Tuesday, January 31, 2012

ADDA Board Member clarifies endorsement

Contrary to our earlier report concerning District Attorney candidate Steve Ipsen's press release regarding endorsement by the ADDA, this comment has been posted clarifying the situation.

Marc Debbaudt is listed as Vice President of the ADDA according to their website.


Tuesday Topics

EXCLUSIVE: Trutanich's tax-payer paid campaign manager

The Los Angeles Dragnet has obtained documents showing that the person City Attorney Carmen Trutanich sent to spy on the Asian Pacific American Bar Association's District Attorney candidates' forum, Dan Raskov, is listed by Trutanich as his campaign manager.

Raskov, who is paid by the City of Los Angeles at a rate of $4,175.00 (plus travel expenses) a month under Contract No. C-116687 to "provide Grant and Alternative Funding" for Trutanich, was spotted at the candidates forum taking notes.

Trutanich's tax-payer paid campaign manager takes notes for Trutanich
at the District Attorney candidates' forum
Any doubts that Raskov was attending the forum other than on the tax-payer dime would appear to be dispelled by the questionnaire submitted to the ADDA by Trutanich which lists Raskov as his campaign manager. Under section 3.5 his contract, Raskov is specifically required to "Be able to provide services during normal business work hours, and occasionally after hours at events."

That the appearance of impropriety does not seem to concern to Trutanich, should send alarm bells ringing amongst the fiscal conservatives that Trutanich was recently pandering to at a Tea Party event in Hancock Park, and raises serious questions about the way Trutanich has used the City Attorney's Office to further his political ambitions.

The questionnaire submitted by Trutanich to the ADDA is a veritable goldmine of misleading self-aggrandizing statements by the former ambulance chaser plaintiff's attorney turned career politician and begs the question whether he deliberately intended to make fools of the ADDA's by feeding them erroneous information that they would accept at face value.   

EXCLUSIVE: Alan Jackson campaign releases new video advertisement

While the 'Election Hangover Part II' video continues to gain viewers on YouTube (views have more than quadrupled since Trutanich threatened to sue Jackson over the use of his campaign photo), the Jackson campaign today released this moving video ad.

This from the Jackson campaign:


John S. Thomas
Alan Jackson for District Attorney 2012
Tel: (818) 396-6578

Ad Is Entitled “Trust”

Los Angeles, January 31th – Today the Alan Jackson campaign released a web ad demonstrating one of Jackson’s unique strengths as a prosecutor – his deep relationships with victims and their families. The spot is called “Trust” and features a victim, Susan Estrada, whose daughter, Daisy, was brutally murdered in a violent gang crime. With Estrada’s help, Alan Jackson successfully prosecuted Daisy’s killer, Johnny Espinosa, of the notorious Florencia-13 criminal street gang.

 “I pride myself on building strong relationships with victims and their families,” said Deputy DA Alan Jackson. “Those relationships are how we build trust in the community, which is so important to solving these crimes.”

“With the help of courageous people like Susan Estrada, we can ensure that justice is served and our families and children are kept safe in the future,” continued Jackson.

Jackson’s strategist John S. Thomas said, “One of the reasons Alan Jackson is such an effective prosecutor is his unwavering dedication to victims and their families.  The next DA needs to be a battle tested prosecutor, but also have compassion for victims.”

To view the advertisement, please visit

#  #  #

District Attorney candidate Jackie Lacey ramps up campaign

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey has made some significant changes to her campaign. Gone is campaign consultant Bill Carrick along with fundraiser Charlotte Dobbs and in comes renowned campaign consultant Parke Skelton and a more dynamic website.

Campaigns report fundraising for second half of 2011

The LA Weekly reports that:

Carmen Trutanich will announce this week that he has raised more than $1 million in the race for L.A. County District Attorney.

Mario Trujillo has raised $439,000.

Alan Jackson raised $376,000 by the Dec. 31 reporting deadline, but the Jackson campaign say he has since boosted his total to $406,000.

Jackie Lacey has raised just $220,000.

Danette Meyers has reported raising $116,000.

Bobby Grace raised about $60,000.

Steve Ipsen has raised $25,000.

Should City Attorney Carmen Trutanich run for LA District Attorney?

CityWatchLA is running a poll to discover the views of it's readers on the thorny topic of Trutanich's candidacy.

Early poll numbers suggest Trutanich will need to raise a great deal more than the $2.5M he plans to have on hand in June to con-vince voters that he can be trusted to be anything other than another hack career politician.

Do please cast your votes as you see fit.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Briefs

ADDA/AFSCME endorses Steve Ipsen for District Attorney

Following our report last week on the results of the endorsement interviews conducted by the Los Angeles Association of District Attorneys, District Attorney candidate Steve Ipsen emerged as the victor in the quest for the support of organized labor.

A press release from Ipsen's campaign this morning announced that AFSCME will now join the ADDA to request that the LA County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO consider him for their endorsement.

Although the ADDA/AFSCME endorsement comes as no great surprise, the negative comments about City Attorney Carmen Trutanich in the Los Angeles Downtown News editorial likely put any possibility of the former ambulance chaser plaintiff's attorney turned career politician gaining the support of the ADDA beyond doubt.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

First ripples of an anti-Trutanich tsunami gives pause to would be supporters

An editorial in Friday's Los Angeles Downtown News is likely the first sign of a tsunami of hard-hitting media condemnation aimed at City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's narcissistic ambition to become District Attorney.

