Monday, January 31, 2011

Tru Secret Weapons - Puppet Judges

Carmen "The Clown" Trutanich's attempts to plant a "friendly" judge in office number 117 of the Los Angeles Superior Court failed dismally when Tom Griego failed to gain enough votes to win a judicial appointment in the November mid-term elections. Trutanich had endorsed Griego, and had even enabled Griego to obtain a misleading ballot designation of "Criminal Prosecutor," through the use of a controversial internal transfer, as previously reported.

But it seems Trutanich's plans to control the administration of justice went beyond trying to sick an "Unqualified" judge on voters. Thanks to an anonymous tip, TRU is False can reveal that Trutanich had planned to set up his own Kangaroo Courts where Deputy City Attorneys - "Criminal Prosecutors" according to Trutanich's Griego standard, would sit as Judge and Jury in cases involving "Administrative Penalties."

Better yet, there would be no right to a public defender to represent those forced to appear before Trutanich's version of the Star Chamber, thereby ensuring that Trutanich's Supreme Court would not have to bother with pesky details like Constitutional rights including those established in the Fourth, Fifth or Sixth Amendments.

Trutanich's secret weapon was designed to generate vast sums of revenue from the Administrative Penalties which would be shared with the City of Los Angeles and the City Attorney's Office, and was believed to be one of several money generating weapons that the Trutanich regime were designing in order to fight the budget cuts by imposing Administrative Penalties on homeowners and businesses who dared to violate the Los Angeles Municipal Code by, for example, not obtaining permits for new water heaters, or allowing the grass to grow too high in their front yard.

Although many within the Trutanich regime were said to be "horrified" and "appalled" at Trutanich's apparent ignorance of basic notions of Fairness, Due Process and Conflict of Interest, the nighttime law school graduate could not be convinced that the idea was basically unconstitutional, if not downright insane.

Trutanich assigned a Special Assistant to oversee the task force of attorneys who would develop this, the first of several similar, stunning secret weapons.  Unfortunately, early tests were not successful. Those commanded to sell the thinly disguised assault on the rights of homeowners and businesses as a simple "Regulatory Ordinance," reported that they were quite unable to keep a straight face when explaining Trutanich's vision to others.

When news of the test failures were reported to Trutanich in one of his routine secret briefings, raised voices were heard outside the closed doors of the Eighth Floor "TruBunker,"apparently similar to the ravings of a dictator who accuses those who "do not obey orders" to be "traitors."

Trutanich recently confirmed the existence of his "Secret Weapons" program when he told LA Times Reporter Jim Newton that "... suggestions from the city attorney's office on how to raise revenue — by, say, giving the office the power to collect city debts and oversee fines for violating administrative codes — are routinely allowed to "age nicely," as Trutanich put it."

Perhaps the City Council has more sense than we often credit them with - putting the brakes on a power crazed egomaniac seems like one of their better moves.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Trutanich Is The New McCarthy

Joseph McCarthy and Carmen "The Clown" Trutanich
Can you tell the difference?
Both the Los Angeles Times and the LA Weekly yesterday published articles about Trutanich. The Los Angeles City Attorney is running for District Attorney and has secured the services of John Shallman as campaign manager. This was previously reported on Political Pantloads, as was the LA Weekly's observation that the relationship between former supporter Steve Cooley and the Clown of City Hall is over; "Cooley was livid"said the LA Weekly, when he found out that Trutanich was running for District Attorney - the Clown didn't even have the guts to tell Cooley, he had to hear about it second hand.

Comments to the LA Times Op-Ed piece were interesting, especially this one from anonymous blogger "Truth and Justice for All," we repeat it here because it has some highly insightful comments on the real Trutanich and probably explains why Jim Newton's Op-Ed piece was not as complete an excoriation of Trutanich as it should have been - Newton got swayed by Trutanich's double-speak rambling and teary-eyed false sincerity:

"The truth about Trutanich is really disturbing. I believe he's a con man of the first order. Just look at how he tried to play you Jim - first he bambozzles you with rambling responses to questions, then, when you see through the "BS," he plays the emotion card and does the teary eyed "I'm just trying to do the right thing" act. What you may not realize is that every moment of his affable bumbling emotional fool routine, is just that; an act. It's designed to fool you, designed to disarm your criticism and he is a master at doing it. 

