Monday, January 9, 2012

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.



Anonymous said...

The correct answer is all 3. Beck hates Nuch - doesn't trust him, didn't want to risk Nuch messing things up. Nuch was pissed at being left out of the presser, so he did not send anyone to work with LAPD. He made sure nobody worked too hard on these cases and was probably delighted when the cases were dismissed.

Anonymous said...

Trutanich would not allow any dca to have the kind of discretion that Howard had. Trutanich is a control freak. He also would never allow an article like the one from 2000 to miss his name and his comment. He hates it when a deputy city attorney is in the press without including him, that's why he has virtually shut down the neighborhood prosecutor program, too much competition for ink.