Thursday, June 30, 2011

DA Candidate Bobby Grace Leads the FaceBook Friend Race

With the midnight deadline for filing campaign donations fast approaching, we take another look at the candidates' FaceBook Friends Poll, and invite all readers to give their candidates a boost by friending them - just click on their names to go to their FB Pages.

First place goes to Bobby Grace with 709:

Second, but closing the gap, is Mario Trujillo with 635:

Alan Jackson is in third place with 234:

(Sharp-eyed readers will notice that we've only credited Jackson with 234, not 235 when we did a screen-shot of his FB page - that's probably because he added a friend after we had done the survey.)

Danette Meyers is in fourth place with 225:

 Close behind, fifth place goes to Jackie Lacey with 221, Lacey has also launched a FB Page with 45:

He was last to enter the race and is in last place, Steve Ipsen with 120:

We last looked at the FaceBook Friend poll two months ago, and here's our statistical analysis of the changes to the five candidates in the race at that time, (yes, it's a slow news day!):

In terms of raw numbers, Bobby Grace tops the list, but in percentage terms, Jackie Lacey leads the pack.

Of course the focus is going to be on the fundraising successes of the candidates, but it would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of social networking in electoral campaigns, especially one where voter turnout is not expected to be high.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Met News Questions Ipsen & Meyers' Refusal to Disclose Discipline Records

DA Candidates Danette Meyers and Steve Ipsen are the only candidates of the field who have not consented to the release of their personnel and State Bar records of discipline, according to an op-ed article by Roger M. Grace in today's Metropolitan News Enterprise.

"Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Deputy District Attorneys Bobby Grace, Alan Jackson, and Mario Trujillo have no record of public or private discipline from the State Bar," the Met News reported.

As for their personnel records, Lacey, Jackson and Trujillo had no issues in allowing examination of those records, and Bobby Grace (no relation to Roger M. Grace) offered an explanation for the sole matter in his personnel file that "involves third parties who would have to waive confidentiality I cannot and the District Attorney’s office will not release the letter," Grace told the Met News, adding that “I can tell you that the matter did not result in any suspension, demotion or transfer.”

So if four candidates have no issues in allowing those who they expect to vote for them to know all there is to know about them, the Met News article seemingly poses a very valid question in the minds of voters; "What is it that Meyers and Ipsen have to hide?"

Certainly, much is known about Ipsen's past misconduct issues, the most notable perhaps being that "Ipsen has faced a State Bar disciplinary inquiry," The Met News reported. "The California Supreme Court on March 3, 2005, in a 6-1 opinion in In re Sakarias, took Ipsen to task in connection with his prosecution of two murder defendants, alleged coconspirators, who were tried separately. In each case, Ipsen portrayed to jurors that the immediate defendant was the one who struck the fatal blow."

Justice Kathryn Werdegar wrote for the majority in granting a writ of habeas corpus to one of the two, Peter Sakarias, saying:

“We agree with Sakarias that the prosecutor violated his due process rights by intentionally and without good faith justification arguing inconsistent and irreconcilable factual theories in the two trials, attributing to each petitioner in turn culpable acts that could have been committed by only one person.”

What action the State Bar took with regard to Ipsen's prosecutorial misconduct should be made known to the public, according the Met News. Ipesen's apparent reticence to allow voters to discover what action, if any, was taken against him surely leaves voters uninformed, and invites speculation that whatever it was, cannot have been a positive for Ipsen.

The same applies to to Ipsen's unwillingness to allow access to his personnel records. While it is known that Ipsen testified as a defense witness for a twice convicted sex-offender, and that it emerged that Ipsen regarded the sex-offender as one of his "closest friends," it is unlikely that the testimony alone would have resulted in any discipline at the DA's Office. However, it is known that the sex-offender was using Ipsen's vehicle at the time of his arrest for his third sex offense, and that Ipsen's DA badge was found in that vehicle at the time of arrest. DDAs are expected to take care of their badges, so perhaps Ipsen's personnel record contains some form of warning with regard to that incident.

Although Ipsen's relationship with the now three times convicted sex-offender will be news to some, it is no great secret generally. So why is Ipsen so reluctant to reveal the contents of his personnel file? Some have speculated that there could be documented matters that might cause Ipsen problems not only with his campaign, but also with his much touted 'federal lawsuit' against the administration. Ipsen had claimed to have been discriminated against because of his union efforts, however, the revelation of the contents of his personnel file could cast Ipsen's union busting claims in an entirely different light.

While Ipsen certainly appears to have a lot to hide, little is known as to the reasons for Meyers to align herself with Ipsen in the "decline to disclose" camp. It is, perhaps, an unfortunate coincidence for Meyers to find herself mentioned in the same article, for the same reasons, as one about Ipsen, and her position will likely invite similar speculation.

On a more positive note, Meyers did announce that she has secured the endorsement of retired Deputy District Attorney John Lynch, who once ran against former DA Gil Garcetti. “Fifteen years ago, I ran against Gil Garcetti in the election for Los Angeles County District Attorney. We disagreed on every issue. Today, I completely agree with Gil that Danette Meyers is the best candidate to be the next District Attorney of Los Angeles County." Lynch said in a statement on Meyers' website.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Trutanich Lies About ACE Program on Kevin James Show - Adds Plagiarism To His Shame List

OPINION: Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has been selling his "ACE" program to pretty much anyone and everyone who will listen.

Usually Trutanich has a captive audience to pitch his ideas, right wingers who won't ask too many questions of LA's 'Tough Guy,' as long as he's their 'Tough Guy.'

Trutanich has been doing the rounds of the Neighborhood Councils and Rotary Clubs selling his ACE Program (an acronym for Administrative Citation Program) like snake oil, and of course giving them the fast-sell on how he is being besieged to run for District Attorney.

He gets the applause and adulation he so desperately craves from audiences who don't know how to question the fast talking former plaintiff's attorney. But when Trutanich's claims are examined in the detail that he dodges, his claims about his ACE are coming apart faster than the king's new clothes.

