On Sunday November 7, 2010, the Los Angeles Daily News reported that Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen "The Clown" Trutanich had gone back on yet another promise and had effectively shut down the Neighborhood Prosecutor Program.
According to the report, Trutanich did not comment directly, but instead hid behind the statements of a chief deputy who blamed the budget cuts for the need to trim down the program to the point where most believe that it will cease to exist. The NPP was started by Trutanich's predecessor, Rocky Delgadillo, and has earned praise as well as the admiration of blighted communities for the way it finds innovative and non-conventional solutions.
According to the Daily News "From 2002 through April of this year, neighborhood prosecutors at 19 police stations attended more than 27,000 community meetings, handled more than 20,000 complaints and prosecuted nearly 9,000 criminal cases, with a conviction rate of nearly 90 percent." That's an impressive success rate, and that's likely the problem; it's Delgadillo's success, not Trutanich's.
Trutanich, who many accuse of being a bully, control freak and an egoist, may have become increasingly upset when he found that his Neighborhood Prosecutors had developed strong bonds with the communities they served. Bonds that were, perhaps, stronger than his own.
It was an open secret that Trutanich resented the fact that many of the Neighborhood Prosecutors were active politically in their spare time. Perhaps if they had been active Republicans Trutanich wouldn't have had a problem with them or the Neighborhood Prosecutor Program. But, of course, they were all Democrats, so perhaps Trutanich cut them off and closed down the program so that he couldn't be accused of bias.
And while Trutanich hides behind one of his chief deputies, and uses the budget as "cover" to kill off political opponents and a valuable program, his cover may get a little thin when questions start to be asked about how his budget was able to stretch to allow Tom Griego, a highly paid civil lawyer in his office, to be transferred to the criminal division just so Griego could call himself a "Criminal Prosecutor" in a run to become a judge. According to the Metropolitan News Enterprise, apparently all Griego did in the criminal division was "read manuals" about crime while drawing a high City salary.
Maybe that 'budget' cover wasn't such a good idea. Remember, we're here to show you what is, and what is not TRU.