Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday's Free For All

Trutanich's final humiliation 

Four years ago Carmen 'Nuch' Trutanich swept into the City Attorney's office buoyed by a wealth of support, advice and goodwill from those who believed the promises he made on the road to City Hall. Trutanich was the talk of the town; a political novice who promised to break the mold established by the 'business as usual' brand of cronyism that had come to define LA politics and politicians.

Nuch was different, or so he said to anyone who would listen. He was not a politician, he did not want to see his name in the headlines, and he only wanted to be City Attorney, pledging not use the office as a political springboard to higher office.

Four years later Trutanich is finished in LA politics. The man who promised so much, delivered so little. He succeeded only in defining himself as a "say anything to stay in power" liar who was resoundingly and humiliatingly thrown out of office by an electorate who rejected him, not once but twice in less than twelve months.

Fittingly, for the disgraced former slip and fall lawyer turned career politician, Trutanich bowed out of LA politics at a subdued office 'farewell reception' on Thursday afternoon, organized by his political staff. Nobody of any significance bothered to attend Trutanich's farewell.

Usher's last email

Senior Special Assistant Jane Usher, recently placed on tenure track by 'Nuch,' issued a final farewell missive to the gentlemen and gentlewomen of the press.

Our thanks to Kevin Roderick at LA Observed for passing on Ms. Usher's heartfelt thanks for the hard work that LA's media did to ensure Nuch got all the coverage he so richly deserved.

Reading between the lines, it seems that Ms. Usher's services have not been retained by LA City Attorney (as of July 1) Mike Feuer...


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Friday's Free For All

The Final Downfall of Carmen Trutanich

Is this what was going on as Trutanich remained 'holed up' with Sheriff Baca and his inner circle on election night?

Never one to take responsibility for his own screw-ups, Trutanich likely blamed anyone and everyone but himself for the monumental and historic failure of his doomed 'Official Re-Election' campaign.

He has been quoted as blaming LA voters for not forgiving him for breaking the 'Pledge to Serve,' but tellingly, there is no record of Trutanich ever apologizing for breaking the pledge. Perhaps more tellingly, he has consistently referred to it as 'the pledge,' rather than his pledge.

As Trutanich prepares to leave office on June 30, we've dedicated a page for readers to leave 'Farewell' messages for him.

Trutanich's politically motivated settlement could prove costly

One of defeated Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen 'Nuch' Trutanich's desperate ploys to try to win votes for his doomed reelection campaign was to agree to a record $4.2M payout to a pair of newspaper delivery women who were mistakenly shot by LAPD officers during the manhunt for the murderous former LAPD officer Chris Dorner.

Trutanich likely was motivated to settle the case (without even taking a deposition), because he thought his largesse with taxpayer funds would be rewarded with votes from LA's Latino community. The ploy, of course, failed spectacularly. But as feared by many who counseled against settling the case to hastily, the size of the settlement has apparently raised the bar for cases involving mistaken cop shootings.

As CBS TV reports, negotiations between the City of Torrance and David Perdue, who was mistakenly shot at by Torrance Police officers during the Dorner manhunt, have broken down. Three rounds pierced the windshield of Perdue’s SUV on the same morning that LAPD mistakenly shot at the newspaper delivery women.

Although no mention was made as to the sum of money Perdue is seeking in compensation for the trauma he suffered as a result of the mistaken shooting, it is likely based on the $4.2M that Trutanich couldn't wait to hand over.

While no reasonable person would deny that a person mistakenly shot at by police is entitled to compensation, the amount of the compensation must bear some relation to the loss suffered. Trutanich's rapid payout has seemingly skewed the value of such cases, and while the problem he has caused will impact the City of Torrance, it will likely also impact Los Angelenos when the next mistaken shooting case involves LAPD.

Trutanich embeds political appointees

The LA Weekly reports that Trutanich has taken another leaf out of Rocky Delgadillo's book.

Three of his eight political appointees were placed on tenure track leaving City Attorney elect Mike Feuer with the tricky problem of deciding whether to retain their services.

As for what Trutanich will do after his removal from office, speculation is that he may land an unpaid 'of counsel' position where he can leverage his vast Rolodex of contacts ...

Monday, June 3, 2013

KCAL Ch 9 Trutanich 'holed up' with Sheriff Baca on election night

While the FBI investigation into Carmen Trutanich and Sheriff Lee Baca's fundraising activities continues, another rumor about the relationship between the two has been confirmed.

It had been rumored that Trutanich shunned supporters at his election night 'Victory Party' and remained huddled with Sheriff Baca as the results continued to show Trutanich losing to rival Mike Feuer by a landslide.

Thanks to TV news footage recently acquired by the Dragnet, the rumor is confirmed by KCAL Ch9's reporter Dave Lopez.

Lopez reported that Trutanich 'showed up' and made a 'very quick appearance' at his party 'and now he's holed up down the street in a real estate office with Sheriff Lee Baca.' Lopez then cut to coverage of City Attorney elect Mike Feuer's victory party where Feuer was amid his many supporters, and then cut to footage from earlier in the day where Trutanich sounded less than hopeful, ending his statement saying 'and that's it.'