Trutanich added plagiarism to his ever growing tangled web of lies
when he claimed to have come up with the idea of an administrative code enforcement
program and had shared it with other cities.
On Sunday, June 5, 2011, Trutanich spent an hour as the guest of KRLA 870AM's talk show host Kevin James. Trutanich launched into a series of serious misstatements and omissions regarding the ACE Program. Misstatements so egregious that 'lie' is the only word that fairly characterizes much of what Trutanich said. Here is a short segment from the Kevin James Show (you can listen to the whole program at the KRLA 870AM website), but pay attention to what Trutanich says about his ACE:

When Kevin James asked Trutanich to explain his ACE Program, virtually the first words out the City Attorney's mouth were false.

"This is an idea that I came up with, uhm, early, er, er, when I became, er, City Attorney." Trutanich said.

Really? That would be news to Richard Llewellyn, Chief of Staff to Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz. Not only was the idea for the program based on a January 15, 2010 motion by CM Koretz, but sources at the City Attorney's Office insist that the origins of the program came from Llewellyn himself, when he was Chief Deputy City Attorney under Rocky Delgadillo, long before Trutanich "... became, er, City Attorney."

The January 15, 2011 origins of the idea Trutanich "came up with" appear to belong to
Councilmember Paul Koretz, and is actually based on an idea his Chief of Staff was
developing when working for former City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo.
The history of the ACE Program can be traced back through the City Clerk's website, under file number 10-0085, where CM Kortz's motion can be downloaded.

Perhaps Trutanich simply misspoke? But no. There was no mistake. Scarcely had he stumbled through his plagiaristic opening lie, than he repeated the lie, and of course, embellished it a little more.

"This is, er, er, er, a program that when I came up with it, I shared it with other cities, and now San Diego has it, and it's working just fine, Santa Monica has it and it's working just fine, and there are other cities up north, up in northern California that have employed the same administrative code enforcement program." Trutanich said.

How extremely generous of Trutanich to share his idea with other cities. Unfortunately, the truth is somewhat different. San Diego already had it's program in place, in force, up and running, long before Trutanich became City Attorney. In fact, early in 2010, Trutanich sent three of his senior Assistant City Attorneys to San Diego to meet with representatives from the San Diego City Attorney's Office to find out how the program worked.

Trutanich also left out a few inconvenient truths about his program, such as the identity of the so-called "administrative law judges" who will impose fines and penalties on the homeowners and small business owners who will likely top the list of ACE citations. The judges will be chosen by him.

They will also very likely be Deputy City Attorneys who Trutanich will select to act as his judges. That's certainly not part of San Diego's program, in fact the jaws of the San Diego City Attorneys dropped in astonishment when they heard of how Trutanich is planning on giving his version of Due Process to the unlucky recipients of ACE citations.

Trutanich did let a couple of truths slip past his lips when he was selling ACE.  One was that his ACE Program is really all about raising money on the backs of residents. The other is that the ACE Program will work "just like a traffic ticket." Yes, we all know how easy it is to fight a traffic ticket and how much money is raised that way.

The last lie Trutanich was questioned over concerned the claims made that he had "busted" the 38th St. Gang. Sheriff Baca explained that Trutanich was a member of an anti-gang task force, and that gave the lie credibility.

So far as we are aware, Sheriff Baca is not involved with the ACE Program, so it will be interesting to see if anyone would care to offer some equally lame excuse for more shameful grandstanding, lies and half-truths from Trutanich.

Interestingly, Trutanich's lies about his ACE Program were made on the very same broadcast where Trutanich stated that one of the reasons for his hesitancy over deciding whether or not to run for District Attorney, was that his son had just come back from Iraq, injured:

It appears that, again, Trutanich was being economical with the truth. It certainly is a fact that his son was in Iraq, but not as a military combatant; he is an Assistant US Attorney. It is also rumored that the injury was a sports injury, although Trutanich has been silent as to that.

Trutanich's ACE Program looks like it really should be given a big thumbs down when it finally comes before the City Council. After all, if you cannot trust the City Attorney to be truthful about where it came from, how can you trust him when he tells you where it's going?


Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Free For All - AFSCME Affiliation, Fundraising Frenzies & Faux Pas


The results of the hasty affiliation vote were announced on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 by ADDA President Hyatt Seligman in a members only email.

The ADDA email wasn't exactly news to ADDA members, nor the overwhelming majority of DDAs who learned of the results in The Metropolitan News Enterprise earlier in the day, together with some very outspoken criticism questioning both the process and the compatibility of alignment with a big labor union. The Met News quoted DDA David Berger, "who has been critical of the group’s leadership," as having "predicted that affiliation would pass" and that "there will be a great many DAs who will feel the election was rigged” since there is “an unhealthy lack of transparency about the way ADDA holds elections.”

"The prosecutor—who has previously accused ADDA President Hyatt Seligman and his predecessor, Deputy District Attorney Steve Ipsen, of having “hijacked” the group to serve their own purposes—said affiliation with AFSCME “just heightens my fear that there will never be truly representative leadership of the ADDA.”

The Met News also quoted DDA Steve Dickman, who "said he voted against affiliation because he opposed becoming aligned with “big labor” and he does not “want to have any of my dues going to support the kind of causes that I really don’t agree with.”
He said that most large labor unions, and “AFSCME in particular, have very different views politically and policy-wise than I do.” For example, Dickman said, AFSCME supported Proposition 66, which “would have gutted three-strikes,” but the ADDA had opposed it.

AFSCME is “very, very different than myself, and I think, most of my colleagues,” Dickman said."

On Thursday, June 23, 2011, the Met News published celebratory statements by Seligman and Ipsen, with Seligman "...reached on vacation out of state, heralded the outcome of Tuesday’s ballot count as “ a huge victory for our union, majority rule and freedom of choice.”

Past ADDA president and current board member Steve Ipsen also proclaimed it “a great day for prosecutors” that was “a long time in coming.”

The final tally came in at 133 votes in favor of affiliation with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and 24 opposed.

This “landslide victory,” Seligman said, “gives us the momentum to move forward with a vote on agency shop aided by a powerful and trusted ally with special expertise in this crucial area.”"

Ipsen was quoted extensively, far more so that Seligman, a fact that some might say underlines the reality of the situation that Ipsen, restored to the ADDA Board after members rejected his candidacy, is still very much in control with Seligman doing what he's told.

