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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Four vie to challenge Baca for Sheriff in 2014

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca will seek a fifth term as LA County's top cop, but his reelection may not be a done deal as he faces some serious challenges from candidates who feel that the LA Times may be right ...


Four candidates have thrown their hats in the ring to challenge Baca.

Top of the list must be former Sheriff's Commander Bob Olmsted.


Olmsted has 32 years of experience rising through the ranks of the Sheriff's Department. Prior to retiring, Olmsted was charged with the responsibility of investigating alarming reports of misconduct and corruption in the jail system administered by the Sheriff. His outspoken criticism likely earned him the kind of respect from the media that will bolster his campaign.

Olmsted officially launched his campaign on August 14, 2013 with a hard-hitting video. Olmstead's campaign website is www.OlmstedInstead.com, and his FaceBook page provides up to the minute information about the campaign.

Sheriff Baca's former number two man, Paul Tanaka, is the most recent to challenge his boss.


Tanaka was Undersheriff until his resignation in March this year, and the announcement of his campaign to unseat his boss came as no surprise. Tanaka will likely hurl the biggest rocks against Baca, but as many have noted, Baca has plenty of ammunition to return fire. The unsightly melee between the two could benefit Olmstead more than it helps Tanka or Baca. Tanaka's campaign website is www.PaulTanaka.com and, like Olmstead, his FaceBook page carries current campaign news.

Next of the challengers is retired Sheriff's Lieutenant Patrick Gomez.


Gomez retired from the Sheriff's Dept. in 2012 with 31 years of experience. Gomez is no stranger to running for Sheriff; he has two failed campaigns under his belt. Gomez's website is www.PatrickGomezForSheriff.com, and he too has a FaceBook page.

Lou Vince is the last of the challengers.


Vince is a Detective with LAPD with 17 years of experience in law enforcement. Vince was a Reserve Sheriff for four years before joining LAPD. Vince's website is www.LouVince.com and here's a link to his FaceBook page.

As we close this brief review of the challengers, we have not seen a campaign website for Sheriff Baca, although one is likely in the making. The Primary Election is on June 3, 2014 and if Baca fails to win 50% plus one vote, he will face one of the four challengers in the November 4, 2014 General Election.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Trutanich joins Tucker Ellis LLP?

Failed former City Attorney Carmen 'Nuch' Trutanich has finally updated his State Bar records (see 'Where in the World is Carmen Trutanich') and appears to have joined the downtown Los Angeles law firm Tucker Ellis LLP.


We say Trutanich appears to have joined Tucker Ellis because oddly, as of this date, the name 'Carmen Trutanich' is neither listed among the firm's 31 attorneys listed at the Los Angeles office, nor does he appear in an alphabetical listing of the firm's attorneys with last names starting with the letter 'T.'  Of course it could be that Trutanich's arrival at Tucker Ellis is 'breaking news' and the law firm did not have time to update its website or issue a press release.

According to the law firm's website, they are "a full service law firm with more than 160 lawyers practicing nationwide out of offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco" and has "a national reputation for trial work."

It is not known whether Trutanich is to be an associate, partner or 'of counsel' at the law firm. When Trutanich's predecessor, Rocky Delgadillo, was termed-out of office he joined Goodwin Procter LLP as 'Counsel' before becoming a partner at Liner, Grode, Stien, et al.

Quite what Trutanich brings to the table at Tucker Ellis will doubtless be the subject of some speculation until the firm issues a press release. They did last week when Joseph Koncelik joined its Cleveland office as counsel, so a similar press release can be expected regarding Trutanich.

As to the speculation, perhaps Tucker Ellis is keen to have access to Trutanich's Rolodex, as was the case when Trutanich's 2009 electoral opponent Jack Weiss landed himself a job with former LAPD Chief Bratton. There could also be interest in acquiring insight into Trutanich's 'Porcupine Defense,' as well as his knowledge of South Bay car washes.

UPDATED: As of August 23, 2013, Carmen Trutanich is listed as 'counsel' at Tucker Ellis.
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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Nuch Nixes Ninety-One Misdemeanors, A Final 'F' You to LA?

Nuch Nixes Ninety-One Misdemeanors. A Final 'F' You to LA & the Office?


CBS Los Angeles picked up a story on the AP Wire stating that an internal LAPD Memo dated July 25, 2013 instructed commanding officers to no longer treat 91 crimes such as driving without a license, purchasing alcohol by a minor, drinking in public, defecating in public, dumping of sewage, trespassing and other “quality of life” offenses as misdemeanors. At the request of the City Attorney, these crimes are now to be treated as infractions.

KABC 790AM talk show host and Daily News columnist Doug McIntyre has been the most vocal in condemning the policy not only during his morning drive-time radio show, but also in his recent Daily News column "Crime disappears and so does quality of life." McIntyre makes the point that apart from falsely manipulating crime statistics to suggest crime has gone down when in fact it has merely been re-classified, the reality is that many quality of life crimes just won't be enforced.

Many have been quick to blame LA's newly elected City Attorney Mike Feuer as the mastermind of the new policy - the LAPD memo was dated July 25, 2013, just over three weeks after Feuer took office. However, the LA Weekly has revealed that the controversial policy was in fact penned by Carmen 'the Clown' Trutanich. He signed the policy change order on May 21, 2013.

May 21, 2013, as many will remember (and Trutanich would likely prefer to forget) was election day in LA, and it was the day that Trutanich lost by an historic landslide to Mike Feuer.

