutanich's January 14, 2011 website.

Photographs used on that website were secretly made available to the website creator on January 17, 2011, using a file sharing service called  "Flickr."

Trutanich used a secret Flickr account called "TrutanichC" to share photos from his 2009
City Attorney campaign with the creator of his current campaign website.
(Click on the image for a more detailed view.)
 The Flickr account was probably named "trutanichc" in order that it could not be found by anyone searching for "trutanich."

The photographs themselves cannot be found on Flickr without the secret link
Without the secret link to the photographs, it is highly unlikely that anyone but the person Trutanich wanted to have access to these photographs, could find them.

Los Angeles Dragnet obtained the following secret link to access Trutanich's secret files on Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/trutanichc

Armed with the secret link, the DraftTrutanich4DA website creator was able to use three photographs on the bogus DraftTrutanich4DA website.

Three photographs from Trutanich's secret Flickr account were used on the
DraftTrutanich4DA.com website, suggesting that Trutanich shared his secret
access link with the website creator.

When Los Angeles Dragnet accessed Trutanich's secret photographs, we we able to see that the photographs used on the website had only been viewed once or twice. By the time this exclusive goes live, the numbers of views will likely increase as shocked readers verify the details for themselves.

EXIF data for the photographs reveals digital information that is stored within the images, and when viewed, can reveal very specific information about the photograph. In the case of the photograph showing Trutanich at the Green Meadows Park, it shows that the photograph was taken at 3:46pm on March 31, 2009. It is a staged photograph taken Trutanich's campaign for City Attorney.
 
EXIF data shows very precise details of the date and time the photograph was taken
as well as technical details of the exposure, camera make and model, and lens used
.
 Given that, without the secret link, these photographs were to all intents and purposes invisible to the general public, it is reasonable to conclude that Trutanich arranged this elaborate ruse to make the photographs that were only in his possession, available only to the person or persons he charged with creating his bogus website.

 Furthermore, now that Truanich's connection to his deceitful website is beyond a reasonable doubt, serious issues arise over the continuing failure of Trutanich to place the required notice on his website indicating who is paying for the service that he is receiving. The idea that it is some anonymous group of law enforcement supporters seems untenable in the light of the evidence that Trutanich orchestrated the entire deception to give himself a defense to charges that he has reneged on his contract with the people of Los Angeles.

Some might say that it's time for Trutanich to come clean with Los Angelenos and admit his serious misjudgment in allowing his political ambition to overcome the other promise he made countless times; transparency.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

LA Weekly Probes Trutanich's Relationship with Lobbyist John Ek

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich featured prominently in a LA Weekly article throwing a little light on the darker secrets about how "Lobbyist John Ek Gets His Way At City Hall."

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich gets mentioned 11 times in LA Weekly's
investigation into the successes of Los Angeles City lobbyist Jon Ek.
The mild mannered, under the radar lobbyist has been remarkably effective in managing to keep his client, HMS Host, in charge of running concessions at Los Angeles International Airport despite "surveys of airports nationwide putting LAX food among the worst," according to LA Weekly's Gene Maddaus. "Airport administrators were trying to evict HMS Host in favor of new contractors. The administrators went through an elaborate bidding process — and Host finished dead last among the four bidders." Maddaus reported.

But rather than allow the Airport administrators to replace HMS Host with the winning bidder, Trutanich seems to have come to the defense of Ek's client, ruling that there was a conflict of interest. The result has been a considerable delay, during which HMS Host continues to fleece passengers and  preserve "the airport's reputation for lousy food," according to Maddaus. The LA Weekly does an excellent job of detailing how Trutanich was able to be of such assistance to Ek's client.

The relationship dates back to when John Ek was called to testify before a grand jury regarding pay-to-play accusations. Ek "sought counsel from a well-known local defense attorney — Carmen Trutanich, now L.A. city attorney. Ek was never charged" said Maddaus.

The TRU is False blog does a fairly decent job in analyzing Trutanich's long and close relationship with Ek, from being Ek's criminal defense attorney, through an influential pre-campaign dinner, a bear-hugging fish luncheon in San Pedro, to the removal of a lead deputy city attorney at LAX who opposed HMS Host's continued presence. TRU is False makes the point that when it comes to conflicts of interest, perhaps Trutanich should have revealed that he "and Ek enjoy a close relationship."

With Trutanich now determined to leave Los Angeles City Hall before, perhaps, suffering a humiliating defeat in a bid to be re-elected as City Attorney, some may be wondering if there is something more fishy than luncheons in Trutanich's relationship with one of the City's most successful lobbyists; better to leave before the fish hits the fan?

