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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Trutanich Takes Down Billboards - For Now

In what appears to be acceptance of the Billboard Blunder brought to light last week, it is believed that City Attorney Carmen Trutanich ordered the removal of his four billboards from outside his former campaign headquarters.

Before: Trutanich's billboards blighted
Ventura Blvd. for over two years.

 A tip-off received by the Dragnet stated that Trutanich was devastated by the negative attention that had been drawn to this issue.

The situation was not, apparently, helped by the shambolic responses of Trutanich's deputy and a Building and Safety inspector. Those responses, perhaps best characterized as a botched attempted cover-up, were published in the Los Angeles Metropolitan News Enterprise on Friday, August 26, 2011.

In essence, Trutanich's deputy claimed that the determination of the legality of billboards was not the function of the City Attorney's Office; a statement that would be laughable if it were not so patently false. 
After: As of Tuesday evening, Trutanich's off-site signs had been removed.
 But it was the statements of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety inspector Luke Zamparini that eclipsed the incredulity of Trutanich's farcical response. Zamparini claimed that Trutanich's billboards were "temporary" and that temporary signs don't require permits. Quite how Zamparini could say that when Trutanich's billboards had been displayed for over two years is something that defies belief.

It is understood that "Trutanich's Billboard Blunder" and the pathetic cover-up rapidly became the talk of City Hall, doubtless assisted by the damning remarks published in CityWatchLA condemning Trutanich's "vanity and hypocrisy" over this matter. With the pressure building on Trutanich to follow his own law and avoid further embarrassment, it seems that Trutanich acted swiftly to try to contain the damage and abandoned any attempt to try to justify the continued presence of these billboards.

The damage, however, has been done. The billboard bandits are likely to seize on the equivocal and inconsistent statements concerning the interpretation of the city's billboard laws and re-ignite the billboard blight bonanza.

Furthermore, the credibility of both the City Attorney's Office and the Dept. of Building and Safety has now been badly damaged. This comes at a time when Trutanich has been trying to convince the City Council that he can be trusted to oversee the Administrative Citation Enforcement ("ACE") Program. The ACE Program empowers the Dept. of Building and Safety to issue citations to homeowners and businesses for minor code violations without having to use the court system to collect the "administrative penalties." That is because Trutanich will run his own kangaroo court system to collect those penalties.

Trutanich has promoted ACE as a revenue generating machine, capable of restoring much needed  money to the General Fund. After witnessing the scandalous behavior of the City Attorney's Office and the Dept. of Building and Safety over Trutanich's Billboard Blunder, the Council would be unwise to entrust Trutanich with these powers. They have now seen how the two offices interact, and it is not a healthy or transparent relationship.

But back to the billboards. It is highly likely that new Trutanich billboards will reappear shortly. Trutanich recently told the Studio City Chamber of Commerce that he was "already looking for a local storefront for an office to run his district attorney campaign." Of course, should Trutanich establish such an office, any new billboards would be "on-site" and not subject to his citywide ban on "off-site" signs. It is not known whether Trutanich will return to the site of his former campaign headquarters; there's an old adage about people who return to the scene of the crime. It is one that Trutanich might want to avoid...

&tc.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Trutanich Accused of Vanity & Hypocrisy over Billboard Blunder

Proving evermore to be the phony politician he claims not to be, Carmen Trutanich's botched cover-up of his Billboard Blunder has all the ingredients of a faux pas that could have been avoided with a simple mea culpa but will now develop into a full-blown scandal that will haunt him to election defeat.

Rather than face the music and remove his billboards because they appear to be illegal off-site signs, Trutanich hid behind a deputy who declined to comment, claiming that the City Attorney's Office does not determine the legality of signs.

It was a specious claim, quickly dispelled in an article published Monday, August 29, 2011, by CityWatchLA. Of course the City Attorney's Office determines the legality or otherwise of any alleged violation of the Los Angeles Municipal Code; that's their job. It's a job that Trutanich has grandstanded about ever since he threatened to arrest Councilmember Jan Perry and Building & Safety officials over their attempts to grant AEG billboard permits for their Regency Cinema complex at LA Live, and then over 'Dragongate' where Trutantanich jailed a Los Angeles businessman on a $1M bail for posting a sign on his office building facing the Oscars ceremony.

The question of whether Trutanich's billboards are legal or not now becomes secondary to the larger issue; the cover up. Did Trutanich instruct his deputy to give that misleading statement? If he did not give those orders, is he so consumed with his campaign to become District Attorney that his is derelict in his duties as City Attorney?

Who was it who said "there is no innocent explanation"?

&tc.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Trutanich's Billboards "Should Be Taken Down"

The Los Angeles City Attorney's billboards on Ventura Boulevard "Should be taken down" Dennis Hathaway, president of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight, told the Los Angeles Metropolitan News Enterprise, Friday, August 26, 2011.

Trutanich's Billboard Must Go

Despite claims that Carmen Trutanich's off-site billboards are not "Illegal Advertisements," Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety Inspector Luke Zamparini told the Met News that Trutanich's billboards “can’t stay up forever.”

Zamparini stated that he had viewed one of Trutanich's billboards using Google Maps and believed that “it looks like a vinyl sign that’s just stuck up there like a 'Grand Opening' or 'Going Out of Business' sign occasionally used by businesses."

It's hard to imagine what Zamparini was actually looking at when he made his determination that Trutanich's billboard was a “temporary sign like that doesn’t require a permit,” because the photo we produced in our August 24, 2011 exclusive "Trutanich Billboard Blunder?" clearly depicts a permanent sign which has been in place for over 2 years.

We also used Google Maps to try to understand the rationale behind Zamparini's determination, and challenge any reader to agree that the Google Maps picture shows anything other than a permanent sign.

The Google Maps picture viewed by LADBS Inspector Zamparini
does not appear to depict a temporary vinyl sign.
The Met News also spoke to the City Attorney's Office about Trutanich's seemingly illegal off-site billboards, however, Trutanich did not respond personally, perhaps electing to hide behind a deputy who made the rather surprising statement that "the determination of the signs’ legality is not one that is made by his [the City Attorney's] office," adding that “we’ll defer to any other department or office to make that decision.”

Now that Inspector Zamparini has decided that the signs cannot remain forever, we trust that Trutanich will comply with the law and remove his billboards before Zamparini conducts a field inspection and determines the sign to be permanent and not a “temporary sign" "that doesn’t require a permit.”

As previously stated, if Zamparini determines the four Trutanich billboards to be in violation of the city's law, the fines of $1,000 a day per sign amounts to over $2.9M, which the city would most likely welcome in the midst of their budget crisis.