'And that may be it,' Lopez retorted, commenting on the figures showing Trutanich losing 'if the numbers don't change any,' he said. Lopez added that Trutanich 'may come out and say something' noting that there was 'a room full of people trying to celebrate something ... but for now he's in a real estate office with the Sheriff, not coming out.'

Precisely what Trutanich and Sheriff Baca were discussing for so long while the band played on at Rocco's restaurant is likely to be the subject of much speculation. Trutanich and Baca likely knew about the FBI investigation and wondering why it hadn't broken in the Times before the election. Perhaps they were wondering how much bigger Trutanich's massive loss would have been if the Times article had come out before the election?


Saturday, June 1, 2013

FBI Probes Trutanich, Baca over Fundraising, Wiretaps Used

The LA Times has confirmed rumors that were received by the Dragnet that Carmen 'Nuch' Trutanich and 'longtime supporter' Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca are being investigated by the FBI over potentially illegal fundraising activities during which deputy sheriffs were 'ordered' to collect campaign contributions for Trutanich's Hindenburg-like campaign for District Attorney.

The LA Times broke the fundraising scandal entangling Trutanich and 'longtime supporter'
Sheriff Lee Baca. (LA Times article enhanced with a photo of Trutanich and Baca from

In our recent review of 'winners and losers' in the 2013 City Elections, we listed Sheriff Baca as a 'loser' for his support for the failed incumbent City Attorney Trutanich, noting that "to this day nobody fully understands why Baca is so entrenched in his support for Trutanich. He spearheaded the pathetically false 'Draft Trutanich for DA' movement, got himself in trouble for breaking the law by endorsing Trutanich in his uniform, and raised a ton of cash for Trutanich - which might also get him in trouble if rumors are correct..."

May 26, 2013: The Dragnet hinted that Trutanich and Baca were under investigation for 'raising a ton of cash.'
The rumors were correct, and the Dragnet can now reveal that the FBI investigation into Trutanich and Baca was ongoing long before the May 21, 2013 election where Trutanich was rejected by voters in an historic defeat.

The FBI had received information from Deputy Tamayo, assigned the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station (Malibu area), that he had been ordered to obtain donations for Trutanich from local businessmen and wealthy residents. It is understood that Tamayo was not the only deputy sheriff involved in the fundraising scandal. The Malibu Times reported that as many as twelve other deputies were 'ordered' to shake down the wealthy for donations in the form of 'tickets' to a fundraiser attended by Trutanich. Each deputy was expected to sell 10 tickets, Tamayo told the Times, stating that the order "came down through the chain of command from Sheriff Lee Baca — an allegation his spokesman denied." The Times reported.
One thing the Times makes clear is that Trutanich was "targeted" by the FBI in their investigation.

The FBI instructed Deputy Tamayo to specifically mention Trutanich.
Tamayo stated that in the course of the FBI investigation he wore a wiretap and was monitored by FBI Agents who communicated with him by text messages. Tamayo provided the Times with the text messages where his handlers 'coached' him to "mention Trutanich and to bring up the difference between the truth and staying loyal." Seemingly, Tamayo followed his prompts from the FBI handler and obtained the necessary information. "You're doing fine," one message from the FBI handler says, another says "OK when you have a chance turn everything off, we'll meet you at iHop," indicating that Tamayo had recorded the conversations necessary for the investigation.

Intriguingly, it seems the FBI had realized that an issue central to Trutanich's candidacy for District Attorney was the apparent conflict between "the truth" and "staying loyal." The implication being that "the truth" about Trutanich (presumably his being utterly unfit for District Attorney) was irrelevant, and that "loyalty" was more important. Presumably the reference to loyalty refers to Sheriff Baca's support for Trutanich.

As mentioned in both the LA Times and Malibu Times articles, Sheriff Baca previously broke state law in connection with Trutanich when he appeared "in uniform" offering his endorsement of Trutanich during the 2012 campaign for District Attorney.

Trutanich quickly edited out the endorsement from his much hailed 'viral' YouTube campaign video which was subsequently removed from YouTube for violating their deceptive content policy. Trutanich also removed the endorsement from his DA campaign website, which was also promptly shut down following his humiliating defeat. 

While Trutanich has pretty much sealed his own fate in terms of his political future, Sheriff Baca is understood to be campaigning for reelection as Los Angeles County Sheriff in 2014. Those who have announced an interest in opposing Baca will likely exploit the scandal over the fundraising issue, and should the FBI investigation yield criminal charges, Baca may well find himself in the same situation as Trutanich.

The latest scandal concerning Trutanich may cause his successor, City Attorney elect Mike Feuer to reconsider Trutanich's offer to help with the transition of administration. The LA Times had reported that after conceding defeat, 'Trutanich telephoned Feuer after conceding and offered to help with the transition to a new administration. Feuer said Wednesday he was "very grateful" for the offer. "He'll play an integral role in the transition," Feuer said.' Trutanich, of course, may have his own reasons for wanting to 'help' with the transition and given the shocking revelations in the Times, Feuer might do better without 'help' from Trutanich. As Sheriff Baca now must realize, association with Trutanich comes at a very heavy price.