When City Attorney Carmen Trutanich dropped the bombshell of there being 'criminal aspects' regarding AEG's handling of the Michael Jackson memorial, few people expected that one year later, the whole thing would quietly 'go away' with no comment from Trutanich and the curious acceptance by Trutanich of some free tickets to see Lady GaGa at AEG's LA Live.
It now seems Trutanich is trying to re-invent history and now claims to have brokered the $1M deal.
At the time both the LA Times and the LA Daily News reported that AEG had agreed to make a $1M donation to the City of Los Angeles, and credited Councilmembers Jan Perry and Dennis Zine with negotiating the settlement. There was no comment from Trutanich who after a year of investigating had nothing but the growing reputation of being a bully, thug and braggart.
The LA Daily News reporter Rick Orlov interviewed AEG's CEO Tim Leiweke, Councilmembers Perry and Zine, and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, and reported that:
'Leiweke and AEG, which sponsored Jackson's world tour before he died, had initially refused to reimburse the city, and he [Leiweke] accused Trutanich of using bully tactics to get the company to pay. Leiweke on Friday insisted that the company agreed to pay because it was the right thing to do, not because it was legally required. In particular, he said it was the efforts by Perry and Councilman Dennis Zine that helped work out the final agreement. "I'm just glad to see this resolved," Zine said. "AEG has stepped up and is doing the right thing to resolve this." Trutanich had no comment.' Orlov said.
No comment? Nothing from the man who one year earlier basically accused AEG of 'criminal aspects?' Not even a lame claim to have somehow been involved in obtaining a donation of $1M? How very unlike the loudmouthed City Attorney not to even try to claim he was even peripherally involved.
Of course, Trutanich may have been advised to keep his big mouth shut because perhaps someone told him that his actions might be seen as using the threat of criminal proceedings to shake down a company like AEG. Doing that could see Trutanich on the wrong end of a 'criminal aspects' investigation himself, or even wearing the handcuffs he so loves to threaten to use.
So it's altogether surprising to see that Truanich is now claiming to actually have been involved in negotiating the $1M donation from AEG.
In a document entitled "Office of the City Attorney Third FSR Budget Briefing 3/23/11 FY 2010/11 Successes To Date," Trutanich now claims that:
"On June 18, 2010, the City Attorney's Office, in conjunction with Councilmember Dennis Zine, was able to negotiate a $1 million donation to the General Fund by AEG and the Estate of Michael Jackson to reimburse costs incurred by the City during the Jackson Memorial Service in July 2009."
Click here to go the City Clerk's website and then use the "Report from the City Attorney" link to download the entire document.
Of course Trutanich's report may be a little incomplete and inaccurate, perhaps it should read:
"On June 18, 2010, the City Attorney's Office concluded it's 'criminal aspects' investigation of AEG's handling of the Michael Jackson memorial. The City Attorney's Office Bureau of Investigations spent an undisclosed sum conducting the 12 month 'criminal aspects' investigation based on rumors from TMZ before coming up with goose eggs, at which time Councilmembers Jan Perry and Dennis Zine were able to negotiate with AEG for a $1M donation to the City's General Fund, and the City Attorney's Officeholder Committee received some free tickets to a Lady GaGa performance."
Is it so easy to re-write history these days? Trutanich made a complete fool of himself and his office with his foolhardy 'criminal aspects' allegations. Perhaps, if he had kept his big mouth shut AEG would have been willing to pick up the tab a lot sooner? But AEG were most likely unwilling to consider doing anything while Trutanich was blundering around claiming to have a 'Bureau of Investigations' working 24/7 to solve the crime of the century.
The people of Los Angeles need to be reminded of the facts and monumental failure of Trutanich to run a prosecutorial agency responsibly before they further empower him to ride roughshod over the City with his bizarre ACE Program.
Interestingly, Truanich included this reference to his ACE Program with the documents containing the myth about his claim to be instrumental in the AEG $1M donation.
Los Angelenos, you've been warned.