The "landslide" claim is frankly laughable.  A total of 157 votes were counted; 133 for, 24 against. The ADDA is believed to have as many as 300 members, so more than half the membership either decided not to vote, or voted against joining big labor. Or perhaps the dearth of 'No' votes represents a large number of ballots that never reached members, arrived too late, or were lost in the mail?

When those 133 votes are put in perspective with the 800 or so DDAs who will be eligible to vote in the as-yet unscheduled "agency shop" vote to compel all DDAs to pay dues to the ADDA/AFSCME, there may be a real landslide in the other direction, but it will not matter to Ipsen; he has secured his place in the ADDA's big labor backed leadership that will ensure that meritless lawsuits continue to define the Ipsen's approach to representing members.


With the June 30, 2011 deadline for DA candidates to report their fundraising successes, all candidates are working hard to bump Alan Jackson from his early lead.

Mario Trujillo has been holding fundraisers like a man possessed and has very quickly mastered the art of working the room. Trujillo had one fundraiser Thursday night, and has another scheduled for the weekend.

Bobby Grace also had a big fundraiser Thursday night in Downtown LA, part of BET Awards Week called "Jammin' for Justice."

Grace's attention to all-important fundraising will please a seemingly endless number of defendants who await their day in court against Grace - it usually doesn't turn out so well for them.

Jackie Lacey has also been busy fundraising, and has this event hosted by former DDA David Fleck, just before the reporting deadline.

Fleck tells the Dragnet that he had the idea to combine the launch of his new business litigation practice with providing support for Lacey. So far he says he's had a very enthusiastic response to Lacey's fundraiser.


Lobbyist John Ek beside his former criminal defense attorney City AttorneyCarmen Trutanich
and the controversial cocktail reception hosted by Ek in San Pedro
Can't end the week without mention of Carmen Trutanich's lobbyist-hosted San Pedro fundraiser. The blogs lit up on Trutanich after it was discovered that John Ek, a lobbyist that Trutanich once represented Ek when he was summoned to a Grand Jury proceeding into campaign finance misconduct, and who Trutanich had coincidentally, but surely inadvertently, recently proved to be a great ally in enabling Ek's client HMS Host to hold on to their concessionaire position at LAX. a flood of negative comments in the blogs. Famed former journalist turned Street-Hassle blogger, Mulholand Terrace, was the first to comment on the questionable link between the LAX, Ek, Trutanich and the fundraiser cocktail reception. Politics Without Mercy went further, delving further into the long and perhaps lucrative history between the lobbyist and Trutanich.

The point previously made about the lack of a campaign disclosure on Trutanich's invitation is, perhaps, better understood when you look at Jackie Lacey's invitation. The disclosure statement is a requirement imposed by the FPPC, and an ethical violation can result in a variety of punishments if a complaint is lodged.

Happy Weekend!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Carmen Trutanich - The New Jack Weiss?

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich seems to be learning all the wrong lessons as he blunders his way through the world of local politics, and could easily adopt the mantra "If you can't beat 'em, join em!" Increasingly, Trutanich appears to be emulating the antics of his one-time challenger for City Attorney, Jack Weiss who epitomized everything voters rejected in 2009.

Trutanich has progressed, it's seems, from thuggery, bullying, grandstanding and reneging on promises, to highly questionable fundraising with a campaign fundraiser hosted by a "notorious" City Hall lobbyist.

This from Politics Without Mercy:

City Attorney Carmen ‘Nuch’ Trutanich kicked off fundraising for his campaign to become District Attorney with a lavish cocktail reception in San Pedro.  The April 27, 2011 cocktail reception was co-hosted by the notorious City Hall lobbyist John Ek, and came less than a week after Trutanich’s ties to Ek were revealed in the Los Angeles Weekly in an expose “How Lobbyist John Ek Gets His Way In City Hall.”

At the time of the LA Weekly article, Trutanich was proving to be a true ally in Ek’s efforts allow his client, HMS Host, to hold on to its concessions at Los Angeles Airport where, according to the LA Weekly, HMS Host has given LAX a reputation for “lousy food.” Few would disagree that LAX food is horrible and expensive, and LAX  had selected new concessionaires to replace HMS Host. But Trutanich raised a conflict of interest issue that allowed HMS Host to continue to supply “lousy food.”

The Tru Is False blog also raised questions about Trutanich’s relationship with Ek, noting that while Trutanich was a criminal defense attorney, he represented Ek when Ek was called to testify in a Grand Jury proceeding regarding campaign finance issues. Ek never testified.

Given the question marks surrounding Trutanich’s close relationship with the LAX lobbyist, one might have thought that Trutanich would seek to distance himself from Ek as he attempts to bunny hop from the from the City Attorney’s Office to the DA’s Office. Apparently not. Today the LA Times revealed that Ek had been a co-host at Trutanich’s cocktail reception with the ink barely dry at the LA Weekly.

Trutanich had probably planned his San Pedro cocktail reception well in advance of the embarrassing details of his relationship with the LAX lobbyist being revealed, but was clearly not bothered by what many might well think is the appearance of impropriety, perhaps even a conflict of interest. Some might think that Trutanich’s lack of concern is indicative of an arrogance of office, a “F you, I’m the City Attorney and I can do what I like!” mentality that epitomizes Trutanich’s reputation as a bully and a thug.

As a host listed on Trutanich’s mailer, Ek is expected to produce $25,000 in campaign contributions – that’s the price of getting the top billing on the mailer. But today, Trutanich’s campaign spokesman, John Shallman, told the LA Times that “Ek did not raise any money or give any contributions at the event.” Apparently the Times did not get a satisfactory answer to the obvious follow-up question “Well, if Ek wasn’t giving Trutanich and money, nor persuading any of his clients to do so, why is Ek listed as a host where the invitation clearly states ‘$25,000 Host/Raise’?” There must be an innocent explanation, surely?

Trutanich has to report all campaign contributions by the end of this month. His ever growing list of enemies will be examining that list carefully to see if any of Ek’s clients are listed as contributors.