Danette Meyers Tells Judge "I'm a DDA, Get Me Outta Here!"


Celebrity news gurus TMZ.com is reporting that Danette Meyers "asked Judge Stephanie Sautner Friday to remove her from the case. Since the judge knocked the felony charge down to a misdemeanor, Meyers assumed the case would be transferred to the L.A. City Attorney. But the judge noted the D.A. can still prosecute the case if it wants to ... so Meyer's request was denied."

TMZ reported that "Sources in contact with Lindsay tell us ... Lindsay believes she's become a living, breathing press release for Meyers, who is running for L.A. County District Attorney." But apparently Judge Sautner did not buy Lohan's complaint. TMZ noted that "Meyers has prosecuted hundreds of big cases in her more than 2 decades as a prosecutor, is extremely well-respected, so she really doesn't need a misdemeanor theft case all that much."

Judge Sautner may not have the final word, however, as the issue of jurisdiction will likely be re-visited at Lohan's next appearance. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday?

Danette Meyers - Lohan Case Rumored to be Reduced to Misdemeanor

RadarOnline.com reports that a reduction to a misdemeanor could
result from today's preliminary hearing.
Celebrity gossip blog RadarOnline.com is reporting that "Lindsay Lohan is bound to have a spring in her step with the news that Judge Stephanie Sautner is likely to reduce the Mean Girls star’s felony theft charge down to a misdemeanor in court today."

An apparently well-connected source told RadarOnline that "Judge Sautner has indicated to the DA and Lindsay's attorney that there is a very good chance that at the conclusion of the preliminary hearing she will reduce the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor.”

If indeed, the grand theft charge is reduced to a misdemeanor, it raises the question as to whether the District Attorney's Office and Danette Meyers will continue to be able to prosecute the case. The Venice Beach area where the crime allegedly occurred is in the City of Los Angeles, and as the City Attorney has fairly exclusive jurisdiction prosecute misdemeanor crimes, the case may have to be transferred to the City Attorney's Office.
 
Alan Jackson Gains Endorsement from San Gabriel City Councilmember

According to Jackson's website, "San Gabriel City Councilmember Mario De La Torre has added his name to the list of those who support Deputy DA Alan Jackson for District Attorney. The Councilmember’s endorsement highlights Jackson’s strength and willingness to work with the numerous communities within Los Angeles County.

Jackson claimed, “Mario De La Torre knows what it is to serve our community, and all of us benefit from his tireless service. I am honored to have earned his support, and I look forward to working together to keep our streets secure and ensure future generations a safer place to live.”

Councilmember Mario De La Torre stated, "Alan Jackson has been fighting crime and seeking justice for victims in our community for nearly two decades. He is a true defender of the community and all of us are lucky have him working hard to keep us secure. Because of the job Alan Jackson does every day, we are all better off. Alan has my full support in his bid to become District Attorney. When he is elected, I look forward to partnering with Alan Jackson to make our community even safer."

Deputy DA Alan Jackson has earned strong support from other elected officials such as State Senator Tony Strickland, Los Angeles City Councilmember Dennis Zine, Long Beach City Attorney Robert Shannon, and former La CaƱada-Flintridge Mayor and current City Councilmember Steve Del Guercio."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

DA Candidates In The News & The Rumor Mill

Mario Trujillo Targets MegaBucks

Mario Trujillo says he's not a millionaire, but his campaign may be ...
We're hearing rumors that Mario Trujillo could be the surprise front runner when all campaigns report their fundraising activities at the end of June. Trujillo originally set himself a six-figure target for his first six months and if what we hear is true, he's already exceeded that target.

Alan Jackson On Victim's Rights

Convicted murderer Phil Spector's appeal ironically coincided with Victim's Rights Week
giving Jackson an opportunity to share his thoughts on 'The Unnamed Victims'
Alan Jackson got some good press this week with the influential FlashReport and Fox and Hounds reprinting Jackson's moving account of his thoughts at the Phil Spector appeal. Entitled 'The Unnamed Victims,' Jackson's essay reminds us that the category 'victims of crime' is not limited to those who suffer at the hands of their assailants, but extends to the families of those who must somehow survive the loss of a loved one. Read Alan's thoughts on 'The Unnamed Victims' on his website, or at FlashReport and Fox and Hounds.

