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.



Anonymous said...

Was Trutanich even at the command post? Since they normally set up at 4-5 am to be ready to execute at 7 am, my guess is that he was sleeping in while the 'busting' and 'confiscating' was going on.

Anonymous said...

Was Trutanich even at the command post? Since they start to gather at the command post around 4-5 am to be ready for the 7 am take down, I'm guessing he was still sleeping in while the "busting" and "confiscating" was going on.

Anonymous said...

Berger, now that you've been outed by the Met News, why don't you use your own name, ya big phony?

Now that everyone knows it's you, maybe they'll start to ask questions of why you were summarily fired from the City Attorney's office.

And why Steve Cooley pays you to publish political smears against his opponents?

I guess we'll have to wait til you're on the stand under oath.

Can't wait.

Anonymous said...

Judging by the comment from the ADDA troll above, and others like it that threaten to discourage free speech by expensive litigation, it is clear why Ipsen needs AFSCME to continue his scare tactics. Berger's comments to the Met News were really appreciated by the vast majority, the silent majority who did not have a voice until he started the Dragnet. The ADDA must hate Berger more than Cooley right now, but we all are behind him on this one. Screw you Ipsen, go ahead and sue Berger, you'll just be wasting more members money, and maybe some of AFSCME's too. How did we ever get such a bunch of sorry-assed failures to represent us?

Anonymous said...

If Berger thinks Ipsen is paying attention to this blog, it proves Berger is a complete narcissist glorifying himself to relevancy. Doubt Berger will be added to the lawsuit. Not necessary.

Anonymous said...

1:58PM someone is paying attention to this blog. The whole deal with Trutanich's campaign of lies started with the Dragnet. Also, almost everyone at Airport and CCB reads the Dragnet. Who cares what Ipsen reads anyway. He is not going to get higher than 4th in the primaries anyway.

MC said...

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.

Anonymous said...

Well said MC!

Anonymous said...

MC, thanks for mentioning the hard work of Deputy City Attorneys which I'm sure we all appreciate. I don't think Windscale (if he is David Berger) intended to belittle DCAs, and I think you know that too. Most of the DCAs I know enjoy the Dragnet as much as most of the DDAs (except the ADDA trolls) Just this morning I saw a DCA using a laptop outside Dept. 40 browsing the Dragnet and having a joke with a colleague about it. They seemed to think it was pretty funny and not an insult.

By your own admission, though, filing "nuisance abatement actions" is a very long way away from the totally misleading statement made by Sheriff Baca. Sure the City Attorney's Office was involved in filling abatements and/or injunctions after the LAPD and the Feds made the arrests and confiscated weapons, but this was a law enforcement action driven by the US Attorney pursuant to a federal indictment. I'm sure you would agree that Trutanich did not arrest anyone, nor did he confiscate any weapons. Yet that was what the Sheriff said.

We all know why Trutanich is grandstanding, Rocky did exactly the same thing. But I do think the Dragnet and the Met News were right to question the claim that Trutanich busted anything.

As a prosecutor, credibility is everything. It does not make the hard work of DCAs any easier when Trutanich goes around making a fool of himself with false claims.

By the way, is it true that Trutanich's son was injured in Iraq playing soccer? Trutanich said his son was injured in Iraq, but did not say it was a sports injury.