Although it is perplexing to some that Trutanich, who projects himself as a “do the right thing kinda guy,” would align himself so closely and publicly with a lobbyist, it is not the first time that Trutanich’s conduct has raised eyebrows. Barely days after taking office, Trutanich claimed that there were “criminal aspects” to AEG’s handling of the Michael Jackson Memorial at Staples Center, and announced that his Bureau of Investigation was gathering evidence. A year later, the criminal aspects investigation abruptly ended without either criminal charges or a statement from Trutanich. A search of Trutanich’s campaign finance records showed a  his Office Holder committee had received free tickets to a Lady Gaga concert at LA Live, a venue operated by, AEG. There’s surely an innocent explanation, but, like the LAX concession “assist” to John Ek, it really looks bad.

Some might think that voters have a reasonable expectation to demand they highest of ethical standards from a candidate seeking to be the county’s top prosecutor. That Trutanich should forgo campaign contributions that look questionable, even if there is plausible innocent explanation. That does not appear to be Trutanich’s belief,

It has also been pointed out that Trutanich’s invitation lacks the required disclosure notice stating “Paid for by the Committee to Elect …” A small detail, perhaps, but again, the job of District Attorney is one that demands an attention to detail, and that too seems lacking.

The primary election for Los Angeles County’s next District Attorney will take place on June 5, 2012.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

DA Candidate Steve Ipsen's Understanding of Term Limits Litigation "Incomplete" and "Inaccurate" - Met News Reports

OPINION: Steve Ipsen's candidacy to become District Attorney suffered an embarrassing setback when his understanding of the litigation declaring portions of the 2002 voter initiative (Measure B) to be unconstitutional, was described as  'Incomplete' and 'Inaccurate' in a letter to the Metropolitan News Enterprise published Monday, June 20, 2011.

DA candidate Steve Ipsen probably now wishes his late response to a
question posed by the Metropolitan News Enterprise never made it into print.

Ipsen's faux pas almost never made it to print as Ipsen had missed the deadline for submission of his responses to a series of questions posed by the Met News to all candidates. However, despite Ipsen's slip up over the lateness of his responses, the Met News nevertheless published his response to the question "Are you willing to make a pledge that, if elected, you would serve no more than two terms?"

Never one to miss an opportunity to take a jab at District Attorney Steve Cooley (against whom Ipsen suffered a humiliating defeat in his 2008 campaign, coming last of the three candidates), Ipsen's typically overly verbose response started with these words:

"In March of 2002, 61% percent of Los Angeles County voters passed an initiative which limited the District Attorney to three four year terms. That term limit was over turned by a lawsuit filed by the District Attorney of Los Angeles County ..." (Emphasis added).

Unfortunately for Ipsen, according to the lawyers who actually handled the case (Jones and Mayer), Measure B was challenged on constitutional grounds because, in addition to setting term limits for the Board of Supervisors (which was held to be constitutional), Measure B went further and unconstitutionally attempted to set term limits on the Sheriff, the District Attorney, and the County Assessor.

Ipsen's failure to mention the name of the voter initiative, let alone it's application to the Board of Supervisors,  the Sheriff and the County Assessor, could be explained by some as simply an uncharacteristic economy of words. Others might say it was the result of a hasty, ill-researched "incomplete" and "inaccurate" attempt to mislead and gratuitously attack the man who defeated him in 2008.

Had Ipsen been able to give a complete and accurate statement of the litigation surrounding Measure B, he would have been forced to reveal that Measure B was not challenged by the District Attorney, but by the Sheriff in People ex rel, LeRoy D. Baca v. County of Los Angeles, Case No. BC299486.

After Sheriff Baca's successful challenge to Measure B, a separate quo warranto legal action overseen by the California Attorney General clarified the ruling in the Baca case and established that as the Offices of the Los Angeles District Attorney and Assessor were similarly situated to the Sheriff, they were also not subject to the term limits imposed by Measure B.

Missing deadlines, giving misleading, "incomplete" and "inaccurate" information, and perhaps allowing a personal animus to cloud judgment, are perhaps not the best way to kick off a campaign for District Attorney.

Ipsen, however, is no stranger to controversy. He once testified as a defense witness for a twice convicted sex-offender who he described as "one of my closest friends," who may have shared Ipsen's residence, although Ipsen said he could not remember. Ipsen did, however, remember that when the person he described as "one of my closest friends" was arrested for his third sex offense, he was using Ipsen's vehicle and had access to Ipsen's DA badge. 

Ipsen also incurred the wrath of the California Supreme Court for committing prosecutorial misconduct in a murder case. Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar, writing for a 6-1 majority in In re Sakarias, (2005) 35 Cal.4th 140, said that Ipsen “violated [Sakarias’] due process rights by intentionally and without good faith justification arguing inconsistent and irreconcilable factual theories in the two trials, attributing to [Sakarias and co-defendant Tauno Waidla] in turn culpable acts that could have been committed by only one person.”

Perhaps we now know why Steve Cooley took the high ground during his interview on The Kevin James Show this past Sunday, and declined to comment on Ipsen's candidacy - it was only a one hour show.

But back to Ipsen's most recent credibility issue regarding Measure B. Ipsen was right about one thing; voters did indeed pass Measure B in 2002, but not by 61% as Ipsen stated, but by 63.57%

The primary election for LA's next District Attorney is on June 5, 2011. Should Ipsen succeed in winning the election, we can be assured that he will serve no more than three terms, we have his word on it.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Steve Cooley Talks To Kevin James; Blasts Trutanich, Praises Jackson, Trujillo & Lacey

Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley spent an hour on The Kevin James Show, KRLA 870AM this Sunday morning. Highlights of the show were Cooley's statement that had urged City Attorney Trutanich to remain as City Attorney; "that's what he promised me," Colley said, noting that Trutanich is best suited to the City as Trutanich's "primary experience as a lawyer has been in the civil arena,"  perhaps a polite way of saying Trutanich has broken his promise and is unsuitable for the position.

Cooley spoke about his decision to support Jackie Lacey for District Attorney, but also had high praise for Alan Jackson and Mario Trujillo.  Here is a ten minutes segment from the show.

Cooley said that some of the biggest challenges facing the DA's Office in the remaining 18 months of his "historic third term" will be dealing with the flood of prisoners who will be released from prison to ease overcrowding following the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Plata, and finding ways to deal with the growing problem of cyber crime. Cooley said that, so far, sufficient resources have not been dedicated to the timely gathering of forensic evidence of cyber crimes. Cooley said a huge investment was needed to meet the challenge of cyber crime, much in the same way as the DA's Office invested in training and understanding DNA evidence.

