|Satirical parody of a "fixer"|
In November's mid term elections voters faced with choices about unknown candidates usually voted according to party affiliation. But with important "non partisan" races, such as those for Superior Court Judges, voters often have nothing to go on but the candidates' name and ballot designation; three words that are supposed to inform voters about a candidate's occupation.
In the race for Judicial Office Number 117, voters were faced with a choice between Alan Schneider, a "Gang Homicide Prosecutor" and Tom Griego, a "Criminal Prosecutor." A hard choice as both candidates appear to do the things that voters approve of - putting bad guys in jail.
But in the case of Tom Griego, voters could not have known that according to the Metropolitan News Enterprise, the closest Griego ever got to putting anyone in jail for the past 10 years, was sitting at a desk reading a manual about crime. So how was it that Griego was able to obtain what the Met News called a "misleading" ballot designation?
The answer appears to be that Trutanich manipulated things so that Griego could fool voters who knew nothing about him. Griego, a civil lawyer in the City Attorney's office, requested a transfer to the criminal division for the sole purpose of being able to call himself a "Criminal Prosecutor," when the truth was that he was nothing of the sort.
Trutanich surprisingly agreed to the transfer even though at the same time he was telling everyone that the budget crisis meant he needed as many lawyers as possible to transfer to the civil division because the Airport, Port and DWP pay for legal services. So, the only reason for Trutanich to transfer Griego out of civil must been to "make it happen" and aid and abet voter deception.
Maybe Trutanich thought a little deception is not such a bad thing, after all, he called himself an "Environmental Lawyer" because he defended environmental criminals. But in the case of Griego, Trutanich not only allowed this deception to be conducted in his name (Trutanich endorsed Griego) but he also kept back one important fact about Griego's ability to be a judge. The Los Angeles County Bar Association routinely assesses the qualifications of those who seek to become judges. In the case of Griego's opponent LACBA rated Alan Schneider as "Well Qualified." But Griego? LACBA rated Griego "Not Qualified." Nevertheless, Trutanich thought it was 'OK' to try to sick an unqualified candidate on the electorate, all nicely dressed up with an endorsement and an attractive ballot designation.
Many will find Trutanich's central role in this conspiracy to con the public deeply disturbing. Trutanich campaigned on "Honesty" and "Openness" and "Transparency," and should have been the one person you would expect to do everything in his power to prevent this obfuscation of justice. But that's all part of Tutanich's facade, and it's disgusting.
Other blogs raised questions about Tom Griego, but TRU is False tells you the rest of the story.