The editorial, 'Which way in L.A., Nuch?', takes several swings at Trutanich not only for reneging on his 'Pledge to Serve' as City Attorney, but also for the way that his eighteen-month long stealth campaign to become District Attorney has damaged the City Attorney's Office.

The LA Downtown News says that 'It is time for Trutanich to publicly declare whether he’ll run again for City Attorney in 2013,'  and that he 'has been waffling for a long time now.' because 'he knows the minute he declares, he’ll be the target of negative campaigning' from other candidates. The Downtown News is right. Not only has District Attorney Alan Jackson already taken the lead in attacking Trutanich with the satirical 'Election Hangover Part 2' video that is 'going viral' on YouTube, but now it seems the media are poised to take a more in-depth look at the way Trutanich's 'waffling' has damaged the City Attorney's Office.

'By waffling over his future, Trutanich automatically injects a level of instability into the department he heads. People get nervous and distracted when they don’t know who their boss is going to be.' The LA Downtown News said, adding that 'This makes it almost irresponsible that Trutanich is not declaring.' and that 'Declining to state his intentions is not leadership. This is what we expect from career politicians eager to ensure that they have a high-paying civic job.' and concluding that Trutanich's 'behavior impacts many other people. His indecision is bad for the city attorney’s office. His indecision is bad for the residents of Los Angeles.'

While regular readers of the Dragnet won't be surprised by the comments in the L.A. Downtown News, what is surprising, indeed encouraging, is that the local media are starting to connect the dots between Trutanich's narcissistic pursuit of higher political office, and the string of leadership failures at the City Attorney's Office. The most recent example of such a failure was the collapse of the Occupy LA prosecutions which saw Trutanich pathetically trying to lay off the blame for his failure on the LAPD. Most insiders agree that Trutanich was too focused on leading his political campaign than doing his elected job.

Sources tell the Dragnet that almost every local media source is working on similar articles and editorials. It's a tsunami of such awesome might that it will easily overwhelm Trutanich's campaign warchest and leave Trutanich not only floundering in his quest to shake down more campaign contributions from special interests who do business with the city, but lacking in key endorsements from groups who do not want to be seen as 'guilty by association' with a failed politician.

The ripples from the imminent media tsunami is apparently already giving pause to several key law enforcement and organized labor groups, the support of which Trutanich had taken for granted. While Friday is typically a sleepy day in politics, the L.A. Downtown News editorial is said to have caused a flurry of panic calls, text messages and emails as the former ambulance chaser plaintiff's attorney turned career politician desperately sought to put out fires caused by the shocking revelations in the editorial. 

If the reaction to the L.A. Downtown News editorial is anything to go by, then Trutanich is in deep trouble. His 2009 victory owed as much to the support he enjoyed from DA Steve Cooley as it did to the relentless media attacks on Trutanich's opponent; career politician Councilmember Jack Weiss. Now Trutanich finds himself in the same position as Weiss - Cooley has withdrawn his support, and the media are focusing on the feckless failures of a narcissistic career politician; Carmen Trutanich.

The anti-Trutanich tsunami is coming and the thin-skinned embattled City Attorney has already proved incapable of fighting it, as seen by his empty threat to sue Alan Jackson over the 'Election Hangover Part 2' video. By the time the tsunami hits the political shores in May 2012, about a month ahead of the primary election, it will have gained the devastating force necessary to sweep Trutanich into the political wilderness.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Four move forward in ADDA endorsement interviews

Seven candidates for Los Angeles District Attorney participated in Tuesday night's endorsement interviews conducted by the Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys. The interviews were not open to the public, and few ADDA members actually attended.

It is understood that the ADDA Board decided that four candidates would advance to a second level of interviews where the controlling AFSCME union will make the determination of which candidate will obtain the benefit of the ADDA/AFSCME endorsement.

The top four candidates advancing to the AFSCME interviews are Steve Ipsen, Bobby Grace, Danette Meyers and Carmen Trutanich. Although it is no surprise that Ipsen, Grace and Meyers received the ADDA's thumbs up, the choice of Trutanich has many puzzled.

Trutanich appears to be an unlikely choice for the ADDA. The former ambulance chaser plaintiff's attorney turned career politician has a poor record of labor relations at the City Attorney's Office. Under his tenure he has made few promotions and caused most of his staff to suffer a 15% pay cut through enforced unpaid work furloughs. Trutanich, however, does not appear to believe that he should 'share the sacrifice' and has steadfastly refused to take a matching pay cut. He also angered the City Attorney's unions by creating 50 'volunteer' positions weakening the bargaining position of the union.

Trutanich is not only viewed by many as 'unfit' to serve as District Attorney, but he is hardly a 'pro-labor guy.' His union busting activities were brought to light during the City Attorney campaign - the painters union hounded Trutanich with a 16 foot tall inflatable rat to protest they way they claimed Trutanich (then in private practice) busted their union on behalf of clients.

The only possible explanation for the ADDA's inclusion of Trutanich would appear to be that the ADDA could not find it in themselves to support Alan Jackson, Jackie Lacey or Mario Trujillo because they have, at various times, enjoyed the support of DA Steve Cooley. However, if anyone has benefited from Cooley's support it is Trutanich who owes his position at City Hall to Cooley's endorsement. Perhaps if Marcus Musante hadn't dropped out, he would be holding the fourth place card instead of Trutanich?