Although Cooley did not talk about the candidacies of Bobby Grace, Danette Meyers or Steve Ipsen, he did say of the current field of candidates (excluding Trutanich), that it was "very, very healthy" for the public to have such a wide field of candidates.

The primary election for LA's next District Attorney will be on June 5, 2012. It will be the first election for Los Angeles District Attorney in 46 years where no incumbent is running.

The full audio of Cooley's hour long interview on The Kevin James Show can be downloaded from KRLA 870AM's website.


Happy Father's Day - A Message from Joe Friday

It's Father's Day in LA, so what better than this message from Joe Friday to all the Dads out there who keep our streets safe.

From a 1967 episode of Dragnet, it's known as the 'Joe Friday Monologue,' others call it the 'Jesus Speech,' I think you can figure out the reason for that.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Friday Free For All - Late Edition: Trutanich Web of Lies Graphic Popular In City Hall, ADDA Affiliation "In the bag"


 The email from Sheriff Baca and our op-ed on how it lies about the level of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's peripheral involvement in the federal arrest and indictment of 38th St. Gangmembers, appears to have gone viral.

Comments suggest that the graphic showing Baca, Trutanich and his phony campaign caught in a web of lies, has been printed out widely at City Hall.

While many are taking delight that Trutanich's credibility is crumbling because of his serial grandstanding, others are concerned that it could harm their chances of getting rid of him before the end of his term.


DDA Rob Dver's YouTube testimonial may have tipped the balance amongst undecided ADDA members in favor of joining one of the largest unions in the State. The deadline for members' votes to be received is Monday, June 20, 2011.

Joining AFSCME is believed to be central to ADDA leaders Steve Ipsen and Hyatt Seligman's plan to force all DDAs to either pay dues to the ADDA and AFSCME, or be compelled to pay an equivalent sum (approx $900 a year) towards a non-religious 501(c)(3) organization. The compulsory fee plan is called an "Agency Shop" for reasons best know to organized labor aficionados.

Seligman, who had once complained that he was unable to send emails, had been bombarding members with daily missives urging a 'Yes' vote. Those emails dried up earlier this week, suggesting that Seligman and Ipsen believe they have the votes necessary to force through the first stage of their plan.

The Los Angeles Metropolitan News Enterprise provided some insight into the issues raised by both joining a large labor union and the compulsory fees issue.


The Dragnet will exclusively reveal further details of the extent of the ADDA security breach as soon as sources confirm the allegations contained in the anonymous comment posted at 12:15am in response to our previous article.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

DA Candidates In The News


According to LA Weekly's Gene Maddaus, playwright David Mamet  went to bat for bewigged murderer Phil Spector, perhaps to pimp an upcoming movie about the gun-toting seducer who will spend the rest of his miserable life behind bars thanks to Jackson:

"I don't think he's guilty. I definitely think there is reasonable doubt," Mamet says... "They should never have sent him away. Whether he did it or not, we'll never know but if he'd just been a regular citizen, they never would have indicted him."

"Really? Is L.A. known for its unduly harsh treatment of celebrity killers? Hadn't heard that," Maddaus opines.

DA Candidate Alan Jackson, who successfully prosecuted Spector, responded succinctly "When presented with all the facts, an objective and unbiased jury found Mr. Spector guilty of Lana Clarkson's murder. Subsequently, a panel of appellate justices determined that Mr. Spector's conviction was just and proper, citing "overwhelming evidence" of his guilt. I respect the jury's verdict and the process by which that verdict was arrived. The true injustice was suffered by Lana Clarkson, and continues to be suffered by her family and those who love and miss her."Jackson said.

Maddaus concludes his reportage noting that "Jackson is running for D.A., and is planning to use the Spector trial to burnish his crime-fighting image. He will also be a character in Mamet's movie, which should be interesting."


DA Candidate Danette Meyers clearly made a good impression with celebrity gossip moguls during her handling of the Lindsay Lohan case; they've asked Meyer to offer her opinion on the Casey Anthony murder case which is attracting national media attention.

The veteran prosecutor says the defendant must take the stand in her defense, and that she believes a first degree murder conviction is unlikely. "That is going to be a very difficult call for the jury, whether to convict Casey of first or second degree murder,” Meyers says.

Whether Meyers is courting a career in the media as a commentator, or was simply contacted by RadarOnline because of the coverage of the Lohan case, is unclear. What is clear is that those who thought Meyers would recede from the limelight after the Lohan case were wrong.


The conviction of Omar Armando Loera, a 34 year old transient, was widely reported as DA candidate Bobby Grace brought some closure for the victim's family in this disturbing case. Loera killed  bride-to-be of Cheree Osmanhodzic in her home after she returned home from shopping for a wedding dress with her mother. He stabbed Cheree and then set fire to her home.

The case horrified local residents in the quiet Valley Village neighborhood. City Councilman Paul Krekorian issued a statement saying Osmanhodzic's life "was tragically cut short by a senseless act of violence.''

"Today, we can say with complete certainty that Loera will never again see the light of day and no longer presents a danger to society,'' Krekorian said. Krekorian is widely expected to challenge  Carmen Trutanich for City Attorney in 2013.

Outside court, the victim's mother said she was thankful that the case had been resolved so quickly.

OK, it's hard to keep track of the number of high-profile murder cases that Bobby Grace has successfully prosecuted since announcing his candidacy, what is this, number four, five or six?


 Our TRU-Lies op-ed yesterday prompted this comment from someone purporting to be "MC" at the City Attorney's Office"

"Hey David Berger, we all know this is your blog. Instead of slamming the City Attorney's participation in local-federal task forces, why don't you pick up your phone and call the assigned prosecutors? Call me at 213-978-4099, and I will explain the work of our deputy city attorneys who file nuisance abatement actions to remove the bases of operations for these gang members. I think you should also talk to our law enforcement partners who respect our work and the additional legal remedies utilized by the LA City Attorney's Office. And perhaps you would like to talk to residents who are relieved and grateful that these gang members are removed from their neighborhoods. You act like you're a clever investigative journalist. To me, your blog in many instances comes across as the whining of a big baby."

