Monday, June 27, 2011

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich Accused of Lies & Plagiarism over ACE Program

The Los Angeles City Attorney, Carmen Trutanich, has been accused of lying and plagiarism in connection with a talk radio interview that he gave on the Kevin James Show on KRLA 870AM on Sunday, June 5, 2011. The Los Angeles Dragnet made the credibility claims about Trutanich after comparing what Trutanich told James about the ACE Program, an idea that Trutanich claimed was his, to documents showing the ACE Program was the idea of Councilmember Paul Koretz.

The documents show that the Administrative Citation Program was based on a motion passed by Koretz on January 15, 2010.

In addition, the Dragnet claims the idea for ACE came from Richard Llewellyn, Koretz's Chief of Staff, who actually came up with the idea when he (Llewellyn) was working for the former City Attorney, Rocky Delgadilo.

The Dragnet also makes other claims about Trutanich lying about details of the program, including claiming to have 'shared' his idea with the cities of San Diego and Santa Monica; both cities had their own administrative code enforcement programs in place before Trutanich became City Attorney, and indeed, Trutanich sent his top aides to San Diego on a fact-finding junket before claiming the idea was his.

This is the latest in a string of lies or "misstatements" from Trutanich, the last concerned claims that Trutanich had "busted" the 38th Street Gang. Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca defended lies about Trutanich, claiming that Trutanich's membership of an anti-gang task force gave him bragging rights.

The Dragnet wonders who will come to Trutanich's aid over his most recent lie.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Carmen Trutanich's District Attorney Fundraiser Questioned "Appearance of Impropriety" Alleged

Carmen Trutanich's campaign to become District Attorney stepped up a notch or three on the radar of ethics monitors with several reports this week focusing on who and how: Who is doing Trutanich's fundraising, and how Trutanich is going about fundraising? Both were brought sharply into focus after the LA Times reported that John Ek, a notorious City Hall lobbyist, had been listed as a $25,000 "Host" at a fundraiser for Trutanich's campaign to become District Attorney.

Lobbyist John Ek together with his former criminal defense lawyer City Attorney Carmen Trutanich
and the invitation for the controversial $25,000 Host/Raise cocktail reception in San Pedro. 

The John Ek hosted fundraiser came at around the same time Trutanich was insisting that a conflict of interest prevented one of Ek's clients, LAX concessionaire HMS Host, from being kicked out of LAX for giving the airport a reputation for "lousy food." Ultimately, as the LA Times reported, Trutanich and Ek prevailed over common sense, and Ek's client, HMS Host, can continue to operate at LAX.

While Trutanich pretends to be undecided on whether or not to run from his appalling record of "thuggery, bullying, grandstanding and reneging on promises" as LA's City Attorney, he is gathering a war chest of cash to overcome the negatives that surround his troubled 23 months in public office.

But taking money from lobbyists is an ethical and political "no no" that even the nighttime parttime law-schooled wannabe top cop has to honor. The apparent failure of Trutanich to realize that having a lobbyist as a fundraiser was off-limits caused a flood of negative comments in the blogs. Famed former journalist turned Street-Hassle blogger, Mulholand Terrace, was the first to comment on the questionable link between the LAX, Ek, Trutanich and the fundraiser cocktail reception. Politics Without Mercy went further, delving further into the long and perhaps lucrative history between the lobbyist and Trutanich. The Los Angeles Dragnet added a little more by accusing Trutanich of being the new Jack Weiss and cutting and pasting the PWM piece in its entirely, as we now do.


City Attorney Carmen ‘Nuch’ Trutanich kicked off fundraising for his campaign to become District Attorney with a lavish cocktail reception in San Pedro.  The April 27, 2011 cocktail reception was co-hosted by the notorious City Hall lobbyist John Ek, and came less than a week after Trutanich’s ties to Ek were revealed in the Los Angeles Weekly in an expose “How Lobbyist John Ek Gets His Way In City Hall.”

At the time of the LA Weekly article, Trutanich was proving to be a true ally in Ek’s efforts allow his client, HMS Host, to hold on to its concessions at Los Angeles Airport where, according to the LA Weekly, HMS Host has given LAX a reputation for “lousy food.” Few would disagree that LAX food is horrible and expensive, and LAX  had selected new concessionaires to replace HMS Host. But Trutanich raised a conflict of interest issue that allowed HMS Host to continue to supply “lousy food.”

The Tru Is False blog also raised questions about Trutanich’s relationship with Ek, noting that while Trutanich was a criminal defense attorney, he represented Ek when Ek was called to testify in a Grand Jury proceeding regarding campaign finance issues. Ek never testified.

Given the question marks surrounding Trutanich’s close relationship with the LAX lobbyist, one might have thought that Trutanich would seek to distance himself from Ek as he attempts to bunny hop from the from the City Attorney’s Office to the DA’s Office. Apparently not. Today the LA Times revealed that Ek had been a co-host at Trutanich’s cocktail reception with the ink barely dry at the LA Weekly.

Trutanich had probably planned his San Pedro cocktail reception well in advance of the embarrassing details of his relationship with the LAX lobbyist being revealed, but was clearly not bothered by what many might well think is the appearance of impropriety, perhaps even a conflict of interest. Some might think that Trutanich’s lack of concern is indicative of an arrogance of office, a “F you, I’m the City Attorney and I can do what I like!” mentality that epitomizes Trutanich’s reputation as a bully and a thug.