&tc.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Free For All

POSSIBLE SOLUTION TO TRUTANICH BILLBOARD BLIGHT

In order to fully comply with campaign finance laws,
the Trutanich "LIAR" ads would have to include the following statement
"Paid for by the Committee to Elect Carmen Trutanich as District Attorney 2012"
City Attorney Carmen Trutanich could change his Ventura Blvd. signs to conform to his campaign pledge in a move that would stymie attempts to investigate or prosecute any violation of his citywide ban on new off site billboards.

Trutanich signed a sworn statement detailing the penalties for violating his promise not to run for higher office until he had served a full first term as City Attorney, and sought a second term. In October 2009, Trutanich told confidantes that he would run for District Attorney if Steve Cooley became Attorney General, triggering the provision that he must pay $100,000 for full page advertisements in LA newspapers proclaiming himself to be a "LIAR." The billboard option would seem to be a cost-effective solution as rumors suggest that Trutanich does not have to pay for the advertising space on Ventura Blvd.

Just a suggestion ...

TRUTANICH WEIGHS IN ON BUS BILLBOARD BLIGHT


Proving that he is fully capable of speaking out of both sides of his mouth, the media attention needy City Attorney Trutanich has weighed in on the potential illegality of Santa Monica buses carrying digital billboards. More at BanBillboard Blight.org.

MARIO TRUJILLO ANNOUNCES ENDORSEMENT

Fundraising frontrunner Mario Trujillo announced that he has received the endorsement of State Assemblyman Joe Coto, a former teacher and previous chair of the Latino Caucus.

Trujillo used his Twitter account to make the announcement.

&tc.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Trutanich Billboard Blunder?

DRAGNET EXCLUSIVE: He's the hero of the anti-billboard movement in Los Angeles. He has threatened to arrest city workers over billboards. His million dollar bail for an Oscars billboard garnered him the national headlines he so desperately craves, and his scorched earth policy on billboards earned him a $2M settlement check that he "bizarrely" tried to use for a political payoff to a campaign supporter.

But when it comes to his own billboards, it seems that City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has a different set of rules.


Four billboards on Ventura Blvd. currently advertise Carmen Trutanich City Attorney. Located at the Allen Realty Plaza (12522 to 12528 Ventura Blvd.), the billboards appear to be a carryover from the time during 2008-2009 when Trutanich leased his campaign headquarters at 12524 Ventura Blvd.

Two of the billboards (double sided shown above) are fairly prominent, the other double sided billboards (below) simply promote Trutanich's former campaign website: www.TRU09.com.


During the time Trutanich occupied 12524 Ventura Blvd., the billboards were "On Site" advertisements. In the lingo of billboard law, they advertised goods, services or activities available at the location. The billboards stated "Carmen Trutanich FOR City Attorney," the activity taking place at 12524 Ventura Blvd.

However, when Trutanich vacated his HQ in July 2009, Trutanich's billboards became "Off Site" advertisements, meaning that they advertised something taking place away from the location of the billboard.

Following Trutanich's election victory, his billboards were
altered to remove the word "for"
After Trutanich quit the location, the billboards remained. It appears, however, that they were not simply forgotten. In fact they were changed - the word "FOR" was covered up to convey the new message "Carmen Trutanich City Attorney."

Under Trutanich's own law, all billboards in Los Angeles require permits. No doubt Allen Realty Plaza had, and has, valid permits for "On Site" billboards, in other words, billboards advertising the activities of current tenants. However, there is also no doubt that no valid permit exists for any of Trutanich's "Off Site" billboards.

The reason for that is because one of Trutanich's first scorched earth policies was to ban the issuance of any new "Off Site" billboard permits. That was why he threatened to arrest Councilmember Jan Perry, AEG's Tim Leiweke, and several Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety workers if they issued permits for AEG's Regency Cinema at LA Live.

According to information provided by Dennis Hathaway's Ban Billboard Blight organization, illegal off site billboards violate Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) section 91.6201.

Dennis Hathaway has been a leader amongst activists seeking to
ban illegal billboard advertising like Trutanich's un-permitted off site billboards

Hathaway has links to all relevant billboard laws, and LAMC section 91.6202.2 describes the penalties for violators. If Trutanich's un-permitted off site billboards are in violation of the LAMC, the penalties are extreme, punishable by "a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment."

Furthermore, "Each violation of the provisions of this division and each day during which such violation is committed or continues is a separate offense." Thus, each of Trutanich's four billboards could result in fines of $1,000 a day for the two years since Trutanich quit his Ventura Blvd. headquarters and moved into City Hall. That amounts to a staggering $2.92M in fines, as well as the possibility of 24 months in jail for each of the 730 days since Trutanich became City Attorney.

Of course that's a disproportionate amount of punishment for what Trutanich probably considers to be be a minor violation of his law, if a violation at all. But then again, Trutanich pursued billboard violators mercilessly regardless of the magnitude of the violation.

Regardless of whether Trutanich's billboards constitute a major or minor violation of his own law, he could nevertheless try to claim that his billboards are exempt from his law. Under LAMC section 91.6201.4 "an ideological, political or other noncommercial message" is not covered by his law.

The problem for Trutanich is that his billboards likely would not qualify for the "political" exception because they fail to display the disclosure statements required by the Fair Political Practices Commission and the City Ethics Commission, both of which require clear identification of who has paid for the "political message."

So if Trutanich's billboards are not exempt because they are not "political," could they be exempt as "ideological or noncommercial?" The problem here is that Trutanich himself considers ideological or noncommercial signs to be subject to his law.
Trutanich believed that ideological and noncommercial signs
like the Statue of Liberty were covered by his law banning un-permitted signs
Furthermore, Trutanich's billboards advertising his old campaign website clearly are commercial. The TRU09.com website now appears to be an online retailer of electronic goods, clearly a commercial enterprise.

Whichever way you look at it, Trutanich does seem to be displaying a double standard when it comes to the enforcement of billboard laws. He, above all in Los Angeles, should not be engaged in questionable billboard activity and should be setting an example of how to follow his law, not flout it.


Of course the interesting question that arises is "Who will investigate Trutanich's seemingly illegal billboards?" Clearly Trutanich's City Attorney's Office cannot investigate or prosecute Trutanich, the conflict of interest would be so obvious that even Trutanich could see it. Interestingly, for the same reason, the City Attorney's Office cannot defend Trutanich either; he would have to hire his own defense attorney just as Rocky Delgadillo did when he hired Trutanich.

What about the District Attorney's Office? Could Steve Cooley's Public Integrity Division be tasked with the investigation, or would the current open hostility between Trutanich and his former supporter Cooley, create a conflict of interest there? That would leave either the Attorney General's Office or the US Attorney's Office with jurisdiction to investigate and if necessary prosecute any violation they find. We do hope they follow Trutanich's guidelines on setting bail...