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

EndosementGate - Trutanich's surprise announcement tainted by allegations of 'fixing'

Following Monday's confirmation that Camen Trutanich is running for Los Angeles District based on his acceptance of an invitation to vie for the endorsement of the Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorney's, the Los Angeles Dragnet can report that Trutanich has also secured the endorsement of the Long Beach Police Officers Association.

Although the LBPOA's Political Action page on their website has not yet been updated to reflect the endorsement, sources have confirmed that following a vote on Thursday January 19, 2012, the LBPOA did indeed vote to endorse Trutanich.

However, as with most things associated with Trutanich, the endorsement is clouded by the appearance of impropriety. Sources inform the Dragnet that the LBPOA was unable to confirm whether or not Truanich actually attended an endorsement interview. If true, that would suggest that the endorsement was secured by nothing more than cronyism based on Trutanich's friendship with Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell as well as the personal appearance and lobbying of Trutanich's campaign worker Chief Investigator Garry Schram who was seen 'high fiving' LBPOA members shortly after the 'vote' at around 4PM.

It is known that District Attorney candidates Jackie Lacey and Alan Jackson were also interviewed by the LBPOA, however, it is understood that they had to request interviews. It is not known whether any other candidates were either invited to attend, or were even aware of that the LBPOA was going to make an endorsement.

Trutanich is understood to have been desperate to secure a law enforcement endorsement to coincide with the announcement of his candidacy. His recent 'cry baby' antics of blaming LAPD for 'paperwork errors' following the collapse of his prosecutions of Occupy LA protesters likely made his quest harder; cops take a lot of heat at the best of times, but having the City Attorney throw LAPD under the bus because Trutanich failed to spot mistakes in police reports is seen by most as unprofessional and unforgivable.

That Trutanich failed to apologize for blaming LAPD officers for what was apparently his failure to follow established procedures to ensure that criminal charges are only filed when competent evidence exists, casts another cloud over the LBPOA endorsement; it is highly unlikely that the rank and file members would never support Trutanich after his betrayal of fellow police officers.

At the time of writing we are unable to confirm whether Trutanich actually attended the ADDA's endorsement interview on Tuesday night, however, his chances of securing that endorsement are slim to none.

Sources indicate that Trutanich will shortly announce that he has the endorsement of LA County Supervisor Don Knabe. However, that endorsement is understood to owe more to Knable being a godparent to one of Trutanich's children than any genuine belief that Trutanich has the integrity or ability for the position. Knabe doubtless finds himself in an awkward position, publicly having to say one thing, but privately saying another. Perhaps he and Chief McDonnell have more in common, given Trutanich's lousy record, they will likely vote for anyone but Trutanich.


Monday, January 23, 2012

It's official - Trutanich is running for District Attorney

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is running for District Attorney, the Los Angeles Dragnet can report.

Official confirmation of Trutanich's candidacy came earlier today in the form of an email from the  Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys ("ADDA"), the union that represents approximately 970 Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorneys in Grades I through IV.

The email states that Trutanich will attend a scheduled 8:00PM interview with the ADDA with a view to obtaining their endorsement for his bid to take over from Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley. Cooley has stated that he plans to retire in January 2013 when his record third term expires, and has endorsed his Chief Deputy, Jackie Lacey who will also address the ADDA for their endorsement directly after Trutanich concludes his pitch.

The announcement of Trutanich's interview ends over a year of speculation, rumor and accusations of betrayal surrounding the former ambulance chaser plaintiff's attorney turned career politician. Trutanich campaigned to become Los Angeles City Attorney cloaked with a veneer of respectability founded on his signed solemn promise not to use the City Attorney's Office as a political springboard to higher office. His announcement is certain to rekindle the public revulsion at his apparent lack of ethics, honor and commitment to voters, and will likely give the Alan Jackson campaign's 'Election Hangover Part II' video a new lease of life.

Trutanich recently tried and failed in an attempt to sue Alan Jackson for copyright infringement over the use of a widely-used campaign photograph in the satirical video. The photograph appears for less than half a second, but that apparently was half a second too much for the thin-skinned braggart who  revealed his fundamental lack of knowledge of First Amendment law with his crass threat.

It is not known whether Trutanich consulted with his highly paid campaign consultant, John Shallman, before threatening to sue Jackson. Shallman would likely have advised Trutanich against making yet another empty threat to add to his ever growing list. However, it is equally likely that Trutanich would have ignored that advice anyway.

Interestingly, media sources indicate that Shallman has not been returning calls for comment regarding various scandals surrounding Trutanich's campaign, perhaps indicating that all is not well with a campaign 'borne of a lie.' Trutanich is understood to be nonplussed by the negativity surrounding his abandonment of his 'Pledge to Serve' and is perhaps perplexed that his 'changed circumstances' alibi has failed to gain any traction.

The ADDA email calls for members to suggest questions to be put to the candidates. They can be emailed to Leslie Simon, the ADDA's Organizing Director, at:

ADDA members may be reluctant to pose challenging questions, so here are a few questions that readers may wish to send to Leslie to be asked of Trutanich:

1. How many Deputy City Attorney positions have you lost since taking office?

2. How many promotions have you made at the City Attorney's Office?

3. Deputy City Attorneys have been forced to take 15% pay cut, yet you have steadfastly refused to take a matching pay cut. If elected as District Attorney, will you set the same selfish example if your policies result in the same loss of confidence from the Board of Supervisors?