Quite why Trutanich would sign a policy change that is guaranteed to annoy, frustrate and aggravate many Los Angelenos is something of a mystery. Tellingly, and uncharacteristically, Trutanich did not issue a press release when he penned his poison pill policy. He must have known that the election was lost and that any public opinion backlash would not hurt him. Rather, it would hurt Feuer who is now forced to live with Trutanich's treachery.

But Trutanich's treachery runs deeper than giving Feuer a public opinion black eye. His misdemeanor to infraction policy not only threatens the quality of life for many Los Angelenos - such as the residents of Venice who were plagued by sewage dumping RV dwellers until the law was enforced, it also threatens the City Attorney's office. Trutanich used to boast and brag about the "50 to 60 thousand cases a year" that the criminal division handles. Sometimes, his figures went as high as 80,000.

What he didn't say was that many of those 50 to 60 thousand cases, perhaps as much as 40%,  were the very crimes he has now reduced to infractions. Significantly, infractions are not handled by the City Attorney's office, as anyone who has ever had a traffic ticket knows.

Without the City Attorney's office handling those 91 misdemeanors it will be hard to justify employing the 200 to 300 attorneys in the criminal division. That's another problem for Feuer as he tries to negotiate his budget next year, and it's certainly a problem for many of those in the City Attorney's office who have dedicated their careers to the criminal division.

As Trutanich faced the music on election night, "holed-up in a real estate office with the Sheriff," perhaps the tears of the clown were tinged with a wry smile as Trutanich gave a final 'F' you to Los Angelenos, Mike Feuer, and the hard working deputy City Attorneys who despised him?



Friday, August 9, 2013

Time for a new Sheriff in town?

On Saturday August 4, 2013, the LA Times Editorial Board sent a loud message to Sheriff Lee Baca.


"Don't run again, Sheriff Baca" was the opinion of the Times, and if past elections are anything to go by, advice from the Times is to be taken seriously. The Times has a reputation of being something of a "kingmaker" with their recent endorsements for LA's new Mayor, City Attorney and Controller giving them a clean sweep of the winners of the City's top elected officials.

Last year the Times backed Jackie Lacey for District Attorney in a county-wide race that sowed the seeds for the two downfalls of Carmen Trutanich; first when he didn't even make it past the primary in his bid to be DA, and second when he made history by becoming the first incumbent City Attorney to fail to be reelected.

If the Times is a kingmaker, the same cannot be said of Baca. He was a stalwart Trutanich supporter, even violating state law by making an illegal, in-uniform endorsement for Trutanich's ill-feted DA campaign. When Trutanich faced the music on election night in the recent City Attorney race, the former DA wannabe shunned his supporters at his 'Victory Party' and remained holed up with Baca in a nearby real estate office. Baca's unyielding support for Trutanich is but one of many poor choices he has made; the Times editorial lists others.

If Baca is weakened by the spate of headlining scandals plaguing the Sheriff's Department, his reelection hopes were boosted when Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell dropped out of the race. McDonnell appeared to be the only viable challenger to Baca and his departure left Baca the likely favorite in a race that would pitch him against two virtually unknown challengers; retired Sheriff's Lieutenant Patrick Gomez and LAPD Detective Lou Vince. There is also the prospect of former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka joining the fray to challenge Baca, but the mutual mud-slinging that would undoubtedly result would likely harm Tanaka more than Baca.

The field seemed wide open for Baca to seek and win his 5th term as Sheriff, and he made his reelection plans official this week at the Long Beach Rotary Club.

But before Los Angelenos resign themselves to four more years of Sheriff Baca, rumors have it that a viable challenger will enter the race. The Dragnet is informed that an official announcement is imminent, and it will be a game-changer.

Stay tuned for news!




Thursday, August 1, 2013

Where in the World is Carmen Trutanich?

Newly elected City Attorney Mike Feuer might be surprised to hear that he is sharing his office with his former opponent, Carmen Trutanich. At least that's according to records maintained by the State Bar of California.
 
More than 30 days after leaving the City Attorney's office Trutanich is still using their address

Trutanich appears to be in violation of Business and Professions Code Section 6002.1(a) which requires an attorney who is licensed to practice law in California to maintain on the State Bar’s official membership records his office address and telephone number or, if the attorney does not have an office, “the address to be used for State Bar purposes or purposes of the agency charged with attorney discipline.” Furthermore, attorneys are required to notify the State Bar’s membership records office within 30 days of any change in such information.

Trutanich was kicked out of left the City Attorney's office at midnight on June 30, 2013, following his crushing and humiliating defeat by rival Mike Feuer. Under State law, Trutanich had 30 days to report his new address, meaning that by July 31, 2013, his new address had to be reported to the State Bar, which in turn publishes that information on it's website within 24 hours.

A check on the State Bar of California's website shows that as of August 1, 2013, Trutanich was still using the City Attorney's office as his address, as well as their phone, fax and email.

While Trutanich appears to be in violation of State Law, his former Chief Deputy, Bill Carter, has complied with the law and his new contact information appears on the State Bar's website. Same too for his former Chief Legal Adviser Curt Livesay, and his former Senior Special Assistant Jane Usher.

According to the Los Angeles County Bar Association, "An attorney’s failure to keep the State Bar of California apprised of the attorney’s current office address and telephone number—or, if the attorney does not have an office, an address where the State Bar can contact the attorney—may result in the attorney not being entitled to practice law and may ultimately lead to the imposition of discipline without the attorney’s knowledge."

Whether Trutanich will face disciplinary action for his failure to comply with the law remains to be seen.

As to where Carmen Trutanich actually is, rumors suggest that he has opened an office in San Pedro.

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