Trutanich's Campaign for DA Roundly Condemned

Rumors continue to indicate that many of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's grass roots supporters are moving on to greener pastures following their shocked disbelief at Trutanich's willingness to abandon his signed sworn pledge and numerous campaign promises not to use his position as City Attorney as a political springboard to higher office.

One source informs us that Trutanich planned to run for District Attorney the moment he heard that Steve Cooley was running for AG, and that the well documented rumor that Trutanich and Cooley are not on speaking terms (except at public appearances where Trutanich traps Cooley for a photo op), started after Cooley politely but firmly reminded Trutanich of his pledge to voters as well as his lack of experience. 

It is understood that Trutanich has been told that he has little chance at being re-elected as City Attorney in 2013 as his popularity was already wearing thin both within his office and amongst the many communities that originally supported him, either based on now failed promises, or the mere fact that he was marginally less detestable than his then opponent, Jack Weiss. However, rumors now suggest that the increasingly popular Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Krekorian will run for City Attorney in 2013, and that Trutanich will not stand a chance.

Trutanich, it seems, has nothing to loss but his reputation...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Trutanich's DA Campaign Accused of Lying & Ethics Violation

OPINION: City Attorney Carmen Truanich's campaign to become Los Angeles District Attorney got off to a shaky start with accusations of lies and ethical violations as well as an advert from Alan Jackson's campaign casting doubts on Trutanich's motives and credibility.



In addition to the advert, Jackson's campaign has a website, TheTRUFacts.com, listing the numerous statements made by Trutanich indicating that he is not a politician and that he will fulfill his sworn campaign promise not to use the City Attorney's Office as a political springboard to higher office, specifically, not to run for District Attorney, all apparently lies in the light of Trutanich's decision to abandon the pledge he made to those who supported him.

As one comment to yesterday's announcement pointed out, it's a "Hell of a way to kick off a campaign to be DA from a guy who says he's not a politician; a lie and an ethics violation."

The lie complained of appears to be the failure of Trutanich to disclose that the email plea from Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca and the website to which Baca's message directs recipients, is in fact an elaborate ruse designed by his campaign to create the impression that Trutanich has been "deluged by leaders in law enforcement," to run for DA.

The reality, however, appears to be quite different.

The email plea from Sheriff Baca and the accompanying website are designed to create the impression that
Trutanich is being deluged with requests from law enforcement to run for DA. That's a lie according to some.


Records show that the website, DraftTrutanich4DA.com, was set up by Jim Royer, a lieutenant at  Hawthorne Police Department.

Royer told LA Weekly's Gene Maddaus that he was "asked to provide a service [the website] and I did it." But what Royer did not tell Maddaus was who asked him to provide that "service."

Records also show that Royer has served on the board of the California Narcotics Officer's Association, and that Trutanich's chief investigator, Gary Schram, also serves on the board of that association, raising the suspicion that Trutanich is actually behind the request for that "service."

The connection between Trutanich and the anonymous "coalition of law enforcement officers"
was not disclosed by Trutanich - a deception at best, a lie according to some.
That Trutanich started his campaign by allegedly trying to deceive voters into believing that he has no connection between what has been called a "shambolic attempt" at pretending there was "a deluge of requests from leaders in law enforcement," seems highly likely if not a certainty.

Not only is the connection between Trutanich and Royer firmly established, but sharp-eyed readers will also note that the RSVP address given on this CNOA event is in fact, Trutanich's event coordinator.

CNOA members wanting to attend the luncheon
were directed to call or email Trutanich's event coordinator

Whether or not voters approve of what some might say is a crass attempt by Trutanich to create the illusion that law enforcement, or indeed anyone but his "All about me" ego, wants him to be District Attorney, remains to be seen.

There is no doubt, however, that the alleged deception practiced by Trutanich's campaign on the very day that he announces his candidacy will be used his opponents without limitation, perhaps rightly so.

It has also been pointed out that Sheriff Baca's email and Trutanich's website, DraftTrutanich4DA.com, which Royer claims to be "separate from the Trutanich campaign," does not contain a disclosure statement indicating who has paid for the promotion of a candidate.

That is, perhaps, in violation of campaign ethics laws that require the public to be informed as to who has paid for the particular promotion, whether it's an email, tv or radio advert, website or a billboard. Whether or not Baca, Trutanich and Royer's actions constitute ethical violations will also, doubtless, be heralded by Trutanich's opponents as further proof of Trutanich's unsuitability for the position of District Attorney.

