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.
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.
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.
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.