Proving that he's the only 'outsider' in the race to become LA's next Mayor, Kevin James released a salvo of complaints against rival candidate Wendy Greuel for allegedly abusing her position as City Controller to further her mayoral campaign.
James, a former Assistant US Attorney and talk show host, was outraged when he received copies of Greuel's calendars showing countless campaign-related activities taking place during times when Greuel was supposed to be working as City Controller. Intriguingly, the LA Times gave James' complaint considerable coverage, a sign too that the lone outsider's campaign now represents a viable alternative for voters.
James also appeared on KFI AM640's midday Bill Carroll Show and announced that he had called for an investigation into possible violations of LA's campaign ethics laws "If you review the city ethics code, you can find any number of violations as a result of these activities." James told reporters outside City Hall."She should be doing the work of the City Controller, not campaigning," James told KFI's listeners, noting that at one political event, Greuel had dispatched her Chief Deputy to attend a meeting that had nothing to do with the work of the Controller's Office.
Greuel, however, denied wrongdoing, saying nobody on her city staff works on her campaign except as volunteers after hours. "This is campaign silly season," she said.
Evidence of Greuel's activities came to light as a result of an investigation by Randy Economy, a reporter at the Los Cerritos Community News. Economy burst onto LA's political news scene by outing corruption in the County Assessor's Office, as a result of which John Noguez is currently facing criminal charges. His latest exclusive drew stinging criticism from Greuel's campaign, who attacked Economy by releasing documents showing his arrest six years ago for possession of controlled substances. “I acknowledge the fact that I had a substance abuse issue, all my friends and acquaintances know it. I have successfully recovered, I have been clean for six years, and I am now a devout catholic working very closely with the L.A. Archdiocese,” said Economy.
“I am extremely angry”, said LCCN Publisher Brian Hews. “This is reprehensible and as desperate as it gets. Randy’s article was based on what we found in the calendar, and obviously hit a nerve. We published 640 pages of Greuel’s calendar showing meetings that only advanced her mayoral campaign and these meetings took place during regular business hours, in possible violation of the Los Angeles Governmental Ethics Commission Ordinance No. 172891 Section 49.5.5, section B.”
Despite the bests efforts of the Greuel campaign to dismiss and discredit the story, it has been picked up by almost every local media source. Greuel is not the first elected official to face accusations of using city resources in political campaigns. Current City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is well known for using his city supplied SUV and LAPD security detail to ferry himself to and from campaign events, unrelated to the work of the City Attorney's Office.
With four well-funded candidates vying to be LA's next Mayor; Kevin James, Wendy Greuel, Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti, no candidate is expected to win the election outright in the March 5, 2013 primary and the two top candidates will face each other in a runoff election. James is the only Republican in the race, and with the Democrat vote fairly well divided between Greuel, Perry and Garcetti, James looks likely to secure a place in the runoff.
Fire Commission reports Trutanich to State Bar
Embattled Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's re-election hopes dimmed further with news reported in the Los Angeles Daily News that the Fire Commission has filed a complaint with the State Bar over the legal advice they received from Trutanich.
Fire Commissioner Stephen Miller accused Trutanich of failing to assist in investigating allegations of misconduct, and instead blocking access to records and failing to provide advice. The Dragnet has previously reported on complaints by the Fire Commission regarding Trutanich, however, this appears to be the first time that the State Bar has been involved.
Feuer to be endorsed by Failure
The LA Times reports news that probably provides City Attorney candidates Greg Smith and Carmen Trutanich cause to celebrate; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will endorse Mike Feuer for City Attorney.
Feuer's fundraising seems to have stalled, despite claims to be the 'front-runner' and the Villaraigosa endorsement looks like a desperate attempt to keep Feuer's name in the news whatever the cost. The irony of the Villaraigosa endorsement will not be lost on Feuer's ever-growing opponents; how can someone who aspires to be the City's top law enforcement officer, willingly accept an endorsement from the man who set a record for ethics violations fines?
Mayor Sam Blog threatened with 'cease and desist' letter from Shallman's lawyers
Mayor Sam's Sister City, the Blogfather of Los Angeles political commentary has been threatened with a cease and desist letter from attorneys acting for longtime political guru John Shallman. More at the Mayor Sam blog.
The folks at Mayor Sam do not appear to be backing down. Long live the First Amendment!