Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday's Briefs


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.


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.

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
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.

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.

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.


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.


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



Anonymous said...

Thank you for staining a perfectly good shirt. I choked on my coffee and splattered it all over the place when I read that Jane Usher was running for city attorney. Please confirm this is a joke, a very bad joke.

Anonymous said...

6:55 it's no joke. I'm sure Noooch has promised Jane that he'll support her. I am also sure he made the same promise to Krekorian too. Both should know better than to trust Noooch.

Anonymous said...

Is Cooley going to jump in the race? Jackie Lacey is certainly not stopping Trutanich but I bet Trutanich would step aside if Cooley jumped in.

Anonymous said...

8:57pm You are on the right track. Cooley always said that he would only run if a bottom feeding scum sucking career politician entered the race. So far, Nooch has played like he's not running to avoid that issue, but the shoe certainly fits.

Any day now the pressure is going to get too much for Nooch and he's going to have to formally declare. Then I guess we will know where Cooley stands.

Anonymous said...

8:57 If Cooley came back in the race there is no way Nuch would stay in. Nuch is a big phony but I still can't see him staying in with Cooley on the ballot.

Anonymous said...

9:58 I always wondered to whom Steve was referring when he talked about a career politician entering the race being the only way he would jump back in - did he really mean Nuch that far back or was he talking about someone else? I can't imagine him referring to anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Anyone see Hyatt Seligman's pathetic email today? He's claiming credit for the Grade III promotions! Can you freakin believe it?

I give the union 6 months before the decertification process starts.

Anonymous said...

Good set of Monday briefs Berger. I thought you would give up and go back to work after the vast majority of DDAs rejected your union busting efforts. I don't understand why you took such a hostile stance towards the union, they may be idiots but their hearts are in the right place (except Ipsen), but I totally agree with your position on Trutanich and the link to the 2006 article really answered some questions that Trutanich avoids. It's a pity those facts were not better known back in 2009, but then again, Jack Weiss was even worse.

Leave the union alone and concentrate on Trutanich.

Anonymous said...

10:45pm I think your post is somewhat shortsighted. The simple fact is that only about a third of DDAs supported agency shop. Given Cooley's attitude ("most DDAs are lucky to have a job") that's an incredible amount of ambivalence.

Yes, Cooley's personnel policies have compelled many DDAs to seek union protection. But history has demonstrated that, without oversight, the ADDA will simply be taken over by slimy and disreputable opportunists like Ipsen.

Right now Dragnet is the only "check & balance" on the ADDA. With the 2012 election looming, DDAs need a good watchdog to keep an eye on the ADDA.

Anonymous said...

Dragnet is the only check on the ADDA? Is that a joke?

What about the Labor Dept? Both Calif and U.S.

Dragnet is just a silly blog hiding behind a TV Land character.

Anonymous said...

For a silly blog hiding behind a TV Land character, Dragnet seems to have really gotten under Nooch's skin. He looked like he was going to burst something painful when he heard about the way this 2006 stuff was dragged up. Keep up the pressure on Nooch and leave the ADDA to destroy themselves.

Anonymous said...

Joseph Mailander almost put Nooch in hospital in 2009 with the Carmen the Clown stuff, so you know he reacts really badly to anything negative that is said about him.

Anonymous said...

"Labor Department"?
Are you kidding me? Right now at both the state and federal level they're paper tigers. All anyone has to do is look at recent SEIU mess. The national and the members had to jump in and clean things up.

What has been published about the sins of the ADDA board (the sex tape, sex offenders & badges, civil judgements) we know from the press, and the Dragnet has been the arena where all the stories get brought together. The ADDA is not in danger of The Labor Departments (state or federal) saving the day, and they're smug about it.
But they haven't been able to kill this blog (though apparently they . . . and the posters who make the silly "no one reads this blog" comments . . . read it regularly)

Anonymous said...

Yeah man, the state and federal labor departments really stormed the barricades when these clowns lost the laptop with all our checks scanned in it. ERCOM dropped in paratroopers to protect us too.

(Dragnet, thank you for letting us know about this)

Anonymous said...

9:08pm Thanks for reminding us about exactly whose side ERCOM, ADDA, AFSCME and all these alphabet organizations are on. Guess what, it's not the side of the rank and file.

I expect ADDA will now become even more of a problem for honest DDAs. They will constantly be trying to drag us into the political muck that big labor likes to swill around in.

As long as there is a forum that does not bow to Ipsen and the rest of the sluts who whore themselves to big labor with the promise of $60k vacations, we have a chance to fight back.

F you Ipsen, and Seligman, who do you think you are kidding with that crap about Grade III promotions? You had about as much to do with that as you did with the Grade IV exam. Freaking nothing.

Anonymous said...

Berger the stooge you have stooped to new low you know that usher is not running for city attorney. Jackie Lacey doesn't have the heart and Alan Jackson is spending all of money. Way to go Thomas spend the rest. Nuch will be your next DA and you will be whining your butt off. Freeway Therapy here we come. Get the info right stooge.