Trutanich took office as City Attorney less than two years ago after a lengthy and lucrative career as a criminal defense attorney.  In his 2009 campaign, Sheriff Baca had endorsed Trutanich's then opponent, Jack Weiss. Baca later withdrew that endorsement after allegations of campaign finance misconduct were made public in a call for an investigation. As yet there has been no call for an investigation into Trutanich's alleged deception, however, given the rapid response from the Jackson campaign, Alan Jackson could boost his name recognition by calling for just such an investigation.

All of this must make Sheriff Baca wonder whether it would be prudent to quickly disassociate himself from Trutanich's campaign after this shaky start.

"A helluva a way to kick of a campaign...."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Trutanich Launches Campaign For District Attorney

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich will formally announce his campaign for District Attorney following a plea from LA County Sheriff Lee Baca.

Sheriff Baca's email blast pleads with Los Angelenos to sign a petition
that can be used to persuade Trutanich to run for District Attorney.
The Los Angeles Dragnet received a mass email from Baca urging support for Trutanich and encouraging recipients to visit the website DraftTrutanich4DA.com where they can sign a petition that will be used to 'persuade' Trutanich that it's 'O.K.' to renege on his signed, sworn campaign promise not to use the City Attorney's Office as a political springboard to the DA's Office.

Trutanich pledged to serve a full term as City Attorney and not to use
the Office of City Attorney as a political springboard.
 It is believed that Trutanich had hoped that Steve Cooley would play the part of 'persuader,' however, rumors of the deterioration in their relationship now seem to be true, and perhaps Sheriff Baca was swiftly drafted in to play that part.

Some readers will remember that Baca originally endorsed Jack Weiss for City Attorney, a fact like the broken promise, that will probably be used by Trutanich's ever growing number of opponents to attack the former criminal defense lawyer 's ethical suitability to be District Attorney.

Reaction from opponents has been swift. Political Pantloads has harsh criticism for Trutanich, and their depiction of what Trutanich's campaign, said to be code named 'TRU in 12,' will look like. Pantloads is also reporting that LA City Councilman Paul Krekorian is going to endorse Trutanich for DA and announce his own campaign to replace Trutanich as City Attorney, a role he has not only said he is interested in, but one to which his calm, deliberative and professional temperament is better suited than that of Trutanich.

In other news:

Steve Ipsen, of which little has been heard of lately, is rumored to be poised to announce his candidacy for District Attorney. It seems that Ipsen's believes that he can be of more assistance to Alan Jackson by having a platform from which he can attack the other candidates, and thereby avoid Jackson from having to 'go negative.'

ADDA 411
The ADDA has not issued any statement following their Debtors Examination on Monday, April 11, 2011, where they were supposed to be examined as to their finances in respect of the $160,000 or so that they lost when they ignored their own bylaws.

It is likely that the Debtors Examination did not go well, as the ADDA is never shy to brag about and exaggerate any successes, even temporary ones. Members still have no idea, whatsoever, how the ADDA spends almost $20,000 a month in members dues, and the concerns that many have is that all their money was wasted on what they believe was a fruitless and foolish lawsuit.

The actions of the ADDA board as well as the lack of information, will do little to persuade DDAs, or indeed the 200 or so current members, to support the Agency Shop. Members who currently pay monthly dues will have the opportunity to cancel their payments when the current Memorandum of Agreement expires later this year. 

Steve Cooley To Run For Record 4th Term As DA?
As we close, chances are that Steve Cooley is seriously considering abandoning his plans to retire. Cooley told the LA Times that he would only consider running again if a career politician were to enter the race. Trutanich seems to fit that description, so the ball seems to be in Cooley's court.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Trutanich's ACE Raises Concerns About Abuse

The news that City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's ACE Program had passed the City's Budget  & Finance Committee and was headed for a vote in City Council, produced a sudden and perhaps unexpected flood of criticism from long-time Trutanich supporters.


Retired LA Daily News Editor, Ron Kaye, published a detailed critique of Trutanich's ACE Program, authored by community activist James O'Sullivan that highlighted 15 serious concerns with the way Trutanich's ACE Program could be abused to force Los Angelenos to pay Trutanich civil penalties for minor code violations.

Under Trutanich's ACE Program, Code Enforcement Officers would have the choice to either pursue a criminal case or use the ACE program to punish residents for "quality of life" crimes such as having an untidy front yard.

Under the criminal justice system, the City Attorney's Office might have a hard time convicting the homeowner as there is an independent judge, a public defender and a jury to ensure a just and fair result. But under Trutanich's ACE Program, the homeowner would have to pay a "citation" first, and then face an "administrative" trial where the judge would be selected by Trutanich, possibly from one of his deputy city attorneys, who would decide if the "citation" was "properly issued."