&tc.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday's Briefs

TRUTANICH'S LITTLE KNOWN RELATIONSHIP WITH DELGADILLO COULD EXPLAIN WHY LITTLE HAS CHANGED AT THE CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE

A spate of losses in discrimination lawsuits, low staff turnout at the recent third annual City Attorney Family BBQ, and widespread reports of rank and file disaffection can be traced to a case of deja vu all over again with City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.

They say that what goes around comes around, and it appears that the man who "is not looking for the next run" and who "does not talk politics at  his desk" has something of a rap sheet when it comes to poor employee relations; he oversaw, if not orchestrated, the defense of a wrongful termination lawsuit for Rocky Delgadillo. The Lynn Magnandonovan litigation not only cost the city millions in outside counsel's legal fees, but publicly exposed a lack of professionalism in the management of CIty Attorney's Office. Some might say that things have not changed under the current City Attorney's tenure.

Trutanich prefers not to talk about his brief tenure as a "Special Assistant" to his predecessor, Rocky Delgadillo. Whenever questions arise about his first foray into city politics, he jokingly claims that he quit Rocky's administration when "the wheels started coming off Rocky's wagon," a laugh-line that his sycophantic audiences all too eagerly accept without question.

However, thanks to the almost daily stream of emails to our confidential tip line, some inconvenient truths about the man LA Times writer Steve Lopez called "LA's Hosni Mubarak" have emerged. One tip led us to an article published in 2006 by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center.

Few realize the TRUe extent to which "a defense lawyer known around Delgadillo’s office as “Nooch,” rotated in and out of his staff job on the 8th floor of City Hall" as the LA Independent Media Center reported.

"To say that Trutanich has juice with Delgadillo’s office is an understatement." The LA Independent Media Center said, continuing "In four months as special assistant city attorney, from July 1 to November 1, by his own account, he handled sensitive negotiations with the Coliseum Commission and developed a multimillion-dollar proposal for a Bureau of Investigation. He also allegedly blurred the lines in his “monitoring” of a lawsuit filed against Delgadillo and former chief deputy Terree Bowers, despite the city’s conflict of interest that led to the hiring of Baker & Hostetler."

The the LA Independent Media Center article not only provides some insight into the shameful Delgadillo administration, but it also shows the intimate association between the former and the current City Attorneys, perhaps explaining why, two years into his first term, many are saying that Trutanich is even worse than Delgadillo.

Read the full article at LA Independent Media Center.

RUMORS START ON WHO WILL BE THE NEXT CITY ATTORNEY

With City Attorney Carmen Trutanich now firmly committed to running for District Attorney in 2012, a number of frontrunners are being identified as likely challengers for the city's top cop slot which will become available in 2013.

Trutanich will not be able to run for City Attorney regardless of the outcome of his DA Campaign as his failure to win the DA election guarantees that he will not be re-elected as City Attorney and success means he will vacate the Office in January 2013.

We now take a look at those who are believed to be in the running.


PAUL KREKORIAN
Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Krekorian (CD2) has stated that he's not interested in running for City Attorney, yet, but rumors persist that pressure is building to try to convince the popular Valley leader to change his mind.

 Trutanich, Yaroslavsky and Krekorian at Studio City Neighborhood Council meeting
08/18/11 Credit: Mike Szymanski http://studiocity.patch.com
Krekorian recently joined the City Attorney and Supervisor Yaroslavsky at a meeting of the Studio City Neighborhood Council, perhaps a sign that he is warming up to the idea and is counting on Trutanich to support his candidacy.


MIKE FEUER
State Assemblyman Mike Feuer almost became City Attorney when he narrowly lost to Rocky Delgadillo in 2001. He will be termed out of Sacramento in 2012, and is said to be "interested" in trying again.

Feuer is believed to be the top choice of democrat party leaders, and would be able to count on the same strong support from LA's Westside that will be critical to success.


JANE USHER
Rumors abound that Special Assistant City Attorney Jane Usher could throw her hat in the ring to replace he boss. Insiders say that Trutanich had been concerned that Usher could ultimately challenge him in 2013, but he is likely less concerned now that he is committed to run for DA. 

Usher is undoubtedly the darling of the Neighborhood Councils for her work on banning billboards and medical marijuana dispensaries, and her knowledge of the way City Hall works as been central to making up for Trutanich's shortcomings. Usher is a tireless workaholic with a sound grasp of planning issues, but little experience in criminal law, other than what she has learned in her time alongside her boss.


DISTRICT ATTORNEY SETTLES CONSUMER FRAUD CASE

The recent scandal that saw City Attorney Carmen Trutanich furtively sneaking around town with a $2M check in his briefcase, stands in stark contrast to the way that the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office deals with such matters.

District Attorney Steve Cooley called Trutanich's shenanigans "bizarre" when interviewed by the LA Times, and was sharply critical of the attempt by the City Attorney to divert consumer fraud settlement funds to a political ally, Sheriff Lee Baca, on the pretext of clearing a non-existent rape-kit backlog.

The terms of the $2M settlement that the Los Angeles, Riverside and Ventura County District Attorney's Offices secured against retail pharmacy giant CVS require the payment of $1.2M in civil penalties, $420,000 in investigative costs, a $300,000 contribution to the state’s Department of Measurement Standards, and $100,000 to the Consumer Protection Trust, according to the DA's Office press release. The City Attorney was not, apparently, asked to "help" to deliver the settlement checks for fairly obvious reasons.


MARIO TRUJILLO HAS NEWS ...


All eyes will be on District Attorney candidate Mario Trujillo's FaceBook page this week, as we wait to discover his news.

 &tc.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Free For All

IPSEN'S AGENCY SHOP PASSES
NO LANDSLIDE, BUT ENOUGH TO PASS


 It's hard to argue that a vote of 302 for, and 204 against, the Agency Shop is anything but a victory for Steve Ipsen and the ADDA Board Majority. It is equally hard to understand why 300 DDAs did not vote at all.

But rather than speculate on those reasons, rather than criticize the wisdom of those who expressed their will, the important thing is to come to terms with the reality of the situation.

The reality is that 500 or so DDAs are now forced to pay substantial dues and be represented by an organization that they did not vote for. An organization that became affiliated with AFSCME, one of the largest unions in the state, by the vote of 118 DDAs. An organization that has historically had a less than harmonious relationship with the administration; a theme that Hyatt Seligman chose to perpetuate in the rhetoric of his victory statement.

The reality is that as all DDAs will now notice monthly dues being taken from their paychecks. The reality is that they might cringe at the statements that will continue to be made in their name. Who knows, they might even decide that it is time to get involved and demand leadership that represents them.

Your thoughts?