After lunch I bet he gave you a bear hug and a slap on the back after luch, and promised you would be "friends for life." Sorry, but it's the line he uses all the time and he delivers it beautifully, but while you're all overcome with this extragavent expression of emotion, he's looking at you with eyes colder than an aligator's, hoping he can turn you and use you. 

It's not really surprising; 20 years as a successful defense attorney, Trutanich learnt how to use distraction and deception to be an effective advocate for his client. That's no disrespect to defense attorneys, it's what they have to do to give their often guilty clients the zealous representation that the law demands. But it's not duty of a prosecutor to win at all costs - we don't want another McCarthy in power."

"Truth and Justice for All" writes with a passion an insight that can only come from someone close enough to Trutanich to know his modus operandi, his "schtick" - distraction, disarmament and utter insincerity.

Both the LA Times and the LA Weekly mentioned Trutanich's failed bid to get his own Grand Jury, but it was "Truth and Justice for All" who made the darkest connection of all; "We don't want another McCarthy in power."

The comparison to Joseph McCarthy is not without merit. Trutanich wanted his own Grand Jury to be a veritable Star Chamber, where Trutanich could grill and grind his enemies on the flimsiest of evidence, much like McCarthy did with his inquisition. It's not hard to imagine the long line of Trutanich's enemies outside his secret Grand Jury room, and it's not hard to imagine just how abusive Trutanich's use of that power might be. We got a glimpse of that over the billboard issue when Trutanich jailed a businessman on a $1M arrest warrant that a court later reduced to $150k - still well above the schedule bail for a misdemeanor violation of the City Code.

Interesting, if you look at the timing of Trutanich's bid to get his Star Chamber, it was around the time that he began to realize that his "criminal aspects" investigation into the Michael Jackson memorial was going nowhere. There was no evidence to back-up Trutanich's bombshell statement to the City Council that there were "criminal aspects" to anything.

But if Trutanich had Grand Jury powers he could haul AEG's Tim Leiweke in to his secret court and subpoena every shred of paper that might prove a connection to some "criminal aspect" to what most people believe was an appropriate, if expensive, memorial to one of America's greatest musical talents.

This is the TRUe threat of Trutanich gaining Grand Jury powers, and while the City Council put an end to that nightmare violation of civil rights, it's only a temporary fix. If Trutanich succeeds in his bid to become District Attorney he gets instant access to not one but two secret Grand Juries, and you can bet they will be in session 24/7.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Carmen "The Clown" Trutanich hides behind Chief Deputy Bill Carter
to deliver another empty threat - this time to stop prosecuting crimes due to budget cuts.
Carmen "the Clown" Trutanich apparently choose "duck and cover" as a strategy to once again bemoan proposed budget cuts to the City Attorney's Office, perhaps he should be re-named Carmen "the Coward" Trutanich?

Last year, when told that the City Attorney's Office would have to share the pain of everyone else in the recession, the Clown chose Special Assistant Jane Usher to deliver a sharply worded email to attack the Mayor for cutting his budget. That didn't work out too well for the Clown, so this year he choose his Chief Deputy Bill Carter, to deliver the message. Carter told the LA Times that "the cuts could lead to fewer prosecutions of misdemeanor crimes."

According to the LA Times, Carter's belief is that a $1M reduction in the City Attorney's budget will cause him to have to "... prioritize those cases in which suspects need to be held and cases filed," Carter said. That's political double-speak for a threat not to prosecute cases in retaliation for the budget cut.

It's not really a change of tactics for the Clown; the use of threats seems to be Trutanich's answer to everything, but threatening not to prosecute crimes might work for the Clown, just as threatening not to imprison criminals, or give them an early release, has worked for the Sheriff in the past.

Of course, many might be wondering why Trutanich chose to once again deploy an operative to deliver the message. Perhaps it's because he made such a fool of himself the last time he opened his mouth in City Hall - that was over the "criminal aspects" he claimed to have found in the case of the Michael Jackson memorial. If Trutanich now were to cry foul to the City Council, they probably would laugh him out of the Chamber.