Among the fears expressed by O'Sullivan and many comments at Ron Kaye LA, is that the issuing of citations could become abusive if the Code Enforcement Officers were forced to fulfill quotas, as reported in the case of the two LAPD Motor Officers who testified that they had been required to write 18 tickets a day, according to the Los Angeles Times.

That fear may be well founded as Trutanich's Chief Deputy, Bill Carter, in a March 7, 2011 letter to the Budget & Finance Committee, stated that the ACE Program "will provide real-time and cost-effective enforcement of our City's Municipal Code, including "broken window" violations, while simultaneously generating revenue for the City." With the current state of the City's finances, that "revenue for the City" may be too hard to resist and as Trutanich's ACE Program lacks any stated checks and balances to abuse, the traffic ticket quotas used by LAPD could also be used with ACE to help solve the budget crisis.

City Attorney candidate Noel Weiss (2009) also penned a lengthy critique of Trutanich's ACE in one of the comments to O'Sullivan's warning, and many activists are likely to similarly protest ACE when it receives a hearing in the Council Chamber.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

DA Candidates In The News

Jackie Lacey Scoops Scott for Campaign


According to Kevin Roderick's LA Observed blog and Rick Orlov's "Tipoff" in the LA Daily News, Los Angeles District Attorney's Office Director of Communications Joe Scott has retired.

That might be news to Scott and the DA's Office, as according to today's press release concerning Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace's latest trial victory, Scott is still working for the DA's Office.

Despite retirement rumors, Joe Scott is still listed as
Director of Communications for the DA's Office.

According to Orlov, "Joe Scott has been involved in local politics for longer than he cares to count. First as a political reporter and columnist for the Herald-Examiner, later as publisher of a newsletter, "The Political Animal," and then as an adviser to former Mayor Richard Riordan and District Attorney Steve Cooley.

Scott, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, recently announced his retirement from Cooley's office.

But he is not giving up. He said he will help Chief Assistant District Attorney Jackie Lacey if she decides to run for district attorney next year." Orlov reported.

There's not much 'if' about Lacey's campaign, so it looks like Lacey has Joe Scott on board.

Bobby Grace Convicts Gangmember in Death Penalty Triple Murder Case

Who says we can't use the same graphic twice?
Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace again graces the headlines with the news of another major victory in a difficult triple murder case.

According to press release on the DA's website

"Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace said jurors found Ryan T. Moore guilty of three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of David Marcial, 10; his 22-year-old uncle, Larry Marcial; and a neighbor, Luis Cervantes, 17. Moore also was convicted of the first-degree attempted murder of Sergio Marcial Jr., 12, who was wounded but survived, and one count of conspiracy to commit.

Jurors, who deliberated two days before returning the verdicts read this morning, also found true the special circumstances of multiple murders and murders to benefit a street gang.

On June 30, 2006, Moore and co-defendant Charles Ray Smith, members of the Rolling 30 Pirus gang, were looking for rival gang members when they shot up a neighborhood in the 1100 block of East 49th Street. The two emerged from a vehicle and opened fire with two AK-47 assault rifles, spraying nearly 40 rounds at the victims. David and Sergio Marcial were riding their bicycles when they were shot down. Larry Marcial and Luis Cervantes were listening to music.
Jurors return Wednesday to begin the penalty phase. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case."

It seems like only yesterday that we reported on Grace's success in the "Fire Captain kills Girl" case, but it was in fact less than a month ago. Even Grace's opponents must be wondering how Grace has the energy to successfully prosecute back to back murder cases. Grace's latest victory brings his total of successfully prosecuted murder cases to 62. Impressive. Very impressive.


Danette Meyers to Put Victim On The Stand in Lohan Necklace Case

Meyers has an impressive record of murder case successes herself, but it's the media's obsession with the Lindsay Lohan necklace case that continues to make headlines for Meyers.

(Credit: RadarOnLine.con)

Today's Radar OnLine reports "exclusively" that Meyers has been warning her witnesses "to expect "grueling cross examination by defense attorney Shawn Holley" during their preliminary hearing testimony, currently scheduled for April 22. 2011.

Radar OnLine reports that "The preliminary hearing is expected to last two to three days, and at the conclusion, Judge Stephanie Sautner will determine if there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial. If she does, our source tells us, 'Meyers will ask that Lindsay be remanded into custody immediately for the probation violation.'"