 Whether or not the comment is genuinely from the City Attorney's is unclear, however, "MC" in any event fails to answer the questions that we posed regarding Sheriff Baca's false claim that "Trutanich busted the notorious 38th Street Gang— confiscating an arsenal of 80 firearms and removing 57 long time gang members from the streets."

  • How many criminal charges were filed by the City Attorney's Office against the 57 gangmembers "removed" by Trutanich? 
  • Did Trutanich, or even the City Attorney's Office, file any criminal charges in respect of those 80 weapons Trutanich "confiscated?" 

We believe the answers are, "Zero" and "No," and that's because Trutanich does not have jurisdiction to prosecute felony crimes, any more than he or Baca has the right to make the ridiculously false claims about the level of his involvement in this matter.


DA Candidates responded to the final question posed by the Met News in their commendable coverage of the six declared candidates: "What Makes You the Best Suited, Among the Present Candidates, to Be DA?"

Read the candidates' responses at the Met News Enterprise.


Sometime snarky bloggers Mulholland Terrace and Zuma Dogg had reported that City Attorney Trutanich was heard to say that he was delaying making a decision on whether to run for District Attorney because his son had been injured in Iraq.

Some had speculated was that Trutanich's son, who is not in the Military, but is an Assistant US Attorney and was believed to be in Iraq on a Dept. of Justice assignment, suffered a sports injury.

Political Pantloads have the audio of Trutanich's statement on their website and on YouTube:

The statement was made on Kevin James' radio show at KRLA 870AM on Sunday morning, June 5, 2011. The full audio can be streamed from KRLA 870AM in case anyone suggests that Trutanich's statement is being taken out of context.

Whether or not Trutanich Snr. was deliberately misleading listeners into thinking that his son was an injured war veteran to curry some sympathy and boost his flagging credibility over claims that he is not actively running for DA, or that he simply blurted something out without thinking (hard to imagine, not), I'm sure we all wish Trutanich Jnr. a speedy recovery.

Publication of our usual "Friday Free For All" has been delayed while we investigate the comment posted at 12:15AM this morning.
Please return to The Dragnet for a full report.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Baca Backs Bogus Trutanich Campaign Email Lie

OPINION: As expected, Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca was questioned by Metropolitan News Enterprise staff reporter Kenneth Ofgang regarding a misleadingly false email sent his name from an email account operated by Trutanich's bogus campaign.

A statement in that email falsely claimed that "Trutanich busted the notorious 38th Street Gang— confiscating an arsenal of 80 firearms and removing 57 long time gang members from the streets."

"Oh what a tangled web we weave" might best describe Sheriff Baca's
explanation for his claims that Trutanich "busted" the notorious 38th St. Gang
and confiscated 80 weapons and removed 57 gang members.

Sheriff Baca, perhaps wisely, avoided answering questions directly and instead, responding through his spokesman, Steve Whitmore, said "the statement was accurate because Trutanich served on an anti-gang task force that was responsible for the effort," but could offer no explanation as to why the Los Angeles Times report of the task force's commendable efforts failed to even mention Trutanich, let alone credit him with the claimed central role,

It seems that, according to Sheriff Baca, serving on a task force means "busting a gang," "confiscating" weapons, and "removing" gang members. Sadly, many will feel that the Sheriff's explanation does not even come close to passing the straight-face test.

The  Sheriff's insistence that Trutanich was the "Buster" may come as a surprise to the brave men and women of the LAPD, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who actually arrested 37 defendants on federal indictments on the day of the sweep, and already had 14 in custody, with 7 others remaining at large. The surprise, of course, is that City Attorney Trutanich did not participate in that activity, other than to hog the limelight at the ensuing press conference.

While Trutanich's membership of the task force at least explains Trutanich's tenuous connection to the serious work of law enforcement in arresting criminal gang members, the statement that he "confiscated weapons" is patently false. Equally, the suggestion that Trutanich removed "57 gangmembers" is wholly without merit.

A few more questions might have clarified the utterly deceptive nature of these claims: How many criminal charges were filed by the City Attorney's Office against the 57 gangmembers "removed" by Trutanich? Did Trutanich, or even the City Attorney's Office, file any criminal charges in respect of those 80 weapons Trutanich "confiscated?" The answers are, of course, "Zero" and "No," and that's because Trutanich does not have jurisdiction to prosecute felony crimes, any more than he has the right to make the ridiculously false claims about the level of his involvement in this matter.

By the Sheriff and Trutanich's standards, the meter maids who controlled traffic, sealing off streets on the day of the raid, all "Busted the notorious 38th St Gang," "confiscated" weapons, and "removed" 57 gangmembers. Pathetic seems to be the word that sums up what many now understand to be an ill conceived attempt to support what can only be described as a lie.

That the Sheriff of Los Angeles, the County's "Top Cop," should feel compelled to perpetuate this lie is a sad reflection on the way a claimed 25 year friendship with Trutanich can cloud judgement. No peace officer would ever offer evidence as incredulous as this and expect to retain any degree of credibility.

If the Sheriff's excuse for his statement was not all that might have been hoped for, the fact that the media are taking note of Trutanich's grandstanding might serve as a warning to Trutanich to be more careful in making claims that cannot be supported by any stretch of the imagination, let alone fact.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Briefs


Today's Met News is expected to publish additional statements from all six candidates for District Attorney. In their previous article, Steve Ipsen's responses arrived too late for publication, however, we understand that he will be included in today's article.

No statements are expected from City Attorney Carmen Trutanich. He has yet to announce his candidacy and continues to hide behind his bogus campaign website aimed at fooling people that he is being pressured by law enforcement officers to run for DA.

Be sure to read today's Met News.


It's almost two weeks since anonymous reports started being received that an ADDA Board Member lost a laptop containing personal details of DDAs. The reports vary in details, but the essence appears to be that either a county or personal laptop was stolen from the ADDA Board Member's vehicle and the laptop contained members' scanned checks and a database of all members.

The ADDA has apparently chosen not to confirm or deny the reports, which tends to suggest that the reports are true, and perhaps the security breach is worse than we know.


The lie, attributed to Sheriff Lee Baca through Trutanich's bogus campaign's Gmail account quotes Baca stating that "Trutanich busted the notorious 38th Street Gang— confiscating an arsenal of 80 firearms and removing 57 long time gang members from the streets." The lie, we understand, has attracted the interest of the media.