&tc.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday's Themes

IPSEN'S AGENCY SHOP VOTE RESULTS TODAY

There's no denying that there's been an air of anticipation around the DA's Office in the past few days, as a sizable majority of DDAs are wondering if their votes will count to defeat Steve Ipsen's Agency Shop.

The ballots will be counted starting at 10:00am today at the offices of the County's Employee Relations Commission ("ERCOM") at the Hall of Administration. It's a far cry from the typical Ipsen ADDA elections where ballots are mailed directly to Ipsen's PO Box, and there is always a certain lack of confidence in the results. Although the ballot count is not open to the public, ERCOM is allowing observers from Ipsen's Board Majority and the DA's Office to attend.

We can only hope that the results of the election will send a clear message to Ipsen and his followers, that the majority of DDAs do not want his reckless, irresponsible and vindictive style of leadership to be their voice.

As yet, there is no word as to when and how the results of the election will be communicated to DDAs. We will endeavor to announce the news as soon as possible, most likely on our Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/DragnetLA

DANETTE MEYERS RIDES THE WAVE

The Los Angeles Wave's Contributing Editor, Betty Pleasant, has lived up to her newly found eponymous reputation with a glowing editorial on District Attorney candidate Danette Meyers.


SUPREME COURT VINDICATES JACKSON'S TRIAL STRATEGY


District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson's campaign received a boost yesterday with the news that his trial strategy in the prosecution of Phil Spector got the "thumbs up" from the California Supreme Court. Their decision not to even hear the appeal from the 2nd District Court of Appeal's approval of Jackson's trial strategy in calling 5 witnesses to Spector's prior acts of violence towards women "when fueled by alcohol and faced with a lack or loss of control over a woman who was alone with him and in whom he had a romantic or sexual interest," the AFP reported.

Spector, now 71, was tried and convicted by Jackson. He was sentenced in 2009 to 19 years in prison for the 2003 murder of Lana Clarkson, a former actress, at his east Los Angeles mansion. Spector, who created the famed "Wall of Sound" recording technique during the 1960s, is not eligible for parole until 2028. He will likely die in prison long before the possibility of parole is even a consideration.

If Spector was famous for his "Wall of Sound," then Jackson may become famous for the "Wall of Evidence" that he built around Spector to convict him and debunk Spector's shameful attempts to vilify Lana Clarkson as being suicidally depressed over her flagging acting career.

&tc.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Worries

While around a thousand Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys anxiously await the results of the vote on Steve Ipsen's Agency Shop election, Los Angelenos have something else to worry about; City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is using a schoolyard gimmick to tackle the thorny problem of defending the City in liability lawsuits.

It's called the "Porcupine Defense," but you won't find in a law school syllabus. It is not mentioned in legal hornbooks, and you don't get much of a meaningful definition from it's "inventor" and chief proponent either, as celebrity interviewer Brad Nolan discovered when he hosted the 4th Annual National Night Out celebrations.



As this mini-documentary shows, the City is losing millions and millions of dollars thanks to the use of a schoolyard prank, a campaign catchphrase that sounds good, but like everything else associated with Trutanich, is shallow and baseless.

The only humor in this expose is that the interviewer, Brad Nolan, obviously has no idea what the City Attorney actually does. He is not the only one. Also, he cannot remember the City Attorney's name. Let's hope that it won't be too long before we can all forget the name of the biggest disappointment in LA politics.

&tc.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Topics

TRUTANICH INTERVIEWER "IT HURTS TO TALK"

Our thanks to Mulholland Terrace at Street-Hassle for this teaser about Petros Papadakis, host of the Petros and Money show, who recently interviewed the City Attorney and captured Trutanich shamelessly grandstanding about his prosecution of the Bryan Stow beating.

MT opines that Petros' injury may have its origins in Petros being a dunk-tank victim at Trutanich's monumental flop of annual City Attorney Family BBQ.

It's remarkable that Trutanich thinks that childish pranks like the dunk tank achieve anything, and perhaps that explains the equally monumental failure of the "Porcupine Defense," another one of Trutanich's childish ploys that has cost the City of Los Angeles millions of dollars in trial losses.

In case you missed it, here's a clip from Trutanich's grandstanding claims about the Byran Stow beating where he implied that he was "moving forward" with a case that is not being prosecuted by him:

Trutanich AM570KLAC Grandstands about Bryan Stowe Dodgers Stadium Beating by LA Dragnet

LATE VOTES WILL NOT COUNT IN IPSEN'S AGENCY SHOP

Yesterday was the last day to mail your "NO" ballots to prevent Ipsen from forcing all DDAs to pay him "dues."

Any votes mailed today might not arrive in time for the Wednesday, August 17 cut-off, however, if you have not yet sent your vote, do so anyway.

Here's a link to the popular flyer giving our reasons for saying NO to Ipsen's Agency Shop, and our previous article with more information.


&tc.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Briefs - Last Chance To Vote No On Ipsen's Agency Shop

Today is probably the last day that DDAs have to safely mail their ballots and say 'NO' to Steve Ipsen's Agency Shop.

All ballots must be received by Wednesday, August 17, 2011, and historically, when votes on ADDA matters have taken place, there are always a number of 'late votes' that will not be counted. Sometimes, such as when Frank Tavelman lost by one vote to become President, those 'late votes' likely would have made a difference.

To be safe, mail your ballot today.

Here's a link to the popular flyer giving our reasons for saying NO to Ipsen's Agency Shop, and our previous article with more information.


&tc.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up

BOBBY GRACE GETS PLEASANT TREATMENT

Don't let Bobby Grace's softly-spoken demeanor fool you. Anyone who has seen the veteran prosecutor during closing argument knows that what's coming next for the defendant is either life behind bars, or a private suite on death row.

In between back to back high profile murder trials, Grace somehow finds the time to run his campaign to become the next Los Angeles District Attorney, and last week he also managed to find the time for a sit down with the Los Angeles Wave's super-critical Contributing Editor, Betty Pleasant.

Betty Pleasant has a reputation for being anything but "pleasant" especially when it comes to those responsible for law enforcement in the community. So how did Bobby Grace handle the "gottcha" question that rounded out his interview; "That the district attorney is a mean, vindictive ogre who uses his office to settle old scores against people? Huh? What will Bobby Grace do about that?"

Read Betty Pleasant's interview with Grace to find the answer to that, and learn a little more about Bobby Grace.

Grace's campaign website is: www.BobbyGrace4DA.com

MANY HOPE IPSEN'S AGENCY SHOP WILL FAIL


All DDAs are being asked to vote on whether to they should be forced to pay Steve Ipsen's proposed Agency Shop $906.40 a year in compulsory union dues.

Ipsen pulled a snap vote on this thorny issue hoping, perhaps, to prevent any debate or organized opposition to his plan to have a mandate to speak on behalf of all DDAs in his reckless pursuit of his own agenda.