As a host listed on Trutanich’s mailer, Ek is expected to produce $25,000 in campaign contributions – that’s the price of getting the top billing on the mailer. But today, Trutanich’s campaign spokesman, John Shallman, told the LA Times that “Ek did not raise any money or give any contributions at the event.”Apparently the Times did not get a satisfactory answer to the obvious follow-up question “Well, if Ek wasn’t giving Trutanich and money, nor persuading any of his clients to do so, why is Ek listed as a host where the invitation clearly states ‘$25,000 Host/Raise’?” There must be an innocent explanation, surely?

Trutanich has to report all campaign contributions by the end of this month. His ever growing list of enemies will be examining that list carefully to see if any of Ek’s clients are listed as contributors.

Although it is perplexing to some that Trutanich, who projects himself as a “do the right thing kinda guy,” would align himself so closely and publicly with a lobbyist, it is not the first time that Trutanich’s conduct has raised eyebrows. Barely days after taking office, Trutanich claimed that there were “criminal aspects” to AEG’s handling of the Michael Jackson Memorial at Staples Center, and announced that his Bureau of Investigation was gathering evidence. A year later, the criminal aspects investigation abruptly ended without either criminal charges or a statement from Trutanich. A search of Trutanich’s campaign finance records showed a  his Office Holder committee had received free tickets to a Lady Gaga concert at LA Live, a venue operated by, AEG. There’s surely an innocent explanation, but, like the LAX concession “assist” to John Ek, it really looks bad.

Some might think that voters have a reasonable expectation to demand they highest of ethical standards from a candidate seeking to be the county’s top prosecutor. That Trutanich should forgo campaign contributions that look questionable, even if there is plausible innocent explanation. That does not appear to be Trutanich’s belief,

It has also been pointed out that Trutanich’s invitation lacks the required disclosure notice stating “Paid for by the Committee to Elect …” A small detail, perhaps, but again, the job of District Attorney is one that demands an attention to detail, and that too seems lacking.

The primary election for Los Angeles County’s next District Attorney will take place on June 5, 2012.

The above is attributed with thanks and appreciation to Politics Without Mercy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Trutanich Delays DA Run Decision Because Son Injured In Iraq

In case you missed City Attorney Carmen Trutanich telling Kevin James and KRLA 870AM listeners that one of the reasons why he was delaying making a decision on running for DA was that his son just got back from Iraq injured, here is a short audio clip:

Some listeners may have gotten the impression that Trutanich's son suffered a combat related injury, however, as Street-Hassle's Mulholland Terrace and Zuma Dogg have reported, Trutanich's son is not in the military. He is an Assistant US Attorney and presumably was on some sort of Dept. of Justice assignment in Iraq. The rumor is that the injury was a sports injury. So was Trutanich giving a misleading impression?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Clown's Credibility at Crossroads - Lie in Campaign Email Threatens Sheriff's Endorsement

As City Attorney Carmen "the Clown" Trutanich continues to seek support for his bid to become Dictator Attorney, sorry District Attorney, it appears that he has taken bragging and exaggerating to new depths.

The Los Angeles Dragnet has accused Trutanich's bogus campaign of lying - no subtly there, and perhaps rightly so. The lie concerns a claim that Trutanich "Trutanich busted the notorious 38th Street Gang— confiscating an arsenal of 80 firearms and removing 57 long time gang members from the streets," when his Office's role in filing an after the fact gang injunction and condemning gang houses as nuisances was so peripheral to the take-down as not to warrant mention in the LA Times. As for "confiscating"  weapons and making "arrests" those were palpably not the actions of Trutanich or his office, as this take-down was a federal indictment - and Trutanich has no jurisdiction in that area.

Per the Dragnet:


City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's bogus campaign sent out an email blast purporting to come from Sheriff Lee Baca, but actually sent from the campaign's Gmail account.

The "Urgent Message from Sheriff Baca" implores the reader to sign a petition that will no doubt be used by Trutanich to try to weasel his way out of his sworn promise not to do what he is currently doing; using the City Attorney's Office as a springboard to higher office.

No campaign donations are being sought, raising questions about how much money is being spent on this bogus campaign, and by whom. Doubtless all genuine candidates will be examining Trutanich's campaign statement carefully once it becomes available at the end of the month.

Beyond the questionable financing of this bogus campaign is the content of the email itself. Although attributed to Sheriff Baca, some may question whether the Sheriff actually wrote it, or even read it, because it appears to contain a lie. "Trutanich busted the notorious 38th Street Gang— confiscating an arsenal of 80 firearms and removing 57 long time gang members from the streets."

Trutanich's involvement with the arrest of 57 notorious 38th Street Gangmembers was so peripheral that it did not even rate a mention in the Los Angeles Times article about the take-down, published on February 1, 2011.

According to the Times "During the pre-dawn raids Tuesday, LAPD officers and special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested 37 defendants on federal indictments; 20 more people were taken into custody on state weapons and narcotics charges. Federal prosecutors already had 14 defendants named in the federal cases in custody. Seven fugitives remained at large."

No mention of Trutanich or the City Attorney's Office, and that's because, despite Trutanich's odd relationship with the truth, the fact remains that he does not have the power to arrest or "bust" gang members charged with felonies, federal felonies in this case.

The blatant falsity of this statement is surprising even by Trutanich's low standards for self-aggrandizing and shameless self-promotion. But to attribute a lie to Sheriff Baca, must now put into serious doubt whether Baca will continue to endorse Trutanich, or throw him under the bus like Steve Cooley did.

The sheer audacity of Trutanich's lie eclipses the rather humorous, but equally ridiculous story doing the rounds of the blogs, that Trutanich has to delay his decision on running for District Attorney because his son has been injured in Iraq. The, reality, according to Street-Hassle's Mulholland Terrace, is that Trutanich's son, an Assistant US Attorney, was injured during a soccer match while working for the Dept. of Justice in Iraq. Credit to the original report from Zuma Dogg at L.A. City

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