Sheriff Baca is understood to be sought for interview by various reporters who will no doubt ask Baca whether he wrote the email attributed to him, or even read it.

Some comments received by the Dragnet in response to our exclusive TRU-Lies article, defended Baca's lie because, according to a press release from Trutanich, his office filed an after-the-fact injunction against the 38th St. Gang. Another, however, noted that if Trutanich had done anything worthy of mention, it would have been reported somewhere. The LA Times certainly did not mention Trutanich at all, and certainly not as a crime fighter who "busted" anything, except perhaps his gut when he reads the reports of his blatant grandstanding.


As the deadline approaches for ADDA dues paying members to cast their votes in favor or against joining one of the states' largest labor unions, AFSCME, the ADDA Board Majority released a YouTube video featuring DDA Rob Dver's "Testimonial" in support of joining AFSCME.

Dver states that Steve Ipsen, Hyatt Seligman and Frank Tavelman's have all given him assurances about the wisdom of joining AFSCME and those assurances have to be given "a certain amount of deference." That, howver, appears to be the sum and substance of his testimonial.

Dver does state that he has seen documents regarding the agreement with AFSCME, which poses the question, if Dver can see those documents, why are they not being shared with other members?

Equally, as the issues of affiliation, joining AFSCME, and the Agency Shop are so clearly intertwined, some may wonder why Rob Dver's YouTube video is "unlisted" meaning only those with a link can view it. Once again, the ADDA Board Majority does appear to favor an unhealthy amount of secrecy in the way it conducts it's purported representation of all DDAs.

If the ADDA Board Majority wishes to avail itself of the Dragnet, they are free to post a link to Dver's YouTube here, and perhaps respond to the Security Breach issue at the same time.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Free For All - TRU Lies & Real DA Candidates Interviewed


City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's bogus campaign sent out an email blast purporting to come from Sheriff Lee Baca, but actually sent from the campaign's Gmail account.

The email appears to come from Sheriff Baca, but was sent from a GMAIL account
The "Urgent Message from Sheriff Baca" implores the reader to sign a petition that will no doubt be used by Trutanich to try to weasel his way out of his sworn promise not to do what he is currently doing; using the City Attorney's Office as a springboard to higher office.

No campaign donations are being sought, raising questions about how much money is being spent on this bogus campaign, and by whom. Doubtless all genuine candidates will be examining Trutanich's campaign statement carefully once it becomes available at the end of the month.

Beyond the questionable financing of this bogus campaign is the content of the email itself. Although attributed to Sheriff Baca, some may question whether the Sheriff actually wrote it, or even read it, because it appears to contain a lie. "Trutanich busted the notorious 38th Street Gang— confiscating an arsenal of 80 firearms and removing 57 long time gang members from the streets."

Trutanich's involvement with the arrest of 57 notorious 38th Street Gangmembers was so peripheral that it did not even rate a mention in the Los Angeles Times article about the take-down, published on February 1, 2011.

According to the Times "During the pre-dawn raids Tuesday, LAPD officers and special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested 37 defendants on federal indictments; 20 more people were taken into custody on state weapons and narcotics charges. Federal prosecutors already had 14 defendants named in the federal cases in custody. Seven fugitives remained at large."

No mention of Trutanich or the City Attorney's Office, and that's because, despite Trutanich's odd relationship with the truth, the fact remains that he does not have the power to arrest or "bust" gang members charged with felonies, federal felonies in this case.

The blatant falsity of this statement is surprising even by Trutanich's low standards for self-aggrandizing and shameless self-promotion. But to attribute a lie to Sheriff Baca, must now put into serious doubt whether Baca will continue to endorse Trutanich, or throw him under the bus like Steve Cooley did.

The sheer audacity of Trutanich's lie eclipses the rather humorous, but equally ridiculous story doing the rounds of the blogs, that Trutanich has to delay his decision on running for District Attorney because his son has been injured in Iraq. The, reality, according to Street-Hassle's Mulholland Terrace, is that Trutanich's son, an Assistant US Attorney, was injured during a soccer match while working for the Dept. of Justice in Iraq. Credit to the original report from Zuma Dogg at L.A. City


All six candidates for Los Angeles District Attorney submitted their answers to a series of questions posed by the Metropolitan News Enterprise.

Unfortunately for Steve Ipsen, his responses were received too late to be published. Sources indicate that Ipsen initially declined to respond and even cancelled an appointment to be photographed. A late change of heart, perhaps, convinced Ipsen that declining the opportunity to get some ink was not a good idea after all.

Read all the candidates' responses at the Metropolitan News Enterprise.

Enjoy the weekend.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

ADDA Board Majority Calls For Help With Agency Shop - Proofreader Needed

It seems not so long ago ADDA President Hyatt Seligman was bemoaning his inability to communicate. However, times change and ADDA members are now receiving a virtual flood of emails regarding affiliation with AFSCME.

In his latest missive, Seligman calls for volunteers with the Agency Shop campaign; the imposition of compulsory member dues for all DDAs in Grades I through IV.

Seligman's "Call For Agency Shop Volunteers" asks those wishing to assist in the ADDA Board Majority's plan to impose compulsory dues on non members, to email him. Seligman does not specify exactly what volunteers will be required to do.

The upcoming Affiliation vote is critical to the success of an Agency Shop as it means a million dollars in dues for AFSCME over the three year deal.

One member who is voting 'NO' on affiliation, supplied the Dragnet with a copy of the ballot:

Read it carefully, as the nay-saying ADDA member did, (and as the ADDA Board Majority obviously did not) and note the typo for those who are voting 'NO.'

Perhaps Seligman believes that nobody will vote 'NO' anyway, so the typo is irrelevant, but perhaps he should seek some proofreaders as volunteers?


Jackie Lacey Launches "Official" Campaign for District Attorney 2012

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey officially launched her campaign to become LA's next District Attorney with this YouTube video setting out her platform:

Lacey's announcement was widely reported in the media, with the Los Angeles Times, LA Daily News, and NPR reporting variously on her candidacy.

Lacey also updated her website,

The updated website is equipped with the all-important "Contribute" button, however, it is understood that Lacey will not accept contributions from DDAs in view of her position as Chief Deputy. In doing so, Lacey is following a principal establish by Steve Cooley.