While Ipsen has a following among a small minority of hardcore ADDA members, many other members privately hope that despite the advantage that an agency shop would bring to the ADDA, Ipsen is the wrong person to be trusted with the power and position to direct the use of the $2M in agency shop dues that will be generated over the three-year commitment.

Almost 2/3 of that $2M will be given to big labor union AFSCME. That's part of the recent "Affiliation" agreement that Ipen brokered to avoid the threatened bankruptcy of the ADDA. That bankruptcy was caused by a reckless, meritless and ultimately losing lawsuit against DDA Peter Burke. Burke wanted Ipsen to hold elections as required by ADDA bylaws, but Ipsen refused. Two years later, after losing at trial and on appeal, Ipsen's strategy had depleted the ADDA's finances to the point where the only options were bankruptcy or a bailout from a big labor union.

Although big labor will recoup it's bailout investment in Ipsen's ADDA over the next three-years, Ipsen will still be left with the use of the remainder of members dues to continue his equally meritless "union busting" lawsuit against his political opponents. With nothing to prevent Ipsen from suing DDAs who oppose his political aspirations, it is not too surprising that many privately will be saying one thing when it comes to voting for Ipsen's agency shop, but privately voting against it.

All ballots must be mailed by Monday August 15 to ensure they are received by the closing of the election on August 17. The ballots will be counted on August 18.

Here's a link to the popular flyer giving our reasons for saying NO to Ipsen's Agency Shop, and our previous article with more information.

PLEASANT BETTY GIVES LACEY A THUMBS UP


Much to the chagrin of some of her opponents, District Attorney candidate was not "ripped a new one" when she stepped into the lions den and faced one of District Attorney Steve Cooley's harshest critics, Los Angeles Wave's Contributing Editor, Betty Pleasant.

Lacey's interview with Pleasant followed that of fellow candidate Bobby Grace, and according to Pleasant, was "the longest interview I’ve ever had with a political candidate."

Lacey said that the interview actually lasted two and half hours and that she was "not surprised" to find that the report of the interview was "very fair." Apparently, during the course of that two and a half hour interview, Lacey established a rapport with Pleasant and succeeded in convincing her of the merits of her candidacy.

Sadly, as the Mayor Sam blog reports, Betty Pleasant will be on hiatus at the Los Angeles Wave while she undergoes eye surgery. In closing out her August 10, op-ed, Pleasant said "I’m going to be away for a while. I don’t know for how long, but, like MacArthur, I shall return." I'm sure we all wish Betty a speedy recovery.

TRUTANICH'S ATTEMPTED $2M CHECK FRAUD BACKFIRES


He likes being the talk of the town, usually for grandstanding on serious crimes that he has no real connection to, and certainly no control. The most recent example was his claim to be prosecuting the Byran Stow beating at Dodger Stadium. "We’re moving forward with that case." was what Trutanich told a talk show radio host about a case that has nothing to do with him. 

But when attention-seeking City Attorney Carmen Trutanich tried to illegally divert a $2M settlement check to a political ally, he got another dose of the kind of publicity he doesn't like; a scathing critique in the Los Angeles Times.

Some TRU believers would like to think that Trutanich was simply unaware of the fact that the rape kit backlog no longer existed when he tried to give the $2M check to Sheriff Baca. Trutanich could be forgiven for not knowing the the facts about rape kits as his office does not prosecute rapes any more than it prosecutes the Bryan Stow beating.

Others, perhaps even those who once backed the San Pedro ambulance chaser turned career politician, see Trutanich's actions for what they TRUly were; an unethical, illegal and rather stupid attempt to give Sheriff Baca a $2M "thank you" for supporting his deceptive bid to become Los Angeles District Attorney.

While Baca might have appreciated the $2M payoff for trying to give Trutanich a get out of jail card from his sworn campaign promise not to run for District Attorney, it is highly likely that Baca did not appreciate the suggestion that he was party to an illegal "pay to play" scam perpetrated by Trutanich. Baca swifty responded by having his spokesperson say that Sheriff Baca was "unaware" of scam, and that Baca "would not comment" on the matter.

Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley told the LA Times that Trutanich's attempted check fraud was "probably unlawful" and called it a "political ploy."

Trutanich celebrated his birthday this past Friday and was presented with an excoriating write up at CityWatch were he was accused of "selective prosecution" by former CD4 candidate Stephen Box. 

It seems the tide slowly is turning against Trutanich.

UPDATED:


HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARIO!


District Attorney candidate Mario Trujillo turned 43 on Saturday, and his campaign announced it with a fundraising drive to send Mario $43 as a birthday present.

This from the MarioTrujillo4DA campaign:

Dear Friends,

Today is a special day for the campaign - its Mario's 43rd Birthday!

Although it's his birthday, Mario is hard at work. He's busy talking to voters, listening to the concerns of L.A. County residents, and creating dynamic and innovative solutions to fix our justice system.

To assist Mario in his efforts, we thought it would be a great idea to ask each of you to contribute just $43 to Mario's campaign in honor of his 43rd birthday! By giving today, you are helping to ensure Mario continues to pull away from his competition.

Click here to donate and help make Mario's 43rd birthday memorable!
https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=41115

This is your opportunity to be part of Mario's historic campaign. Mario has a great vision for a safer Los Angeles, but he needs your help to get his message out. Please donate $43 today and help Mario Trujillo become the next District Attorney of L.A. County!

Visit Mario's Facebook page to wish him a happy birthday and learn more:
http://www.facebook.com/MarioTrujilloforDA

For more information on Mario, visit his website:
http://www.mariotrujilloforda.com/

Sincerely,

Roxanna Ayers,
Campaign Manager
Mario Trujillo For District Attorney, 2012

#  #  #
&tc.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Free For All

PLEASANT BETTY? LACEY IMPRESSES SKEPTICS

District Attorney candidate Jackie Lacey gave an exclusive interview
to one of LA's sharpest critics The Los Angeles Wave's Betty Pleasant
District Attorney candidate Jackie Lacey surprised her opponents by giving an exclusive interview to one of LA's sharpest critics, and emerging unscathed and maybe even with a former doubter now turned supporter.

The Los Angeles Wave's Contributing Editor, Betty Pleasant, has something of a reputation for being pretty unpleasant on occasions, sorry but there's no easy way to say it. However, it's a badge of honor Pleasant wears with pride; she's nobody's fool and not afraid to say it the way she sees it. Apparently her readers appreciate her writing style and value her opinions.