Another reason why Trutanich might have kept his mouth shut over the budget cuts, might be because he believes the reduced budget constitutes a "changed circumstance," and that might give him an excuse to renege on his sworn promise not to run for DA. As the Political Pantloads blog is reporting, Trutanich has retained the services of John Sallman as campaign manager for a run at the DA's Office.

Trutanich mentioned "changed circumstances" when he told the LA Times that he was "keeping his options open" about running for DA, and that he did not feel bound by his sworn promise because "circumstances had changed."

Once again, Carmen "The Clown" Trutanich reveals his shallow grasp of law, doubtless the result of a fourth rate part-time law school education. The concept of "changed circumstances" might sound impressive, but has nothing to do with relieving a party to a contract from a sworn promise.

That's the problem with Trutanich; you cannot trust anything he says to be TRUe, and when he does open his mouth, there's not telling what nonsense will come out. It must be very frustrating for Chief Deputy Bill Carter and Special Assistant Jane Usher, to have to work for someone who is a constant source of embarrassment and ridicule. Perhaps that's why they both rather like the idea of Trutanich leaving the office and running for DA?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Carmen The Clown Trutanich - The "Criminal Aspects" Bombshell.... Bombs

He had not been in office a week before Carmen 'the Clown' Trutanich started bellyaching about the costs of the Micheal Jackson memorial. The idea that his city should honor the memory of Michael Jackson, who unquestionably led a controversial life, but had directly and indirectly contributed millions, if not billions to the the city's music and entertainment industry, was seemingly disgusting to Trutanich.

So incensed was LA's new City Attorney, the so-called "People's Lawyer," that you can almost imagine him seething with anger, screaming "Honoring a child molesting pedophile drug adict! Not on my watch!" to his bewildered staff.

Nobody else in City Hall seemed to have any doubts that the memorial an appropriate if expensive civic event, but Trutanich could talk of little else, and did so publicly through a media always willing to get a sound bite from the equally willing new City Attorney.

As the days rolled by Trutanich apparently became increasingly convinced that some laws must have been broken to allow the memorial to take place at AEG's Downtown Los Angeles Staples Center and LA Live, and he made no secret that he was going to throw all the weight and might of his new Bureau of Investigations behind his suspicions.

On July 21, 2009, just three weeks into his tenure, Trutanich made it known that he was going to personally address the assembled councilmembers, and in a statement broadcast all over the world, Trutanich dropped the bombshell ...

Trutanich kept a solemn, stern face as he addressed the crowded City Hall Chamber with a carefully prepared statement:
"The City Attorney's Office Bureau of Investigations is continuing to actively review the events leading up to the events held at the Staples Center and at LA Live venues downtown. My investigators have already interviewed numerous witnesses and gathered significant evidence. We are still collecting information and developing a timeline of events and we are identifying the key players involved. To that extent I invite other, others to also come forward and to provide additional information and documents relating to this matter, by contacting our office."

Los Angeles City Attorney, Carmen The Clown Trutanich smiles as he drops
the bombshell - There are "criminal aspects" to the Michael Jackson memorial.
 Despite his calm staccato delivery, Trutanich couldn't suppress a wry smile and a look of glee as he paused for effect, and then said "Our investigation has taken an unanticipated turn that raises both civil and criminal aspects." 

You could have heard a pin drop as he delivered those words. The new sheriff in town had cracked the case in less than three weeks, and he had found "criminal aspects" to the Micheal Jackson memorial.

Although Trutanich never directly stated that AEG, the owners of the Staples Center and LA Live, were the prime suspects in his criminal and civil investigation, most people could not think of any other suspect.

It was a suspicion quickly confirmed when Trutanich stated that his investigators had been in contact with attorneys for AEG to request papers.

But that was all Trutanich was prepared to say, at least publicly. To add to the solemnity and seriousness of his investigation, Trutanich stated "Ethical considerations and the need to protect the integrity of the investigation prevent me from discussing anything related to the criminal investigation." In other words, this is so important, so serious, he can no longer talk about it. It must be a huge crime, a conspiracy of gigantic proportions, and the City Attorney has the evidence and will not "publicly discus any matters that could potentially jeopardize the effectiveness of our ongoing investigation."

And so, on July 21, 2009, Trutanich left little doubt that he had the dirt, the evidence, the proof he needed to criminally prosecute those who dared hold a "criminal aspect" memorial for Michael Jackson in "his City."

