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...



Anonymous said...

Holly Crap!!! Nooch took the signs down. F'ing A Dragnet.

Anonymous said...

Notch was warned that no good would come from letting Mort Allen get too involved in his campaign for DA. This whole scandal probably started becaue too many people got pissed at Mort bragging about his special relationship with Nooch. Guess Nooch will have to dump him now and try to hang on to Baca who is ready to jump ship.

Anonymous said...

Baca just raised 300K for Trutanich this month. Doubt he's going jump ship.

Anonymous said...

LA Met News just published Berger's Op-Ed on Trutanich's Billboard Blunder. "Mr. Trutanich Take Down Those Signs" Who the 'F' does Berger think he is; Ronald Reagan?

Read'em and weep Nootch: Met News In My Opinion

How much is Jackson paying the Dragnet for this? It's worth every cent!

Anonymous said...

10:06AM Baca raised $400k for Jack Weiss before pulling his support. And that was over a fundraising issue, not nearly as significant as Nooch screwing up the city's billboard ordinance because of his "vanity and hypocrisy." Baca wants out and Nooch just handed him the perfect excuse on a plate.

Anonymous said...

It's really such a shame that a shady person like Carmen Trutanich might be DA of Los Angeles one day. I sure hope not for the sake of all the hard working people in the DAs office and for the sake of the criminal justice system.

Anonymous said...

Why is Baca so interested in supporting Nuch? The Sheriff has no jurisdiction in the city of LA anyways so since when did they become so buddy buddy that Baca would fundraise for him? And WHY? I thought Baca knew better than that. Obviously not. Is Baca unaware of all the negative press on Nuch? Or is there something else going on?

Anonymous said...

The whole reason for Baca's support goes back to Cooley who introduced them, and to the then assistant chief the DA's office investigators, Garry Schram. Schram has since retired from the DAs office and is double dipping working for Trutanich. Schram is behind the phony draft Trutanich camaign and as former president of the Ca narcotics officers assn, pulled all the other double-dippers in to make it look like cops want Trutanich to be DA.

But now that Baca has to deal with scandal after scandal with Trutanich he's looking for an exit strategy. He did the same thing with Weiss, and the next scandal will probably hit next week. Some kind of manipulation of fundraising figures, rumor has it that Trutanich held back paying expenses to make it look like he has a ton of cash on hand, and also included donations after the June 30 cut off to get over the 500k mark. It's what you would expect from Trutanich, but Baca won't like it, he is concerned about his reputation which is why he has not endorsed Trutanich.

Anonymous said...

Baca is not going to endorse a couple of union busters like Lacey, Trujillo or Jackson.

Anonymous said...

5:03 Okay even assuming it goes back to those days hasn't Baca figured out that Trutanich is a complete moron? I really don't think he has. They live in a bubble it seems. Thank God Nuch is City Attorney because at least this way people have seen his poor record. Could you have imagined if he ran for DA as his first shot at politics and won because nobody knew better? Nuch will outraise everyone for sure but he will be floundering with scandal after scandal and not be the next DA. Money doesn't necessarily win elections anymore especially when you are incompetent.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that in an age when a blogger can force an elected City Attorney with $500K in the bank to, in a few days, take down a sign that's been there for 2 years, just wait and see what the major papers and media will do to Nuch when we get a little closer to the DA election.

Anonymous said...

12:02AM, the game has changed. Trutanich thinks that slick ads and glossy mailers will buy him the DA's Office. He's wrong. As fewer and fewer people actually bother to vote, those who do actually turn up an vote tend to be more informed voters. The blogs and social networks are the future, and there seems to be a real grass roots effort to inform voters about who Carmen Trutanich really is. He won't win.

Anonymous said...

Who's going to win? Jackie Lacey?
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Hylarious! Berger, you really should go into comedy.

Anonymous said...

Who said 'Baca is not going to endorse a couple of union busters like Lacey, Trujillo or Jackson.?' Must be Steve Ipsen the biggest looser. Guess what, Baca's not going to endorse a sex offender's best friend either. As for the union busting BS, Trutanich is the only one of the candidates who ever did bust a union - that's why they had that giant inflatable rat at all of Trutanich's debates.

In 2004, Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich represented H&C Disposal in their fight to block a union organizing effort by its workers. Many of the workers had walked off the job, looking for a better contract and working conditions. They were looking to join Teamsters Local 396. Then Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich stepped in:

• Nuch’s Replacement Workers: With Trutanich at the helm, acting as H&C Disposal’s attorney and advisor, the company hired replacement workers and sent them a letter giving them a last chance to return to work or be fired.

• Strong Arm Tactics: Only after using a Hawthorne police officer to intimidate the workers the company won the vote.

• Nuch Called Right to Organize a Strong Arm Tactic: Trutanich said that the union “went in, strong-armed people, took advantage of a situation without explaining what it was all about and what it would cost (the workers) and what the union would do for them.”

Read all about Nuch at:

Anonymous said...

“I told my staff this morning in a meeting that I don’t care if the sign is behind a bicycle, a horse or a camel, if it’s movable like that then it is illegal, and we will prosecute.”


Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin 2012. Finally a candidate we call get behid.