Sunday, March 20, 2011

Trutanich Transparency Questioned As ContractGate Unfolds

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's commitment to transparency is coming under fire from sources other than TRU is False! Actions taken by Trutanich staffers to remove a search tool that allows the public to search contracts awarded by Trutanich as City Attorney were revealed last week by Fishbowl LA.

The ContractGate scandal started when the Fishbowl LA news piece was published last week. Their website posts "LA Media News, Unspooled," and it is curious that their news piece featuring a San Diego based effort called "Flashlight" (which makes information concerning contributions to politicians and the contracts that politicians award easier for the public to find) chose to use City Attorney Trutanich as the poster child for what not to do.

Fishbowl LA states that: "So long as Flashlight keeps its link index fresh, the site could prove extremely useful as a reporting tool. That said, keeping public information links fresh is not easy. For instance, when LA City Attorney Carmen Trutanich took office, his staff removed a handy search tool from the city attorney’s website that allowed the public to search through various city contracts."

Fishbowl LA's allegation appears to be partially borne out by a quick look at the City Attorney's website which has a very untidy and disorganized appearance compared to other City websites. Of course photo-ops of Trutanich feature most prominently, perhaps underlying Trutanich's main goal - self promotion. But if there is a Contract Search Tool, it is well hidden, and we could not find it.

So what is it that Trutanich is trying to make harder to find? Could there be awkward and embarrassing contracts that the City Attorney's Office has awarded?

Trutanich was known to be highly critical of his predecessor, Rocky Delgadillo, for hiring 'politicals' who engaged in fundraising and media promotion on the taxpayer dime, and removal of a contract search tool might make it harder for the public to research precisely why certain people are employed by Trutanich.

It seems that, increasingly, the media are discovering more and more reasons why Trutanich is not the person he claimed to be, and even the Los Angeles Dragnet published a story on ContractGate last week.  The Dragnet has been a strong supporter of Trutanich, however, recently the Dragnet started linking to articles written here revealing less than favorable pieces about the onetime "People's Lawyer."

Whatever the reason, for someone who promised 'Transparency' prominently in his campaign and well into his administration, it seems that FishBowl LA has unearthed yet another reason to believe TRU is False!


Anonymous said...

There's a couple of contracts that Trutanich probably doesn't want people to know about. 1. He pays his chief legal adviser over $200k a year by a contract. What's so bad about that? Well if Trutanich is such a freekin legal genius, what does he need a $200k legal adviser for? Either way you cut it, it's a waste of taxpayer money because look at all the shit Trutanich has gotten himself into - either Trutanich doesn't follow the advise, or the advice is wrong.

2) Some other guy who is supposed to do grant research gets paid a ton of money to do fundraising for Trutanich. He's on a contract too, but it's in a company name. I didn't think it was legal to use public funds for campaign fundraising, but I guess if you can't find the contract it's easy to get away with it.

It's all very sleazy and there's probably more, which is why Trutanich's staff removed the search too.

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