4. When your lack of supervision and failure to evaluate cases resulted in the dismissal of cases against the Occupy LA protesters, you blamed your failure on the Los Angeles Police Department for 'paperwork' errors. Is this how you plan to explain your future failures?

5. Was it simply just a foolish mistake to threaten to arrest Councilmember Jan Perry over her support for billboards at the AEG/LA Live Regency Cinema complex,  or were you unaware that you had no basis in law, fact or reality to make that threat?

6. If elected as District Attorney, will you resurrect your failed and foolish 'criminal aspects' investigation into AEG's handling of the Micheal Jackson memorial through the Grand Jury?

7. In August 2011, the LA Times reported on what appeared to be your failed attempt to misappropriate a $2M settlement check from a consumer protection lawsuit. Are there any other settlement checks lying around that have not yet been delivered?

8. What is your policy on allowing members of your staff to participate in political fundraising activities during office hours?

9. Is it true that, if elected as District Attorney, you plan on having at least three Chiefs of the Bureau of Investigation?

10. How can anyone believe anything you say?


Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Free For All

Trutanich reveals alibi for reneging on 'Pledge to Serve'

In a rare interview with veteran reporter Doug Kriegel, Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich not only maintained his lie that he has not yet decided to run for District Attorney, but also revealed his alibi for going back on his word not to run for District Attorney.

Trutanich states that 'the District Attorney's Office has not been open for 50 years,' that things have changed 'grossly,' and that when he ran for City Attorney he was 'under the impression' that Steve Cooley would be the DA for the next 8 years. The significance of Mr. Cooley being the DA appears to mean that Trutanich would have a 'partner in enforcement.'

It's the usual double-speak failed logic of a failed politician. Like much of what comes out of the former ambulance chaser plaintiff's attorney turned career politician, it makes no sense at all.

Trutanich's contorted logic would have us believe that without Steve Cooley at DA, Trutanich has no 'partner.' Trutanich was not questioned about the serious breakdown in relations between himself and the DA. It is an open secret that Cooley backed Jackie Lacey's bid to become DA long ago, and would likely endorse 'anyone but Trutanich' if Lacey were not running. Trutanich seems to be saying that the candidate Cooley has chosen to endorse is someone he cannot regard as a 'partner.' That begs the question 'Who can you partner with?' The likely answer is nobody.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thursday's Topic

2012 DA election will be the first 'Open' DA election since 1964

In case you were wondering, the June 5, 2012 primary election for the next Los Angeles County District Attorney will be the first time an incumbent hasn't sought reelection since Evelle Younger won the seat 48 years ago. On Tuesday, January 17, 2012, the LA Times teased the question, 'First wide-open race for D.A. since -- when?' in their Coffeebreak Quiz section. They answered the question the following day.

Evelle Younger the became District Attorney after winning
the 1964 'open' election to become LA's top cop.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Midweek Musings

Last in, first out; District Attorney candidate Marcus Musante bows out

The Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise is reporting that DDA Marcus Musante has decided against continuing his campaign to become the next Los Angeles District Attorney. In an email to the MetNews Friday, Deputy District Attorney Marcus Musante wrote:

“I really thought I could help with the race. It’s such a ‘perfect storm’ of politics, with so much uncertainty, that how could I pass up the chance? And ‘Justice’ is all I know. But I lost my way

“Perhaps I was foolish to think that I could reach the people so early and purely. Perhaps one only has the right to talk the talk if he/she intends to walk the walk. And there are already more than enough brave souls walking that walk.

“Now is not my time.

“And thank you.”

Musante could not be reached late Friday for elaboration, the MetNews reported.

'Carmine' Trutanich appears at CD15 Special Election Victory Party for Joe Buscaino

San Pedro Today's FaceBook page featured this photo of local ambulance chaser plaintiff's attorney turned career politician, 'Carmine' Trutanich.

It seems that the LA Weekly's Gene Maddaus is not the only one to have noted Trutanich's 'Goodfella-like' tendencies,  San Pedro Today also seems to think of Trutanich as a wiseguy. I guess if anyone knows a 'Carmine' when they see one, it the San Pedro Today.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Trutanich moves for 'Jackboot' ban on medical marijuana, adds another failure to growing list

OPINION: They say that the third time's the charm, but it seems that's not the case when it comes to Carmen Trutanich's three attempts to create laws to protect legitimate medical marijuana patients. In reality his laws were, in effect, thinly and poorly disguised attempts to defy the state's permissive medical marijuana laws. The first two were struck down as 'unconstitutional.' A third, proposes a lottery to limit the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, but it too seems unlikely to pass legal muster.

Faced with further proof that he fundamentally cannot cope with complex legal issues, and perhaps in an effort to avoid a 'Three strikes and you're out' analogy, Trutanich made a rare appearance at the Public Safety Committee on Friday, January 13, 2012. His recommendation was the abandonment of any regulation whatsoever in favor of an outright ban; the 'Jackboot' approach that seems to be his solution to legal issues beyond his legal capabilities.   

The move towards another 'scorched earth' outright ban should not surprise those who have seen the way the part-time, night-time, unaccredited law school educated former ambulance chaser plaintiff's attorney turned career politician has struggled and failed to cope with complex legal issues. His frustration at his own ineptitude is likely the cause of his thuggish, bully-boy behavior as witnessed in the now infamous screaming session at a Town Hall meeting on medical marijuana.