Trutanich Hunts For Studio City Storefront For DA Campaign Headquarters

(Credit: StudioCity.Patch.com)

Stealth candidate City Attorney Carmen Trutanich told Studio City Patch editor Mike Syzmanski that he is "already looking for a local storefront for an office to run his district attorney campaign."

Trutanich, speaking at a Studio City Chamber of Commerce lunch event, said that he "is already making plans to run for Los Angeles County District Attorney  position in 2012 and is looking for an office to run his campaign on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City. He said things are not strained between him and present district attorney Steve Cooley." According to Syzmanski.

Cooley was not present at the luncheon to support Trutanich's assertion that all's well with his former BFF, lending credence to rumors that the split between Trutanich and Cooley is so deep that Cooley actively avoids contact with Trutanich and that the pair are only seen together when Cooley cannot escape advances from the criminal defense attorney turned career politician.

Trutanich will likely be relieved to hear that one potential challenger for Los Angeles District Attorney (or his City Attorney seat?) is looking elsewhere. State Assemblyman Mike Feuer is believed to be considering running for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Verdict on The Verdict is in - Thumbs Down For ADDA

Members who commented on the ADDA's latest missive, were not impressed.

This, from the latest comment, appears to sum up the general mood:

After reading this ADDA newsletter I still have BIG questions about this agency shop business and I think all DDA's are entitled to answers if you're trying to take money from everyone:

1) How much do you plan to take from each DDA. Not too complicated, just give the rates for top step 2, top step 3 & top step 4. YOU CAN'T ASK US TO BUY SOMETHING WITHOUT DISCLOSING THE PRICE!!!!

2) What the hell are you spending this money on. Is it all litigation? If so on what? YOU CAN'T ASK US TO BUY SOMETHING WITHOUT TELLING US WHAT IT IS !!!!

Is it so unreasonable? Would anyone walk into a store and say "I'm going to buy something, don't care about the price or what it is."

Palisades Gives Trutanich's ACE The Thumbs Down

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's 'ACE' Program came under further attack with the filing of a detailed opposition to his radical plan to have his own judges and courts decide penalties for Municipal Code violations.


In a 20-page detailed report filed with the Budget and Finance Committee, the Palisades Preservation Association, defect after defect in Trutanich's ACE were pointed out to the Committee, with the overwhelming message; do not vote for ACE.

The Pacific Preservation Association becomes the first public group to voice their opposition to what has been called "Trutanich's power grab and cash-stash" and the PPA joins stealth activist Perry Mason in urging the City Council not to allow Trutanich to play the ACE card.

Other Neighborhood Councils may soon join the opposition to Trutanich's ACE when they realize that passage of the radical ordinance would mean that homeowners and landlords would suddenly become easy pickings for prosecution by Trutanich for minor code violations like having a yard fence too high or failing to pull a permit for a new water heater. As Mason put it, it's "the functional equivalent of putting the fox in charge of the hen house."

Trutanich is said to have been advised to keep his mouth shut while the ordinance proceeds from Budget and Finance to the Council for consideration. However, Trutanich may not be able to resist the temptation to lash out as he, perhaps, foolishly did over the AEG 'criminal aspects' debacle and attack any challenge to his radical ACE plan and lay himself open to awkward questioning about just how "target rich" homeowners are to his plan to raise money for his Office at their expense. 

Trutanich's candidacy for re-election is also coming under fire. Yesterday's interview of Councilmember Paul Krekorian in The City Maven revealed that Krekorian now has his eyes on Trutanich's City Attorney job, as Trutanich flubs about his plans to run for District Attorney.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mid Week News Review

Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate Kevin James Answers LA Times Snub

One day after the LA Times deliberately omitted to mention Kevin James amongst Mayor candidates in the 2013
election, James' campaign hit back with news to wipe the smug smile off op-ed writer Jim Newton's face.

Los Angeles Mayoral candidate Kevin James issued a statement this morning announcing that in the two and a half weeks since launching his campaign to become the next Mayor of Los Angeles, he has raised over a half a million dollars in firm commitments for his campaign.

The full statement on James' website, KevinJamesForMayor.com,  states that over 100 people have given firm commitments to raise between $10,000 and $25,000 each through being fundraising co-chairs and committee members.

"It 's a very smart approach to fundraising," according to 2009 Los Angeles City Attorney candidate  David Berger, "the kind of financial smarts this City will need in its next Mayor who will take over the eight years of fiscal irresponsibility that will be Mayor Villaraigosa's legacy." Berger said.