There's no rule that we are aware of against becoming a "Friend" on Lacey's FaceBook page. When we last took our FaceBook Friend Poll, Lacey was in 5th place with 154 friends, she now has 206, and an equally all-important FaceBook button on her website.

But back to that "Contribute" button. It's no doubt going to get tested on Thursday when Steve Cooley hosts a luncheon for Lacey at the City Club. Rumors persist that the event is "over subscribed."


Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Briefs


Comments continue to be posted regarding an unconfirmed rumor suggesting that an ADDA Board Member scanned a number of $30 checks given to the ADDA to allow DDAs to participate in a vote last year. The comments suggest that scanned checks were stored on a laptop computer which was subsequently stolen from the ADDA Board Member's vehicle. As checks contain not only bank account numbers, but often home addresses, spouses names, and phone numbers, security concerns were raised.

Debate raged between those who believe that the ADDA were under a legal duty to report the loss of confidential data, and those who believe that because the data was encrypted, no legal duty exists to warn potential victims of the risks of identity theft or risks to their personal safety.

The ADDA has neither confirmed nor denied the rumor, however, given that certain comments contained information that could only have been know by those concerned (such as that an encrypted county laptop was involved), the ADDA position appears to be that the loss of encrypted confidential information does not have to be reported.

We again invite ADDA President Hyatt Seligman to confirm or deny this rumor, and note that Seligman has had ample opportunity to do so.


(Credit: PoliticsWithoutMercy blog)
The Los Angeles Times published a report questioning the fate of the Los Angeles City Council's order that the City Attorney Trutanich prepare an ordinance putting into effect their desire to boycott the State of Arizona as a result of Arizona's controversial anti-illegal immigration law.

The Council ordered Trutanich to prepare the ordinance last year, however, no ordinance has been forthcoming. Politics Without Mercy suggests that Trutanich has delayed the ordinance in order to send "a secret “thumbs-up” to Arizona" and is "building support from his hard-core right wing voter base for his stated ambition to become Los Angeles’ District Attorney next year."

The City Hall Insider, however, suggests that Trutanich is not as concerned with the rights or wrongs of the boycott, as he is in showing the City Council, and in particular Councilmember Ed Reyes, who's in charge. "Whether Trutanich is obstructing the passage of the Arizona boycott purely to put CM Reyes in his place, or to appeal to his voter base as he ramps up his District Attorney campaign, there is little that CM Reyes or the City Council can do about it. Trutanich can point to budget cuts that have forced him to prioritize the demands on his staff and can hold off the boycott indefinitely."

Trutanich did not respond to the LA Times article directly, however a spokesman for Trutanich told the LA Times that "an ordinance was still in the works." Perhaps he should have added, "and the check's in the mail?" as the intended message is pretty clear; Trutanich has figured out how to control the City Council and hit them where it hurts. He is known for having an "aggressive stance," and his delays and frustration of the City Council is bound to bring cheer to those who support him.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Free For All - DA Candidates Fundraising & ADDA Affiliation

We're waiting for reports of District Attorney candidate Jackie Lacey's fundraiser at the City Club last night. The event has hosted by Steve Cooley, and was rumored to be "sold out." If we don't get a tip then we'll have to wait until the end of the month when all campaigns have to report their fundraising achievements.

UPDATED 9:30PM: Our mistake - that date of  Lacey's City Club fundraiser is June 9. Apologies for the error, and thank to our eagle-eyes informant for the correction.

We expect DA candidate Mario Trujillo to feature close or top of the list, perhaps displacing current leader, DA candidate Alan Jackson, who has been building on the momentum of his $100k launch, as well as securing a very creditworthy conviction in the Fayed murder case.

Eyes too, will be on Carmen Trutanich's bogus "Draft Trutanich for DA" campaign. The City Attorney has come under fire for not paying enough attention to his duties and concentrating too much on gaining media attention. We are talking about the current City Attorney Trutanich, not his predecessor Rocky Delgadillo.

Danette Meyers must be enjoying a break from handling the Lindsay Lohan case so that she can concentrate on fundraising. We understand that Hamid Towfigh, a former DDA and current campaign manager has promised to raise $500k for her, a healthy goal.

How DA candidate Bobby Grace finds the time to campaign is a mystery. The likeable prosecutor has been racking up conviction after conviction in serious cases, and his commitment to his job is commendable.

Not too much fundraiing should be expected from DA Candidate Steve Ipsen. Last to enter the race, he could nevertheless surprise given his connections to organized labor.

ADDA Affiliation
Ballots were mailed out and dues-paying members should have received them. We are told that the "NO" portion of the ballot contains a typo. A coincidence, surely ...

Rumors suggest that AFSCME has saved the ADDA from bankruptcy by paying off the ADDA's legal fees liabilities arising from the loss of an appeal. AFSCME has stumped up in the region of $140k, although it is not known whether that will have to be repaid following affiliation or simply come out of the $1M that AFSCME will receive in member dues during the 3-year deal.

A late comment to our last post suggests that the ADDA scanned members' dues checks and that a laptop containing that data was stolen. If true, the ADDA was required to warn members of the risk of identity theft under California Civil Code Section 1798.82(a). Hopefully, now that ADDA President Hyatt Seligman has rediscovered his ability to send emails, he can either confirm or deny the suggestion.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Alan Jackson Secures Death Penalty Verdict In High Profile Case

District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson busy campaign commitments did not interfere with his trial skills. Jackson successfully prosecuted gold trader James Fayed for the 2008 murder of his wife, Pamela, in a Century City parking garage.

Today the jury returned the death penalty verdict, as reported in the LA Times.

Jackson's successful prosecution in this complex case stands in marked contrast to the flagging fortunes of opponent City Attorney Carmen 'Nuch' Trutanich, according to  The Politics Without Mercy blog. PWM reports that Councilmember Bernard Parks, is recommending that Trutanich be stripped of the power to represent the City of Los Angeles in civil cases.

PWM speculates that Parks, who chairs the City Council's Budget and Finance Committee, may have grown alarmed at the recent string of losses in cases handled by Trutanich, as well as his increasing commitments to his campaign to become District Attorney. Those commitments, PWM says, "could result in lapses of judgment and attention to the job of actually being City Attorney."