Trutanich screams at Kathryn, a cancer patient,
at a Town Hall meeting when challenged over his policy
Perhaps the way the City Attorney berated Kathryn, a cancer patient who uses medical marijuana, should have tipped-off observers that Trutanich's thin-skinned super-ego cannot handle being challenged, questioned or criticized. Kathryn was barely able to complete a sentence challenging his Voodoo science conclusions about pesticide in marijuana before the 'lost it' and interrupted Kathryn repeatedly screaming "Wrong! You're wrong!" mocking the shocked woman urging her to "go home and feed your children insecticide and lead toys," and telling her to "Sit down and shut up."

Kathryn wasn't the only person shocked at Trutanich's short temper and thug-like behavior. His own handlers promptly made the decision not to allow him to appear in public meetings where his failed logic can be challenged, perhaps explaining why he did not appear at the recent District Attorney candidates' forum.

But if Trutanich's short temper and rapid resort to bullying was not evident at Friday's Public Safety Committee meeting, his well documented struggle with the concept of truth was. He described his solution to his failed laws as a 'Gentle ban' on medical marijuana that would "allow patients and caregivers to cultivate and have access to marijuana." Of course, what he did not say is that his so-called 'Gentle ban' is nothing more than the a rehash 'cut and paste' of the 1996 Prop 215 Compassionate Use Act, and is completely devoid of any of the provisions of the later 2003 SB420, the Medical Marijuana Program Act.

It's yet another example of the duplicity and deception that has characterized the Trutanich regime. As the City Attorney, he was charged with the task of carrying out the will of the City Council in formulating a workable law to allow patients to obtain medical marijuana from dispensaries. But instead of pushing the envelope and creating a permissive law, he promulgated laws that were doomed to fail because they expressed his own restrictive and, as was seen by his behavior towards Kathryn, dismissive view of medical marijuana.

Sarah Armstrong, a medical marijuana advocate who helps run a dispensary in Reseda, told the LA Times that she decried Trutanich's proposal and said she and others have been trying for years to get the city to adopt a workable ordinance. She said that hundreds of 'rogue' dispensaries that have opened up in recent years have given a bad rap to older, more responsible operations that want to follow the law and cooperate with the city. “We’re tired of being tarred with the same brush,” she said.

She dismissed the proposed prohibition as politically motivated because of Trutanich's District Attorney aspirations. Armstrong said “there’s no such thing as a gentle ban.” She is right, and Trutanich knows it, but he hasn't got the decency to say it, nor the legal ability to solve the problem.

The next District Attorney for Los Angeles County will have to offer voters more than 'Jackboot' solutions to law enforcement problems, and have greater respect for cancer patients who have neither the time, ability or capacity to 'grow their own.' Trutanich's 'Gentle ban' is not a solution, it is a regressive goose-step back into the dark ages. Los Angeles deserves better than anything this clown has to offer.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Midday Update

District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson blasts Carmen 'Cry Baby' Trutanich for 'throwing LAPD under the bus.' 
Jackson offers to teach Trutanich a lesson in prosecutorial responsibility.

This from the Alan Jackson for District Attorney campaign:

John S. Thomas
Alan Jackson for District Attorney 2012


Deputy DA Alan Jackson weighs in on proper prosecution

Los Angeles, January 9th – City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has wasted both city and judicial resources by rushing to file cases against Occupy LA protesters without fully considering the facts of each case. Then, rather than take responsibility for his inability to properly prosecute and oversee those cases, Trutanich blamed our LAPD for his missteps.

As veteran prosecutors know, advising law enforcement of proper procedures and evidence gathering is a central part of the job. If, as quoted by Trutanich’s spokesman, "paperwork errors [were] made by police officers during the November 30 raid," it was Trutanich’s job to identify and correct those mistakes before filing charges. Had Trutanich acknowledged or effectively performed these duties, the City could have avoided these expensive, embarrassing, and very public dismissals.

John S. Thomas (strategist for leading DA candidate DDA Alan Jackson) stated, “Trutanich calls himself a prosecutor, yet he just flunked Prosecution 101. Trutanich failed to work with or stand by our police. Instead, he threw them under the bus when it was politically convenient.”

“The District Attorney prosecutes felonies where lives are at stake each and every day. The DA’s office cannot be led by a grandstanding politician whose basic understanding of prosecutions is obviously inadequate.”

Deputy DA Jackson, a veteran prosecutor, has this take on the role of a public prosecutor:
  • To ensure public safety and the fair administration of justice, it is the duty of all prosecutors, including the City Attorney, to consult with and, where requested, advise law enforcement.
  • Effective prosecutors use discretion daily and file charges only when 1) available evidence convinces them a public offense has been committed, 2) there is legally sufficient evidence of the accused’s identity, and 3) the elements of the offense charged can be proven by competent evidence in a court of law.
Had these basic precepts been followed, the bungling of many of the Occupy LA cases and the subsequent blame-game could have been avoided.

According to Jackson, "The 'Ready, Fire, Aim' approach is never in the best interest of justice."

The public should demand that their next DA should stand with law enforcement, not use our police as a scapegoat for political cover.

Alan Jackson has been a prosecutor in the LA County District Attorney’s office for over 16 years where he has tried nearly 60 felony cases, more than half of which have been murder trials.  Jackson spent five years prosecuting hardcore gang cases in Compton, after which he moved to the Major Crimes Division where he has led the prosecution in some of California’s highest profile cases. Prior to becoming a Deputy DA, Jackson served in the United States Air Force as a jet engine mechanic. Currently, Jackson serves as the Assistant Head Deputy of the Major Crimes Division, where he oversees the office’s most complex and high-profile cases.