Half a million dollars puts James far ahead of six other likely contenders, said to include L.A. City Council members Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti, City Controller Wendy Greuel, First Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Real estate developer Rick Caruso has also been mentioned as a potential candidate, however, Caruso was similarly mentioned in 2009, and failed to follow through.

James' announcement came barely 24 hours after a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece deliberately omitted to mention James' candidacy. The op-ed was written by Jim Newton, described by Street-Hassle's sometimes acerbic scribe, Mulholland Terrace, as a "former news schlub, now some kind of quasi-analyst." The message seems clear; ignore Kevin James' candidacy at your peril if you want to prove precisely how biased and irrelevant you have become.

Mayor Villaraigosa Settles TicketGate Scandal With $42,000 Fine

The LA Times reported that Mayor Villaraigosa will pay the largest ethics violation fine
in the history of Los Angeles politics.
Yes, it's old news isn't it. Late in the afternoon on Friday, April Fools Day, in a move likely orchestrated to ensure the minimum media coverage,  Villaraigosa's TicketGate scandal came to an abrupt if not convenient end with the announcement that Villaraigosa will pay a record $42,000 in ethics violations fines to the City Ethics Commission and the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Villaraigosa had been under investigation for illegally "accepting tickets to sports events, concerts and other pricey entertainment activities without reporting them as gifts" according to the LA Times.

Although many would have preferred to see Villaraigosa criminally prosecuted for violating city and state ethics laws, factors in mitigation detailed in the draft settlement  describes Villaraigosa's conduct as "unintentional" as based on an erroneous "good faith belief" that he did not have to report the gifts he received. Perhaps that's a polite way of saying that the Mayor who failed the California Bar Exam on multiple occasions could not be expected to understand the law.



Danette Meyers Rumored To Be Taking Steps To Refute "Tainted" Evidence In Lohan Case

Perhaps in response to comments arising from our earlier piece on dilemma facing Meyers caused by the sale of video surveillance footage of the 'crime scene,' this from RumorFix.com:



"A shocking development in the Lindsay Lohan grand theft case.


Despite the fact that the owners of Kamofie & Co allegedly sold Lindsay's surveillance video several times over, RumorFix has learned exclusively that LA Deputy District Attorney Danette Meyers is going to call Sofia Kaman and a female employee to the stand when the preliminary hearing begins on April 22, 2011.


A source close to the situation tells RumorFix, "The Kamans did sell the surveillance video, however they have yet to receive one dime from the sale. They were screwed over by their attorney that brokered the deal. The Kamans absolutely didn't authorize nor want the surveillance video to be sold to the public for $2.99."


The owners of the store, where Lindsay allegedly stole a $2,500 necklace, came under heavy scrutiny because they chose to sell the video in the first place for a reported $30,000. However, the DA doesn't think this should be an issue for the judge at the preliminary hearing.


Our source says Meyers is preparing Sofia for a grilling from Lindsay' attorney, Shawn Holley. We are told that the female employee of Kamofie & Co will most likely be the star witness for Meyers. Her statements to the police, and DA has always been consistent, and she had no role in the sale of the surveillance video."


Meyers could also call the investigating officers to testify."

All very intriguing ...

ADDA Speaks Through "The Verdict"


April Fools Day also saw the much anticipated arrival of "The Verdict," the ADDA's eight-page newsletter that some might say was heavy on rhetoric but light on news.

No mention was made as to Treasurer Doug Sherrod's sudden resignation, however, eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that Loren Naiman is now listed as "Acting Treasurer" on page 8.

Equally, no news as to how the ADDA will comply with the court ordered payment of $160,00 in legal fees as a result of the loss of their appeal of a judges's ruling that the ADDA failed to hold elections and follow their bylaws.

Much was written in very general terms about the Agency Shop, but no details were given about how many votes will be required to compel all DDA's in Grades I through IV to have union dues deducted from their salaries at source, or the amount of the monthly pay deduction.
 
We will leave the verdict on The Verdict for your comments.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Riverside DA's Decision Not To File Charges In Lohan Battery Case - An Exit Strategy for LA District Attorney?

OPINION

(Credit: Los Angeles Times)

The LA Times reports  'insufficient evidence' as the reason why Lindsay Lohan will not face battery charges arising from an incident at the Betty Ford Center where Lohan was receiving court-approved treatment. “We are not filing charges in the Lindsay Lohan case due to insufficient evidence," John Hall, a Riverside County district attorney spokesman said. “We have to believe we can prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

According to the LA Times, one reason why the evidence was 'insufficient' was that the testimony of the alleged victim, Dawn Holland, "was first thrown into doubt after she was paid by a tabloid media site for items related to her version of events."

