The Los Angeles Dragnet published their list of Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich’s top ten blunders of 2011.
2011 may well have been an Annus Horribilis for some of the targets of the Dragnet’s coverage, but with close to 100,000 pageviews in 2011, it looks like the Los Angeles Dragnet has become a go-to source for the stories that politicians probably hope will quietly go away, stories that the mainstream media misses, and the background to some of those stories showing things are not always as they seem.
As we prepare to bid farewell to 2011, we take a reflective look at our ten most-read stories of 2011. Surprisingly, we find that City Attorney Carmen Trutanich features heavily in our list of of blunders, lies and deception, sometimes also referred to as Los Angeles politics.
City Attorney Carmen Tutanich has been hawking the ACE Program as the panacea for LA’s fiscal and enforcement troubles for over a year now. But the City Council seems reluctant to accept Trutanich’s hollow assurances that the his fiscal solution is not simply another of his shakedowns stealthily designed to give him more power while denying residents their due process rights.
That reluctance appears to have gained strength as a result of the Dragnet’s revelation that Trutanich lied about the origins of ‘his’ program on the Kevin James radio show. If and when Trutanich’s ACE Program has its showdown in the horseshoe, Trutanich is likely to be personally summoned to appear before the Council in public session, confronted with an audio recording of his lies, and asked the $64M question, “What else are you lying about?” It could be a long and embarrassing session.
In all likelihood, Trutanich has backed-off pushing ‘his’ ACE as a result of the impending thumbs-down. His own lies may have killed his own bill.
The Dragnet cannot claim all the credit for this story, straight out of the ‘you can’t make this stuff up’ category of foot in the mouth statements. It was LA Weekly’s intrepid reporter, Gene Maddaus, who accepted an invitation to dine with Trutanich at a Mafioso-style East LA eatery where Trutanich likes to hold court, perhaps like a scene from Goodfellas. Trutanich, it seems, was doing his level best to convince the LA Weekly that he was not being a bully over his threats to send ‘professional’ protesters to jail ‘for a year,’ but it appears that Trutanich was unable to con-vince Maddaus.
Trutanich, apparently ‘lost it’ as his frustration boiled over (“growing annoyed” is Maddaus related), and he blurted out his Nixonesque quote “I am not a thug!” as if that would improve things. It is not clear whether Trutanich also banged the Formica table top for emphasis while spitting out food as he made the fateful admission.
In what was an equally failure-bound attempt to rescue Trutanich from the ever deepening hole he was digging for himself, Trutanich’s Chief Deputy then blurted out “Y’know, Nuch is actually an intellectual.” It seems that Maddaus was not convinced. There are many things people may believe about Trutanich, being an intellectual is not one of them.
While members of the South East District Bar Association gathered to honor District Attorney candidate Mario Trujillo with the ‘Attorney of the Year’ award, the proceedings were rudely interrupted by City Attorney Carmen Trutanich who bullied his way to the podium armed with a bunch of cheesy calligraphic scrolls.
The audience reaction to Trutanich’s uninvited, crass and reportedly inarticulate rambling speech left little doubt that Trutanich was no longer welcome in the community that had previously supported him.
Proving, once again, that he has a very limited understanding of First Amendment issues, Trutanich tried and failed to bully District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson into removing a campaign photograph from the less than flattering ‘Election Hangover Part II’ video showing how Trutanich has reneged on his many promises not to use the City Attorney’s Office as a political stepping stone to the DA’s Office.
We display the video that Trutanich doesn’t want you to see here, complete with the less than half-second display of the campaign photograph forming the core of Trutanich’s pathetic threat.
Ironically, Trutanich’s failed threat succeeded in in one way, it gave the Jackson campaign’s political advert a second lease of life, more than doubling the number of views.
The first District Attorney candidate’s forum gave an insight to the varied campaign platforms of the declared candidates. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich failed to appear, at first lying that ‘he had not been invited,’ then clarifying that lie with another ‘he had not been officially invited.’
Either way, Trutanich saw fit to dispatch a spy to report back on the event, another crass move that perhaps belies the way Trutanich plans to conduct his campaign.
A string of heavy loses by Trutanich’s lawyers was first explained by him as being due to “blunders” by his lawyers, however, as Trutanich explained to a confused reporter, it appears that Trutanich’s childhood schoolyard bully strategy may be to blame.
