File No. BFC 11-140 blasts City Attorney Carmen Trutanich for his failures to timely meet with a sub-committee specifically established to discuss the apparent break down in relations between the Fire Commission and their attorney, Carmen Trutanich.
The latest report mirrors many of the criticisms and complaints about the poor advice given by Trutanich in the Fire Commissions' July 13, 2011 report; suggesting that little or nothing was done by Trutanich to respond to those earlier complaints. The latest report reaches the conclusion that "It appears the City Attorney's Office is no longer willing to answer the Commission's questions regarding the August 23, 2010 advice, or discuss any of the issues related to that advice." Accordingly, it appears that the Fire Commission will rely on independent legal advice given by Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law.
Although the legal issues facing the Fire Commission are far from simple, Trutanich's apparent intransigence and failure to address 5 key issues described as "outstanding" by the Fire Commission, suggests that Trutanich may simply be out of his depth and preoccupied with matters that he considers more important.
RentGate: No Explanation For Missing Rent Payments
|Exhibit 1: Yellow highlighted payments said by Trutanich to be for rent, |
are in fact for "campaign paraphernalia" leaving a shortfall in rent payments.
Payments to Allen Realty Plaza, LLC and Barry M. Allen, A Law Corp. said by Trutanich to be for rent, are described by Trutanich in his campaign finance reports as "campaign paraphernalia," not "office expenses" which would identify the payments as rent.
The City Ethics Commission is understood to have received a complaint regarding the RentGate scandal, however, it is the practice of the Commission not to confirm or deny whether an investigation is ongoing.
The issue appears to be straightforward enough. In the absence of evidence of payment of all the rent, believed to be $16,200 for the eight months that Trutanich can be shown to have used the Ventura Blvd. storefront, then Trutanich would be found to have received illegal in-kind donations for the rent free period. Records on the City Ethics Commission's website shows Trutanich paying only $12,150 of the $16,200 due.
DA Candidates' Debate Rumored
The six declared candidates for the 2012 District Attorney election are believed to have been invited to participate in a candidates' debate in the near future. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich may be invited to attend, however, it is thought likely that he will decline the invitation.