Pleasant has been a harsh critic of decisions made by DA Steve Cooley and his administration, so it must have surprised Pleasant when Jackie Lacey, now Cooley's second in command, agreed to be interviewed by Pleasant. The interview itself, published this week in The Wave, must have surprised Pleasant who clearly found herself impressed by Lacey's candor and preparedness. Pleasant's report of the interview was not dismissive of Lacey's candidacy, and Lacey herself said she thought it was "very fair." That's quite a turnaround from what might have otherwise been expected.

Of all the DA candidates to break into six-figure fundraising, Lacey has been the quietest. But don't be mislead by the lack of headlines and press releases; she is slowly and steadily building a support base and gaining the respect in the community that will propel her candidacy forward in the nine and half months between now and the primary election. That's no surprise to those who know Lacey, but apparently it is a "Pleasant" surprise to those who had doubts.

Lacey's campaign website is JackieLacey.com

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NUCH!

If City Attorney Carmen Trutanich was hoping for a little respite from the slew of criticism heaped on him this week for his birthday present, he will be disappointed.

With the scandal surrounding his bungled and and in-artful attempt to misappropriate a $2M check still resonating around the media, the last thing he needed was more doubts about his fitness for office.

Those doubts were raised by former candidate for Council District 4, Steven Box who published an article entitled "A Tale of Two Friends, Justice and Mercy" at CityWatch.

Box reveals Trutanich as a "selective prosecutor" who declines to prosecute cases where cyclists were threatened by aggressive motorists, but eagerly prosecutes hapless homeowners  with high yard fences. Box's article could not come at a worse time for Trutanich; his over-reaching ACE Program is due to come before the City Council for a vote in the near future.

Most councilmembers will have received briefings on the dangers of allowing Trutanich to control the prosecution of code violators, and Box's article could be the ammunition they need to either finally kill this Orwellian program, or send it back to committee to be neutered.

IPSEN'S AGENCY SHOP -
DRAGNET'S HOW TO VOTE GUIDE

Nuff said? Now go and vote NO on Ipsen's Agency Shop.

Here's a link to the popular flyer giving our reasons for saying NO to Ipsen's Agency Shop, and our previous article with more information.

Happy Weekend!

&tc.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday's Thorny Themes

IPSEN'S AGENCY SHOP RESPONDS TO LEADERSHIP CONCERNS

The latest missive from Steve Ipsen's Agency Shop appears to be crafted to allay the serious concerns that most DDAs have that Ipsen will continue to use the ADDA as a vehicle to attack the administration over his personal grievances.


Ipesn's missive poses the rhetorical question "If I don’t like the current ADDA Board’s direction or leadership, why should I support Agency Shop?" and suggests that if you "join as an active member" you will be able to have a voice in changing the disastrously irresponsible way that Ipsen has purported to represent all DDAs, even though he never had that mandate.

Cynics  familiar with the way that Ipse's ADDA has vehemently berated those who disagree with him will take little comfort from the notion that suddenly, because all DDAs will be required to pay $906.40 a year in dues to Ipsen, things will change. Those with a more open mind might do well to read some of the threatening abusive comments posted on the Dragnet by Ipsen's followers.

The last open challenge to Ipsen's ADDA came from DDA Peter Burke. He wanted Ipsen to abide by the ADDA's bylaws and hold an election. A reasonable position, you might think. But rather than follow his own bylaws, Ipsen challenged Burke in a two costly and protracted lawsuits; both of which the ADDA lost.

The ADDA wasted an unknown amount of members dues on fighting a fellow DDA, and when the final ruling went against "the Ipsen way," the ADDA did claimed not have the $160,000 in legal costs awarded to Burke, having perhaps expended all members dues over the two-year litigation period with their own lawyers.

It was likely the "grossly irresponsible" way that Ipsen lead the ADDA down this path of financial ruin that cemented the three-year relationship with a "big labor" union, AFSCME. For it was AFSCME who came up with the funds necessary to prevent bankruptcy. Under the three-year bailout deal, 2/3rds of future dues will be paid to AFSCME to pay off the debt.

This latest missive fails to mention any of the established pattern of "the Ipsen way" of dealing with dissenting viewpoint.

Equally, the notion that becoming an "active member" will allow you to run for "an ADDA Board seat" fails to mention any commitment to hold open elections for the leadership positions, indeed any positions. While Ipsen's current Agency Shop election is being administered by the County of Los Angeles, future elections (if and when they occur) will be conducted in the "old fashioned way" with no independent oversight to ensure that all votes are counted, or that all members even receive ballots.

While Ipsen supporters have frequently bitterly criticized the Dragnet's open forum for discussion, it is notable that neither Ipsen personally, nor through his ADDA, has any type of blog or forum for discussion. A blog costs nothing, so it can hardly be the case that Ipsen is unable to provide such a forum for a two-way discussion.

All DDAs get are one-sided emails with the occasional "invitation" to attend a Board meeting to be either berated personally for voicing opposition, or sued for union busting. That's the Ipsen way, and there is nothing credible from Ipsen or his Board that appears to give DDAs any confidence that things will change.

&tc.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Trutanich Loses More Than Credibility Over Attempted $2M Check Fraud

BACA TO BACK OFF TRUTANICH?

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca should consider withdrawing his support for City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's phony DA campaign.

Baca has not yet endorsed the San Pedro plaintiff's attorney turned career politician, but had allowed his name to be used in connection with emails sent out to likely supporters.

As most of those supporters are understood to have been sourced through the California Narcotics Officers Association, Baca must have felt that there was basically no "down side" to supporting Trutanich whose "scorched earth"' policies on Medical Marijuana forged strong links with CNOA.

But what Sheriff Baca could not have foreseen was the extent to which a close association with Trutanich would harm his generally favorable reputation. The recent LA Times expose regarding the City Attorney's attempted misappropriation of a $2M check has implicated Baca in a torrid "pay to play" scandal which promises to continue to rankle and must have shocked Baca.

Baca was quick to distance himself from the man he currently supports for Los Angeles' next District Attorney, declining to make any comment on the scandal, other than that he was unaware of attempted misappropriation.

This is now the second time that Baca has been dragged into the mud because of Trutanich's crass  antics. Previously Baca was forced to defend Trutanich's grandstanding claim of "busting the notorious 38th Street Gang," when in fact the only connection that the City Attorney had with that  federal law enforcement action was his tenuous membership of a multi-agency task force.

Although it is understood that warnings were given to back-off making exaggerated claims regarding the activities of serious crime-fighters, those warnings appear to have fallen on deaf ears. As recently as last Friday, the king of grandstanding claimed, in a sports talk radio interview, to be prosecuting the perpetrators of the Bryan Stowe Dodgers Stadium beating. That prosecution is, of course, being handled by the District Attorney's Office.