# # #


Cry Baby Gate - Did Trutanich screw up Occupy LA cases because he wasn't invited to the party?

OPINION: After the collapse of the Occupy LA cases, some might say that the only thing 'transparent' about City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is his ever thinning skin. The LA Weekly's exclusive story that 'many cases' against the Occupy LA protesters were dismissed by courts reportedly sent LA's wannabe tough guy into full media panic mode.

Criticism here, and elsewhere, suggested that if he wasn't capable of managing even the simplest of prosecutions; a misdemeanor trespass, how could he possibly be an effective District Attorney? The easiest answer for the man who wants to be DA was to blame someone else - the brave men and women of the LAPD who brought a peaceful and praiseworthy end to the Occupy LA protest at City Hall.

Does the cry baby clown blame LAPD for his screw ups because he wasn't invited to the party?
Both the Daily News and the LA Times published statements from the cry baby coward blaming the collapse of the Occupy LA cases on LAPD for "paperwork errors made by police officers during the Nov. 30 raid." Yes, it's the cops who did the hard work who are to blame, not the City Attorney's Office who had 30 days to check the "paperwork" and correct any errors.

Of course, during that 30 day period while the City Attorney is supposed to be reviewing the cases and preparing for trial, there was the unavoidable interruption caused by the Christmas and New Year's Day holidays. Add to that the even more pressing flood of fundraiser events that Trutanich had to attend in order to reach his stated goal of raising $1M by Christmas for his DA campaign and it's not hard to see why these so-called "paperwork" errors were not spotted until that day of trial.

Whatever the reasons for the collapse of the Occupy LA cases, one thing is certain; throwing LAPD under the bus is an immature, cry-baby cowardly way of blame shifting, from an egocentric braggart and Los Angelenos are entitled to expect more from the second highest-paid elected official in City Hall; are the words 'mea culpa' too hard to say? Or how about saying nothing at all?

Saying nothing, 'no comment,' seemed to work just fine when the 'criminal aspects' investigation into AEG's handling of the Michael Jackson memorial collapsed with a fistful of Lady Gaga tickets. But here, it was as if Trutanich wanted to inflame the situation with his cry-baby antics. Perhaps his wafer-thin skin and oversize ego just couldn't tollerate any questioning of his ability as a prosecutor?

Or was there another explanation for the inexcusable and unprofessional failure to supervise and adequately implement a preparation plan for those cases; political payback?

The Los Angeles Dragnet exclusively reported that Trutanich was not present when the Mayor and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck held their November 25, 2011 press conference announcing the imminent law enforcement action to end the Occupy LA protest.

The City Attorney was notable by his absence from the press conference announcing
the imminent end of the Occupy LA protest.
Perhaps the City Attorney had been 'disinvited' for fear that he would simply turn the occasion into another photo-op grandstanding session?  Or perhaps there was concern that he would make make more inflammatory 'tough guy' empty threats as he did with the Dream Act protesters?

Or maybe Trutanich himself did not realize that the City Attorney's Office has a real role in the processing of the anticipated mass arrests that would inevitably follow the end of the Occupy LA protest?  Perhaps he was too busy nursing his bruised ego at not being invited to the party to remember that there's a protocol to be followed by the City Attorney's Office at times like these?

Because there is one. It was most recently deployed, ironically, in the build up to the Michael Jackson memorial when the City Attorney's Office worked closely with LAPD to prepare for any mass arrests that might occur. However, the event was so well managed by AEG, that no mass arrests occurred.

But go back a little further in time, to the protests during the 2000 Democratic National Convention at the Staples Center, and you will find evidence of the real role of the City Attorney's Office when mass arrests are anticipated.

In August 2000, the LA Times reported on the successful processing of the 50 or so arrests made that night, thanks to advance planning by the City Attorney's Office and to the tireless efforts of Deputy City Attorney Howard Gluck, who led the team from the City Attorney's Office.

If the City Attorney's Office protocol had been followed with the Occupy LA arrests, there would not be any cry-baby accusations of "paperwork" errors. That's because any such errors would be identified on the spot, instead of languishing in a pile of police reports only to be discovered on the day of trial. Better still, the sound judgment exercised by Deputy City Attorney Howard Gluck might have prevented any cases from even going to court and using up scarce resources. 

One thing is notable from the LA Times account of Gluck's commendable efforts that night; you don't see the name of the elected City Attorney mentioned anywhere in the article. No glory seeking headlines, no grandstanding puffery, no wild baseless threats and no false promises. You have to Google who the City Attorney was in August 2000 to discover that it was James Hahn, who was probably the last 'professional' City Attorney Los Angeles had.

The real question to be asked by Los Angeles media isn't "who's to blame for the collapse of the Occupy LA cases?" because it is abundantly clear that the blame lies at the door the often empty executive office on the eighth floor at City Hall East.

The real question to be asked and answered is "Why wasn't the City Attorney's mass arrest protocol followed with the Occupy LA arrests?" Clearly, had there been a Gluck on the ground with LAPD that night, there would not have been a problem.

Was it because City Attorney Carmen Trutanich could not be trusted to work with LAPD to bring a peaceful and effective end to the Occupy LA protest?