It’s called the “Porcupine Defense’ by Trutanich, and it is likely that his insistence at sending his attorneys into trials that are destined to be lost, cost taxpayers around $20M in 2011.
How low can you go, Mr. Trutanich? That’s the question that perhaps should have been asked by KRLA talk show host Kevin James after Trutanich imp-lied that he was too busy taking care of his son who had been injured in Iraq to even think about running for District Attorney.
The “injury” may have occurred in Iraq while his son, an Assistant US Attorney was on a civilian assignment there. However it was not a field of combat injury; his son is not in the military. It was, apparently, a sports injury arising from a friendly game. Of course, that’s probably “friendly fire” in Trutanich-speak.
Trutanich’s willingness to mislead listeners into thinking that he had some connection to the families of the brave men and women in our military who are injured in the service of their country is beneath contempt. It goes to the very core of who Trutanich is and what he will do to mislead and deceive.
The annual City Attorney’s Office Family BBQ was a huge ‘stay away’ for hundreds of staffers and their families who silently protested Trutanich’s reckless mismanagement which has caused layoffs, work furloughs and pay cuts, while Trutanich steadfastly refuses to take a matching pay cut. Significantly, many former political supporters also stayed away from the Trutanich train wreck.
Faced with embarrassingly low numbers expected for Trutanich’s BBQ, the former ambulance chaser plaintiff’s attorney turned career politician used a radio interview on AM570 KLAC Sports Radio’s Petros and Money show to pimp the BBQ to the audience, even though the event was not open to the public.
But as if to highlight the hypocrisy and deceit that has become synonymous with Trutanich, he could not resist the opportunity to lie about his involvement in the investigation into the prosecution of those responsible for the Bryan Stowe Dodgers Stadium beating. When asked “how’s the prosecution going to proceed?” he said “We’re moving forward with that case.”
It’s pathetic. Trutanich has absolutely no involvement with the prosecution of that case. That’s because the life-threatening beating suffered by Bryan Stowe is a felony crime, and Trutanich as City Attorney does not prosecute serious and violent crimes.
Trutanich probably wanted to give the impression that he is in someway involved. It does seem that Trutanich prefers to mislead people as to the difference between misdemeanor and felony crimes to make himself appear relevant where he is not.
City Attorney Carmen Trutanich’s apparent failure to fully report the identity of the person or persons who paid the rent for his Ventura Blvd. campaign headquarters was the subject of the RentGate scandal, exposed by the Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise.
Whether the under-reported or unreported payment of rent constitutes illegal campaign donations is believed to be a mater that the City Ethics Commission will review. The record of rent payments appearing in Trutanich’s campaign finance documents appears to be less than complete, and the explanation offered by Trutanich is equally incomplete. We cannot say with any certainty whether there are ‘criminal aspects’ to this matter, even if Trutanich seems perfectly comfortable with the use of that phrase.
Top of the scandal stories of 2011 was the shattering revelation that, while playing the part of bully and thug tough-guy on illegal billboards, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich had, for two years, displayed illegal off-site billboards outside his former campaign headquarters on Ventura Blvd.
The scandal sent Trutanich into a tailspin of stories as he tried to distance himself from the scandal, even stooping so low as to claim in a statement to the Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise that “the determination of the signs’ legality is not one that is made by his office.”
Despite the best efforts of Trutanich to defend his billboards, a statement by one-time supporter Dennis Hathaway, president of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight, that “the signs should be taken down since the ’09 election was two years ago,” appeared to end any doubt whatsoever that Trutanich was in violation of his own law. Trutanich removed his illegal billboards before any enforcement action was necessary.
If BillboardGate proved anything, it was that Trutanich fails when the public becomes aware of his duplicity and deception. Without doubt, Trutanich’s defeat over his illegal billboards occurred because the media paid attention to his double standards and double-speak.
Happy New Year Dragnet readers!
The Los Angeles Dragnet may have contributed to making 2011 an Annus Horribilis for Carmen ‘the Clown’ Trutanich, and as he ramps up his shenanigans for his District Attorney campaign, be assured that the Dragnet will do its best to repeat the compliment.
We take this opportunity to thank our growing readership for their support in 2011, and look forward to providing you with the same quality of reporting in the all important election year ahead.
Posted by Joe Friday at 6:01 PM