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"?