Or was it because the City Attorney was asleep at the wheel of his City SUV trundling back and forth between campaign fundraisers, and did not remember to implement the protocol?

Or was it because his fragile ego couldn't tolerate not being invited to the party, so he took his toys out of the sandbox?

Los Angelenos can only hope the press now puts those questions squarely to the man responsible for the collapse of these cases, and does not accept anything other than the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth from him, and not a spokesperson. Whatever the answer is, it must surely be clear that the kind of 'leadership' he displayed makes him unfit to be City Attorney, let alone District Attorney.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cry Baby Trutanich blames LAPD for collapse of Occupy LA prosecutions

A 'thin-skinned' City Attorney Carmen Trutanich lashed out at criticism of his poor managerial abilities by blaming the Los Angeles Police Department for dismissal of 'many cases' against the Occupy LA protesters.
Cry-Baby Trutanich blames the LAPD for the dismissal of 'many cases'
arising from the Occupy LA protests
The blame-shift game started after the LA Weekly exclusively reported that 'many cases' had been dismissed by the courts as the City Attorney's office was 'unprepared and unable' to proceed with trials against the protesters within the statutory 30-day period.

It did not take long for the internet to become abuzz with comments that if Trutanich could not handle the prosecution of what were basically very simple cases, he was unfit to be District Attorney. It was a story that would not go away as thousands of Twitter messages rebroadcast the collapse of the Occupy LA prosecutions.

Speculation grew that the LA Weekly had been 'tipped off' by sources within the City Attorney's Office. Such whistle-blowing was routine during the Rocky Delgadillo administration, and it seems things have not changed. According to sources, Trutanich was desperate to 'put out the fires' as his Blackberry repeatedly chirped a new comment questioning his leadership and competence, and he reached out to as many media sources as possible to try to explain the collapse of his promised prosecutions.

It seems that only the Daily News was willing to listen and publish his lame excuse. In what appears to be a cry-baby piece of blame-shifting from the wannabe tough guy, he pointed the finger at the Los Angeles Police Department . Rather than shoulder the responsibility for his failures, Trutanich blamed "paperwork errors made by police officers during the Nov. 30 raid" for the embarrassing collapse of his cases.

Reaction to the cowardly excuse was swift. District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson's strategist, John S. Thomas, said, "The next District Attorney needs to stand with law enforcement, not throw them under the bus when it is politically convenient. Mr. Trutanich appears to be too busy collecting special interest cash and exploiting his elected position with city contractors to run the City Attorney's office. Not only did Trutanich throw the police under the bus, he backed up and ran over them again."

The Jackson campaign's questioning of how the City Attorney prioritizes his time is, perhaps, not surprising. Trutanich had thirty days to prepare these cases for trial by carefully examining the evidence presented by the LAPD at the time the cases were filed. If there were any failures in the 'paperwork," these should have been identified and either corrected or the case should not have been brought to trial. But the fundraising activities of the City Attorney in his effort to raise over $1M for his District Attorney campaign by December 2011, may well have taken priority over his duties at the office.

The willingness of Trutanich to blame the LAPD for the collapse of his cases may also signal another impending failure in his District Attorney campaign. All District Attorney candidates have been working hard to secure key endorsements from law enforcement. Throwing law enforcement 'under the bus' to cover his thin-skinned ego is unlikely to help Trutanich in wowing LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, or the all-important LAPPL  Los Angeles Police Protective League to endorse him.

While Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca has 'supported' Trutanich's bid for DA, he has drawn short of an endorsement, and this latest act of cry-baby cowardice is unlikely to make that happen any time soon. Equally, ALADS, the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, were rumored to be strongly considering endorsing Alan Jackson despite Baca's stated allegiance, and once word of the cry-baby antics of the City Attorney becomes know, Jackson's chances look to be much improved.

But as for the remaining Occupy LA cases, and the fuss recently made about plans to sue the Occupy LA protesters to recover the city's expenses, the collapse of these cases will do little to improve Trutanich's chances of scoring any political points there. As one comment on Twitter perhaps best summed it up, 'he can talk the talk, but he cannot walk the walk.'


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Trutanich's credibility crumbles. Jackson soars in San Fernando Valley

As Wednesday's LA Weekly's exclusive shows, the DA wannabe, Carmen Trutanich, hasn't got what it takes to prosecute the Occupy LA protesters, and has had to dismiss 'many cases.'

Proving, once again, that he can talk the talk, but cannot walk the walk, the former ambulance chaser
 plaintiff's attorney turned career politician appears to be responsible for a screw up of biblical proportions, due to his failure to understand that the law requires a prosecution within a set time frame; the so-called Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. In simple terms he was not prepared, was not ready, did not have witnesses and was missing paperwork. The cases were dismissed because despite all of Trutanich's tough talk, he screwed up.

Trutanich's screw up is so fundamental that it will likely undermine whatever little credibility he had with the City Council, who he was going to 'advise' about suing and bankrupting the Occupy LA protesters. The seeds of doubt about Trutanich's credibility were sown not so long ago when he delivered his infamous 'criminal aspects' speech. The promised investigation into the crimes Trutanich implied were committed by AEG in their handling of the Michael Jackson memorial, went on for a year at untold cost, and then quietly went away with no word from the self-proclaimed 'tough guy' of City Hall.

Unlike the 'criminal aspects' scandal, the collapse of the Occupy LA protest cases came more quickly than Trutanich may have expected. When the 'criminal aspects' investigation collapsed, most Los Angelenos couldn't even remember what all the fuss was about.  But the situation is markedly different with the Occupy LA protesters, and the public humiliation of the City Attorney's Office due to it's poor leadership, will not be quickly forgotten.