It is uncertain whether Baca will wait for the next TRU-scandal before he formally withdraws his support. It perhaps is ironic that in Trutanich's 2009 campaign to become City Attorney, Baca withdrew his support for Jack Weiss after a fundraising scandal. City Ethics rules prohibit city employees from engaging in campaign fundraising activities and if some of the recent comments posted on the Dragnet are true, Baca would be wise to withdraw his support before the next TRU-scandal breaks.

&tc.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday Topics

IPSEN'S AGENCY SHOP EMPLOYS SCARE TACTICS 

In what must surely be a sign that Steve Ipsen's Agency Shop is failing now that DDAs have seen the shocking truths about Ipsen's utter unsuitability to speak on behalf of all DDAs, the Ipsen issued a "scare" email purporting to "assure" recipients that their votes will be confidential.

The unsigned email implies that the confidentiality of the way voters cast their ballots was ever in any doubt. It was not. But at a time when DDAs are discovering the way that Ipsen has manipulated the ADDA to place himself back in the driving seat without election, the goal is clearly to deflect attention with a bogus scare story.

Of course, the ultimate irony is that Ipsen is complaining about the potential abuse of "confidential information" when neither he, nor any other ADDA Board Member, lifted a finger to protect the identities of DDAs who had their names, addresses and bank information delivered into the hands of the criminals who stole ADDA Treasurer Loren Naiman's personal laptop last year. Naiman had scanned DDAs checks and stored them on his computer for no apparent good reason.

New readers to the Dragnet should read our expose on Ipsen's ADDA disregard "confidential information" when it is the identity of those who oppose his plans; the DDAs who had their identities stolen were those who paid $30 to vote for or against the adoption of new bylaws. We understand that most of the DDAs who paid $30, voted against Ipsen's change in bylaws.

This is the reality of the Ipsen Agency Shop. Use the "ADDA 411" link at the top the page to access printable articles on Ipsen's ADDA shenanigans and of Vote NO to his Agency Shop before it is too late.

TRUTANICH'S $2M BLUNDER REVEALS LACK OF LEGAL ACUMEN

As the LA Times exclusively reported, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich attempted to persuade the County of Los Angeles to misappropriate a $2M Unfair Business Practices settlement check.

Trutanich hand delivered the check, perhaps to add emphasis to his request that the $2M should be diverted away from its lawful purpose; furthering consumer protection.

Instead, Trutanich tried to persuade the County of LA to give the $2M to Sheriff Lee Baca to help to clear the backlog of unprocessed DNA rape kits.

Sheriff Baca, purely coincidentally, has allowed his name to be used in support of a misleading "effort" to persuade Trutanich to run for Los Angeles District Attorney.  

Trutanich's actions, viewed in the light most favorable to him, reveals a shocking lack of legal knowledge, as well as an appalling ignorance of the current state of DNA rape kit analysis.

As to the lack of legal knowledge, he of all people should know that financial settlements of cases brought under Business and Professions Code 17200 and 17500, have to be used for consumer protection. The $2M check represented half of a $4M settlement that the City Attorney's Office had obtained for billboard violations. The law requires the settlement funds to be split 50/50 between the City and County agencies responsible for consumer protection. Apparently, the City Attorney was unaware of the law.

Ironically, when questioned, Trutanich's Chief Deputy sheepishly admitted that the City Attorney's Office was not using its $2M for DNA rape kit analysis, but rather for its lawful purpose; consumer protection.

But if a lack of legal knowledge isn't bad enough, the City Attorney was also, apparently, blissfully unaware of the current state of DNA rape kit analysis. The fact is that there is no current backlog of DNA rape kits, neither at the Sheriff's Department nor at the Los Angeles Police Department. Certainly, Baca would have welcomed an extra $2M, but equally certainly, he did not need it to clear a non-existent backlog of DNA rape kits. Perhaps the former plaintiff's attorney turned career politician should be excused from having all the facts about DNA rape kit analysis; after all, his office does not prosecute rapes, those are felonies prosecuted by the District Attorney's Office.

However, it could be said that Trutanich's blunder reveals more than a lack of legal knowledge and the facts about DNA rape kits. It could reveal a lack of ethics and a need to give the Sheriff a "thank you" for supporting his phony DA campaign. That would appear to be consistent with other ethical issues that have been raised regarding Trutanich; quite apart from his willingness to renege on his campaign promise not to run for District Attorney or other higher office, the false claims of "criminal aspects" surrounding the Michael Jackson memorial come to mind, as well as threatening to arrest elected officials and city workers over mistaken billboard issues.

There are, sadly but not unsurprisingly, many, many more issues with Carmen Trutanich.

&tc.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Briefs - Trutanich's Weekend from Hell & Vote NO on Ipsen's Agency Shop

CITY ATTORNEY FAMILY BBQ FLOPS
Although Carmen Trutanich is said to have put on a brave face, it must have been clear to him that the pitifully low staff turnout for his much pimped 3rd annual City Attorney Family BBQ was a clear sign that he has lost the loyalty of the rank and file.

Of the 900+ City Attorney employees (that includes attorneys and support staff), perhaps 75 rank and file employees showed up for the free food and booze. The rest of the crowd which is estimated to have peaked at 175, appear to be management who were "expected" to attend, a bunch of rapidly drafted-in law enforcement supporters from the phony DA campaign, and friends from San Pedro who helped to make up the numbers and avoid even greater humiliation.

It was a far cry from the 400 to 500 actual employees who greeted their new boss back at the first BBQ in 2009. They were full of hope that their new leader would reverse the 8 years of damage that Rocky Delgadillo had done by running the City Attorney's Office as his campaign machine for his next political run. How sad it must be for them to see their hopes dashed by more of the same; the crass grandstanding, bullying and blundering that has been the hallmark of the first 24 months of this administration.

That City Attorney staff boycotted the BBQ in such large numbers probably has as much to do with their having to take a 14% pay cut, while their boss and a select group of "essentials" do not share their sacrifice. If Trutanich thought free food and booze was going to help morale, it seems he was mistaken.

TRUTANICH'S "BIZZARE" CONDUCT - $2M ATTEMPTED MISAPPROPRIATION?

The Los Angeles Times reports that City Attorney Carmen Trutanich hand-delivered a $2M check to the County of Los Angeles, and attempted to to divert the money to the Sheriff's Department, instead of allowing the funds to be used for consumer protection as required by law.

 District Attorney Steve Cooley described the conduct as "Bizzare" and suggested it was a political ploy. Others may believe that it was a crass attempt at a payback to Sheriff Baca for his support for the City Attorney's phony campaign to become District Attorney after Cooley retires. Nobody believes the Trutanich's lame excuse that "There is absolutely no political motive involved whatsoever. None. Zero. Zilch."

