Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Trutanich's Campaign - Deception, Deceit and Duplicity Alleged

Carmen the Clown Trutanich's campaign to become District Attorney officially started with a highly questionable email from Sheriff Lee Baca directing recipients to visit a website hysterically named "Draft Trutanich For District Attorney" purportedly set up by an anonymous group of law enforcement individuals who, independent from Trutanich, wanted to urge Trutanich to run for District Attorney.

Today, the Los Angeles Dragnet supplied lurid details indicating that Trutanich was actually behind the entire scam, a rather unsophisticated attempt to fool voters.

The Dragnet uncovered photographs believed to only have been in Trutanich's possession were transferred to the straw man who created Trutanich's phony website using a secret file-sharing account, and that those photographs were used by Trutanich on his bogus campaign website.

Full details of Trutanich's alleged Deception, Deceit and Duplicity at the Los Angeles Dragnet.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Trutanich's Turbid Ties to Lobbyist Surface In LA Weekly Report

The LA Weekly mentions City Attorney Carmen 'the Clown' Trutanich no less than 11 times in it's article "How Lobbyist John Ek Gets His Way at City Hall," published on April 21, 2011.

But Trutanich isn't mentioned as taking an "aggressive stance" against lobbyist John Ek's efforts to allow his client, HMS Host, to hold on to its concessions at Los Angeles Airport where LA Weekly says HMS Host has given LAX a reputation for "lousy food."

Few would disagree that food concessions at LAX are 'lousy,' add 'expensive' and 'surly' to a long list of complaints about HMS Host too.

But far from defending traveller's rights, Trutanich seems to be on the side of Ek's client here, and LA Weekly unveils a long and tangled series of dealings between Trutanich and Ek which might explain why Trutanich was so willing to take sides with Ek and HMS Host.

LA Weekly reveals that both Trutanich and Ek are part of San Pedro's power-broker community. No real surprise then, that during Mayor Jim Hahn's administration, Ek's lobbying activities came under investigation when, according to Gene Maddaus at the LA Weekly, one of Ek's airport clients, URS, "complained to investigators that he had urged them to donate to Hahn's anti-secession campaign. This was supposedly done at the behest of Hahn's appointee to the Airport Commission, and Ek allegedly warned of the consequences of not contributing." Maddaus said.

Maddaus reports that Ek denied the pay-to-play allegation, but was nevertheless "called as a witness before the grand jury, and sought counsel from a well-known local defense attorney — Carmen Trutanich, now L.A. city attorney. Ek was never charged." Said Maddaus.

Trutanich's ties to Ek did not end there. Two weeks before Trutanich launched his bid for City Attorney, he had a small dinner at Trani's Ristorante to discuss the campaign. Trutanich's two guests were Janice Hahn and John Ek. Since becoming City Attorney, Trutanich and Ek have continued their association. Recently, at the Dalmation-American Club fish luncheon, another of Trutanich's regular haunts, "Ek greeted Trutanich with a bear hug." Maddaus said.

So when the thorny question of whether the Airport commission should evict HMS Host, (Host placed last of four bidders for the lucrative LAX concession contract), Trutanich came to Ek and HMS Host's rescue; he declared that there was a conflict of interest.

No, not the conflict of interest that you might expect - that Trutanich and Ek enjoy a close relationship, but rather that the LAX commission president, Alan Rothenberg, had a conflict of interest;  he is on the board of California Pizza Kitchen, and CPK is part of Host's concessionaires. But rather than simply require Rothenberg to recuse himself, and let the Airport commission hear HMS Host's appeal, according to Maddaus "Trutanich decided to disqualify the entire commission. That decision changed the entire process, sending the appeal into a different arena, one more solicitous to Host. The appeal went to the council's Board of Referred Powers, an obscure panel chaired by Cardenas and featuring Hahn as a member."

The result of Trutanich's decision has been to delay the removal of HMS Host and prolong the agony of travelers; earning HMS Host far more than Ek's fees.