Alan Jackson soars in San Fernando Valley

District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson received a rousing welcome at the San Fernando Valley Republican Club on Tuesday night in marked contrast to the booing, jeering and hissing that previously met Carmen Trutanich at the last meeting. According to sources, while Trutanich was asked to leave 'before things got out of hand,' Jackson was not only cheered but stayed late into the night talking to his voter base.

No doubt buoyed by his recent 'deal sealing' endorsement by Gov. Pete Wilson, the crowded assembly room warmly embraced Jackson who spoke of his record of successes in handling complex high-profile trials as well as his commitment to the core values of the District Attorney's Office.

Jackson is the only Republican in he race and is expected to win a place in the run-off election that will follow the June 5, 2012 primary.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Trutanich's ties to porn industry questioned

Former Los Angeles Mayoral candidate Walter Moore believes that City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's lawsuit to ban a ballot measure on condom use in porn movies is simply a publicity stunt designed to raise Trutanich's profile.

Moore may be right. The ballot measure would require the use of condoms by actors in porn movies made in the City of Los Angeles. The San Fernando Valley is, of course, the Hollywood of the the porn movie industry and porn movie moguls are vehemently opposed to the measure.

The ballot measure is backed by Councilmembers Rosendahl and Koretz and has garnered some 71,000 signatures - way more than the 41,000 required to qualify the measure for a place on the ballot in the June 2012 elections. Notwithstanding the overwhelming support for the measure, Trutanich has filed a lawsuit to ban the measure from appearing on the June ballot.

Trutanich says that the City of LA has no legal right to require the use of condoms because that is something that only the State of California can do through Cal/OSHA. According to Trutanich, if the ballot measure passes, the City of Los Angeles could be challenged in a lawsuit filed by the porn movie industry, and that's a lawsuit he would have to defend, and that's a waste of his resources.

So rather than 'waste' his resources defending a possible future lawsuit, Trutanich's bizarre legal logic is to 'waste' his resources on a lawsuit now, over something that may or may not happen in the future. As Walter Moore says, it makes no sense from a legal standpoint, but plenty of sense from a publicity stunt standpoint.

Moore is not the only one to cast doubt on Trutanich's legal logic. The head of the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is responsible for administering these laws, has said that the City of Los Angeles actually has jurisdiction to pass this law. A statement that directly conflicts with Trutanich's lawsuit.

In a statement to KPCC Michael Weinstein, the Executive Director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said "I think that Mr. Trutanich, the City Attorney, has a confused relationship with democracy,"  and questioned who has a better idea of who is in charge - Cal/OSHA or Trutanich? "It doesn't make sense." Weinstein said.

In addition to the criticism leveled against Trutanich by Moore and KPCC, the LA Times Editorial Board weighed in with their own condemnation of the undemocratic and highly questionable abuse of office displayed by the City Attorney, also questioning the logic in the light of Cal/OSHA's lack of opposition.

Whether it makes sense or not, Trutanich is determined go forward with his lawsuit to overturn the will of the democratic process. The real question is why?

The lawsuit and Trutanich's anti-AIDS prevention stance is likely to be a 'hot button' issue and will generate plenty of free publicity for him. It is publicity that Trutanich desperately needs. He is expected to be forced to confess that he has been secretly campaigning to become District Attorney during the time he was supposed to be fulfilling the obligations of his $220k taxpayer funded job as City Attorney.

It's going to be a painful confession. It appears that while Trutanich was on the city's payroll he is believed to have raised $1M in campaign donations using city resources such as a full-time LAPD security detail to ferry him to and from his fundraisers in a city-funded chauffeured SUV. It's a scandal reminiscent of Trutanich's predecessor and mentor, Rocky Delgadillo

Trutanich may therefore need the distraction of his anti-AIDS prevention lawsuit to create a distraction from the corruption allegations that will likely follow his confession. But the free publicity generated by Trutanich's pointless lawsuit may not be the only thing Trutanich stands to gain. As well as generating free publicity, Trutanich could generate hundreds of thousands of campaign donations from the porn industry.

Whether those porno industry campaign contributions have already been made will likely be revealed when Trutanich's fundraising disclosure statement becomes available for investigation at the end of this month. The campaign contributions would certainly explain the reason for Trutanich's lawsuit, which is very troubling for a variety of reasons. Trutanich's apparent willingness to sell his services to help advance his political career might be acceptable to the City Ethics Commission, however, in the larger scale of things, with Trutanich determined to move to the District Attorney's Office, he would acquire the is ability to sell justice and give a pass on criminal conduct if the price is right. Based on his track record, few doubt that result.

Who gives money to Trutanich and what they expect to get in return has always been a troubling question. In recent disclosure statements it was revealed that Trutanich had received donations to both his City Attorney Officeholder Account, and his District Attorney campaign account from members of the law firm Albright Yee & Schmit. Trutanich, coincidentally, awarded that law firm $767,000 in four separate contracts to 'assist the City Attorney with the legal representation' in various matters. Is that 'pay to play?' To some, the words of another conman may come to mind "There is no innocent explanation," for Trutanich, the likely response is "Would you rather believe me or your own damn lying eyes?"

Trutanich is expected to shortly issue a statement confessing to his secret District Attorney campaign.