Trutanich's grasp of reality became even more "bizzare" last week when he claimed on a radio show that he was prosecuting those responsible for the Bryan Stowe Dodgers Stadium beating.When asked  "how's the prosecution going to proceed?" he said "We're moving forward with that case."
Trutanich AM570KLAC Grandstands about Bryan Stowe Dodgers Stadium Beating by LA Dragnet

Of course what he should have said was, "Lookit, those responsible for the brutal beating of Bryan Stowe committed serious crimes. Those are felonies handled by my buddy Steve Cooley at the District Attorney's Office. My office only prosecutes minor crimes called 'misdemeanors,' so I really cannot and should not comment about something that has absolutely nothing to do with my office."

Some might say that hell will freeze over before the king of grandstanding actually makes an honest straightforward statement like that.

VOTE 'NO' ON STEVE IPSEN'S AGENCY SHOP
All Deputy District Attorneys should have received mail at their home address containing the ballot to vote against Steve Ipsen's Agency Shop. In the wake of last week's shocking revelations about Ipsen, the likelihood of his succeeding in becoming the representative of all DDAs looks slim. Ipsen is doubtless counting on voter apathy and vacation absences to provide for the passage of his Agency Shop; something we believe would be a disaster for the vast majority decent hardworking DDAs who do not want to be represented by someone with such an appalling record of irresponsibility and misconduct.

In order to help DDAs to make an informed decision, we have produced this flyer for display and distribution:



Copies of the "Vote No On Ipsen's Agency Shop" flyer can be downloaded by clicking here.

Please be brave and take a stand against this affront to the high standards demanded by the pursuit of justice. It is time to take control of this situation and "not getting involved" is precisely what Ipsen wants. Be sure to vote "No" on Ipsen's Agency Shop, and don't be afraid to share your views with others; we live in a democracy where free speech is not controlled by Ipsen and his acolytes.

&tc.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

City Attorney "Family" BBQ Bombs - Staff Boycott BBQ and Stay Away

If you BBQ it, they won't come...

Despite pleading emails from Carmen Trutanich imploring the 900+ City Attorney staff to come to his third annual City Attorney "Family" BBQ, reports received by the Dragnet indicate that the crowd this Saturday at the LAPD Academy was only 100-150, and many of those were not even City Attorney staff.
The official City Attorney's Office Family BBQ invite did not carry the now infamous
"wheels coming off the wagon" logo, but it seems apt in the circumstances.

It seems that the free food and booze was not enough to persuade disgruntled and demoralized City Attorney staff to show their support for their boss. Free food might be appreciated considering that nearly all City Attorney staff have been forced to take a 14% pay cut while their boss steadfastly hangs on to his full $213,724 salary and the use of a City chauffeured SUV. A small group of Trutanich's "essential" staff are also believed to be exempt from the pay cut, a fact that is deeply resented by the apparently "non-essential" majority.

Signs that City Attorney staff were going to boycott the BBQ were clear a week before the event when as few as 75 staffers had actually rsvp'd. This apparently prompted the boss of bosses to send out a personal email promising attendees the chance to drop him in the "dunk tank" as well as "exciting raffle prizes, and a bounce house, face-painting and piƱata for the kids" as well as "no cost to you or your family" a "chili cook-off, hamburgers, hot dogs, rotisserie-cooked lamb and gyros, a cake from Tropicana Bakery, and a variety of cold beverages."

But wait, there's more. "In addition, the winners of the 2010-2011 Outstanding Employee Awards will be announced" Trutanich said, perhaps making staffers wonder whether the author of the Martin Declaration or those responsible for the Fire Commission Report would be in line for a Michael Corleone style kiss of death embrace.

PIMPS BBQ ON TALK RADIO
But despite the promise of all free food and "variety of cold beverages" you could wish for, the email signed "Nuch" did little to encourage City Attorney non-essentials to attend. In fact on Friday, August 5, attendance looked to be so dismal that the man who does not talk politics at his desk went on AM570 KLAC Sports Radio's Petros and Money show to pimp the BBQ to the audience, even though the event was not open to the public.


GRANDSTANDING, AGAIN
Despite having been previously warned not to grandstand about criminal matters that he has no connection to, the wannabe tough guy couldn't resist trying to pretend that he was somehow relevant to the prosecution of those responsible for the Bryan Stowe Dodgers Stadium beating.When asked  "how's the prosecution going to proceed?" he said "We're moving forward with that case."
Trutanich AM570KLAC Grandstands about Bryan Stowe Dodgers Stadium Beating by LA Dragnet

Of course what he should have said was, "Lookit, those responsible for the brutal beating of Bryan Stowe committed serious crimes. Those are felonies handled by my buddy Steve Cooley at the District Attorney's Office. My office only prosecutes minor crimes called 'misdemeanors,' so I really cannot and should not comment about something that has absolutely nothing to do with my office."

Some might say that hell will freeze over before the king of grandstanding actually makes an honest straightforward statement like that.


DA COOLEY PUBLICLY SNUBS HIS "BUDDY"
Speaking of Steve Cooley and the worsening of relations between the City Attorney and the District Attorney it is understood that Cooley gave the BBQ a miss. Cooley had been a regular guest at the City Attorney Family BBQ, even subjecting himself to being dunked in the tank. But this year Cooley, who publicly disapproves of his buddy's reneging on a campaign promise not to run for DA, seems to hae joined the ranks of the boycotting Deputy City Attorneys and stayed away.

CITY ATTORNEY FAMILY BBQ A CRIME SCENE?
One of the reports the Dragnet received stated that there was "Lots of alcohol and food." Perhaps to emphasize the predominance of alcohol, the report added "Had to look really hard for a bottle of water!" Of course, this raises the legal question of whether the consumption of alcohol in public violated Los Angeles Municipal Code section 41.27? Presumably the City Attorney would have obtained a permit if one were necessary. Besides, the BBQ was held at the LAPD Academy, so there would have been no shortage of law enforcement on hand to ensure that no violations took place.

STRANGERS IN THE FAMILY?
Speaking of law enforcement, another report stated "At BBQ, 100 - 150 is probably accurate, I don't know most of them," suggesting that the admittedly low numbers may have been made up by drafting-in members of the California Narcotics Officers Association. There is a certain logic to that suggestion as a CNOA official is responsible for fronting the phony DraftTrutanich4DA campaign. Other strangers in attendance were said to be campaign supporters from San Pedro.

It is hard not to feel some compassion for the non-essential City Attorney staffers and their families who boycotted this years event. They face a tough time financially and a boss who publicly decries their plight, but does little if not nothing to share their sacrifice. Doubtless they will no longer be impressed by being told of the pay cut that their boss took when he entered public service. We are reminded of the recent comment "8 years of Rocky [Delgadillo] did not do as much damage to the [City Attorney's] Office as 24 months of Nuch."

&tc.