It's rarely a good thing for the prosecution when an alleged victim sells their story to the tabloid press, and that certainly seems to have been a 'deal breaker' for the Riverside DA where Holland sold her story before charges were filed.

But in the case of Lohan's alleged theft of a necklace from a Venice jewelers, it appears that the alleged victim sold their story after theft charges were filed. According to ABC News, the jewelers recently received $35,000 from Entertainment Tonight and other celebrity news shows for video surveillance footage showing Lohan inside the store at the time the alleged theft occurred.

(Credit: Entertainment Tonight AP/ UK Daily Mail)
(Credit: Entertainment Tonight AP/ UK Daily Mail)

KGO AM810 Newstalk is reporting that a website is now offering the general public the chance to view the surveillance footage for $2.99.   The website, NecklaceVideo.com features video from the Venice Beach jewelry store Kamofie & Company, and promises new content every day so people can make up their own minds “about what really happened.”

The preliminary hearing for Lohan's alleged theft case is currently set for April 22, 2011, and if it should go forward as currently scheduled, it is likely that the defense will make efforts to call into question the motives of the alleged victim in an attempt to persuade the judge to dismiss the case.

The point may well be made that had Kamofie & Company sold their video before the Los Angeles DA's Office filed charges, Danette Meyers, the Deputy District Attorney prosecuting Lohan, would have declined to file charges for the same reason as the Riverside DA; insufficient evidence.

Of course, the standard of proof at a preliminary hearing is substantially different from that at a trial, and affirmative defenses are rarely successful. The judge could rule that while there may be issues regarding the victim's credibility and motives, those are questions for a jury to decide.

However, in this case, such a move by the defense may provide Meyers with an "exit strategy" from an embarrassing defeat at trial where a jury may feel that Lohan is the victim of the jewelry store's desire to promote themselves and profit; there can be little doubt that the value of their surveillance video shot up after the Los Angeles DA's Office filed theft charges.

Let's just hope that we don't start hearing comments like there was a "rush to judgment" in this case because it does look like Meyers was completely blindsided by the jewelry store's decision to sell the video.  Given the recent decision by the Riverside DA, there is little doubt that Meyers would not have approved of the sale, and most likely would not have filed charges had the jewelry store already sold their video.

While each case stands and falls on its own particular facts, the credibility of a victim/witness is always an critical factor. In view of all the above, it may well be that Lindsay Lohan's lawyers won't have to say or do anything. Meyers could simply say "The people are unable to proceed" when, on April 22, the judge asks both sides if they are ready.

In view of the the way the jewelry store has appeared to behave, few would criticize Meyers for reevaluating the sufficiency of the evidence.
 

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Week In Review

Carmen Trutanich Subject of BS Threat Alert System


Political Pantloads today announced their deployment of BSTAS - the Bullshit Threat Alert System. BSTAS will initially only monitor City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and the threat level has been set to 'Severe,' which is perhaps understandably the default setting.

More ADDA 411


ADDA President Hyatt Seligman is expected to announce his endorsement of Steve Cooley for DA in 2012. "The decision to endorse my good friend Steve Cooley was not taken lightly, and in line with past ADDA procedures, no other members were consulted as they cannot agree on anything anyway." Seligman said.

Seligman was also expected to release a response to recent criticism concerning a lack of communications with members, however, we understand that the dog ate his laptop and this will cause a slight delay.

Transition Team Members Now Available

Former District Attorney Gil Garcetti, defense attorneys Larry Longo, Robert Shapiro and Mark Geragos, and former ADDA President Steve Ipsen have all announced their availability to serve on the Transition Team for the next DA of Los Angeles.

Perry Mason Blows the Whistle

In an email sent to all Los Angeles City Councilmembers this week, Perry Mason warned the Spring Street Gang of the dangers of granting City Attorney Carmen Trutanich enhanced powers under his proposed "ACE" Program. In a four hour rambling speech, Trutanich said he denied the allegations that his ACE Program was a power-grab and cash-stash, and reminded anyone still awake, that he was "just trying to do the right thing."

Richard Alarcon is Running

In an effort to avoid prosecution arising from the true location of his residence, Los Angeles Councilmember Richard Alarcon is moving to a fixer-up in Council District 1, where nobody pays attention to politics anyway.

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