Despite the weight of evidence that Trutanich must have had as a result of unleashing the awesome might and investigative power of his Bureau of Investigations on AEG, and the interviews with "numerous witnesses"  and the gathering of "significant evidence" against those responsible for the memorial, nothing more was ever heard about Trutanich's "criminal aspects."

For almost a year, as the world waited for news, no case was ever filed, no arrests were ever made.

Not even a civil case, the one that Trutanich had said "... rest assured that before I file any lawsuit to recoup taxpayers costs, I will confer with you in closed session, to brief you and obtain your concurrence on any decision that is made."

It was almost a year later, on June 18, 2010 that the LA Times that dropped the next bombshell:
LA Times reports a 'deal's been done.' AEG will pay $1.3M of the
$5M or $6M that Trutanich said had been used for the memorial.
"Last year, AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke accused City Atty. Carmen Trutanich of demanding $6 million to pay for the cost of the event. Trutanich said he asked for $2 million to $3 million at the time." according to a report filed by David Zahniser at the LA Times.

There was no statement from Trutanich about what looked like a payoff. It seems incredulous that for a man sworn to uphold the laws of the State of Californina, to enforce the laws of the City, to guard the coffers of the City Treasury, who had a case so strong that he could publicly claim had "criminal aspects" could simply 'go away' without a public statement from the "People's Lawyer." It's not as if Trutanich is camera or media shy, so why no explanation? Where's all that "transparency' that Trutanich promised to bring? Gone in flash of cash?

Perhaps justice has a price when placed in the hands of the "People's Lawyer?" A token payment of less than one fifth of what  Trutanich claimed was expended with "criminal aspects" and the whole thing never happened. It stinks. If there was crime, there should have been a criminal case. If there was a civil wrong, then file a civil case. But there was no case filed either criminal or civil, and no comment from Trutanich, so who can blame the public for thinking something very, very wrong had happened?

Interestingly, around this time, Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich, was being castigated for an alleged attempted shakedown to sell President Obama's US Senate seat, yet not a word about Trutanich's apparently abandoned "Criminal Aspects" investigation?

One thing did surface on August 12, 2010, after the dust died down. Thanks to a degree of transparency provided by the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission; a report of an interesting  campaign contribution to Trutanich's Officeholder Committee.

Trutanich's Officeholder Committee received a non-monetary contribution
from AEG, according to a reported contribution on the City Ethics Commission website.
If there's anything one can be sure of regarding Trutanich's "criminal aspects" investigation, it is that Trutanich should not be allowed to become District Attorney, an ambition is widely believed to be next on the "People's Lawyer's" wish list.

Either Trutanich was grandstanding and had no case against AEG, or he abandoned a case with "both civil and criminal aspects" for a $1.3M payoff. Whichever it was, it looks like the worst kind of ethics, and Los Angelenos must demand more from their top cop.

Friday, January 7, 2011

TRU Lies V: Trutanich Starts Trying To Talk His Way Out Of Promises

As predicted, Carmen "The Clown" Trutanich gave a clear indication that his word is worth about as much as a plugged nickel; nothing.

In a statement to the LA Times concerning the rumors that Trutanich has already started bragging to people that he's running for District Attorney, the Times reported that Trutanich "said he declined to rule out running for the position but said he would only think about joining the race if Cooley was not seeking reelection."

"I am keeping my options open," Trutanich told the Times, and then went on to deliver one of his infamous double-speak, nonsensical, rhetorical statements that always leaves you scratching your head wondering what the hell he means, or whether he even knows what he said. "Am I going home and saying, 'Dear, call me Mr. D.A.?' No, I'm the city attorney of Los Angeles and I'm very proud to be holding this job."

As for the signed pledge NOT to run for DA before serving a full first term and seeking a second, the legal lummox of City Hall has clearly been doing a little spin doctoring to try to find a way out of this promises. You can read them yourself in the Times, but what it basically amounts to is "What I said was only for the purposes of my campaign against Jack Weiss, it was a stunt. And anyway, things have changed. Do you want to believe me, or your lying eyes?"

Clearly Trutanich cannot be believed about anything he says concerning his campaign, so let's see how that works for him. His opponents will remind him about it every time he opens his mouth.