But wait, there's more. According to Maddaus, one of Trutanich's deputies "Kelly Martin, the city attorney assigned to LAX, wrote a response that strongly defended the airport" from accusations by HMS Host that "the bidding process was flawed and should be thrown out." In a surprise move, Trutanich re-assigned Martin to other duties, doubtless much to the relief of Ek and HMS Host.

Of course, Trutanich's decision to remove Martin probably has an explanation that might pass the straight-face test, but then again, Trutanich also has a reputation for re-assigning his deputies for questionable reasons, as in the case of deputy city attorney Tom Griego, who Trutanich transferred to the criminal division in order that Griego could call himself a "criminal prosecutor" in his bid to fool voters into electing him as a Superior Court Judge.

Trutanich's dealings with Ek must surely make some wonder who the "people's lawyer" is really working for.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Trutanich's DA Campaign Accused of Starting With "A Lie and an Ethics Violation"

Carmen Trutanich launched his campaign to become District Attorney with everything expected of him; accusations of lying and an ethics violation.

The Los Angeles Dragnet revealed a pathetic attempt by the Trutanich
Campaign to fool voters into thinking he's being "drafted" for the job. 

The Los Angeles Dragnet reported that news of Trutanich's official announcement of his campaign to become District Attorney was tainted with a lie and a deception.

The source of the accusation of misconduct by Trutanich was an anonymous comment posted in response to Dragnet's original piece describing how Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca was being used to "draft" Trutanich to run for the office that he swore he would not pursue at least until completing a full first term as City Attorney. "8:45AM" commented that it was  "Interesting that Carmen the Clown Trutanich starts his campaign off with a lie and an ethics violation."

The anonymous commenter gave sufficient details of an alleged deception designed to create the appearance that an anonymous group of law enforcement leaders were actively trying to persuade a reluctant Trutanich to go back on his sworn campaign pledge not to use the position of City Attorney as a political springboard to higher office.

Fortunately, the Dragnet did an excellent job of dismantling a trail of deception showing that Trutanich's chief investigator, Gary Schram, and the creator of the DraftTrutanich4DA website, Jim Royer, were members of the same law enforcement organization, the CNOA, and that the pair worked closely together there. That the organization held events where Trutanich's own staff were taking RSVP's. The whole thing looks like a massive scam because Trutanich did not disclose his close connection to the so-called "anonymous group of law enforcement leaders," because he obviously knew them, and perhaps equally obviously, told them what to do.

The "lie," then, appears to be that Trutanich claimed no connection to the DraftTrutanich4DA website, and the ethics violation appears to relate to the failure of the DraftTrutanich4DA website to disclose who is paying for the service it is providing to Trutanich.

We couldn't say it better than "8:45AM" "It's a helluva way to start a campaign; a lie and an ethics violation."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Palisades Preservation Association Urges 'NO' on Trutanich's ACE

Carmen 'the Clown' Trutanich got a slap in the face from the Palisades Preservation Association according to the Los Angeles Dragnet.

The Dragnet reported first major blow to Trutanich's ACE Program with the news that the PPA had filed a 20-page letter with the Los Angeles City Council's Budget and Finance Committee. The letter urges the Budget and Finance committee to vote against Trutanich's ACE, advising them that the PPA Board unanimously found that Trutanich's "ACE ordinance is not only unnecessary, but subject to abuse."

The PPA letter can be found using the City Clerk's Connect service, under Council File 10-0085. It is an 'on line' document entitled Communications from Public, and can be accessed using the link below:

The PPA letter is the third objection that the City Council has received to Trutanich's ACE, and it seems that finally people are waking up to the real threat presented by giving Trutanich more power.

The Dragnet also reports that Trutanich has been told to keep his mouth shut about the ACE Program lest he inadvertently reveals the true target of his money-making plan. It is highly likely that Trutanich has already prepared a list of "Target Rich" neighborhoods in Los Angeles where his ACE Program enforcers, the Building & Safety Department's Code Enforcement Officers, have figured out where to get the most bang for the buck - the Westside of Los Angeles.

Although East LA and South Central probably have the highest occurrences of minor code violations, it is the wealthy Westside that has the money to pay the fines that Truanich is most likely counting on.

Hopefully, more local associations will get the message and spread the word.