A ‘thin-skinned’ City Attorney Carmen Trutanich lashed out at criticism of his poor managerial abilities by blaming the Los Angeles Police Department for dismissal of ‘many cases’ against the Occupy LA protesters.
The blame-shift game started after the LA Weekly exclusively reported that ‘many cases’ had been dismissed by the courts as the City Attorney’s office was ‘unprepared and unable’ to proceed with trials against the protesters within the statutory 30-day period.
It did not take long for the internet to become abuzz with comments that if Trutanich could not handle the prosecution of what were basically very simple cases, he was unfit to be District Attorney. It was a story that would not go away as thousands of Twitter messages rebroadcast the collapse of the Occupy LA prosecutions.
Speculation grew that the LA Weekly had been ‘tipped off’ by sources within the City Attorney’s Office. Such whistle-blowing was routine during the Rocky Delgadillo administration, and it seems things have not changed. According to sources, Trutanich was desperate to ‘put out the fires’ as his Blackberry repeatedly chirped a new comment questioning his leadership and competence, and he reached out to as many media sources as possible to try to explain the collapse of his promised prosecutions.
It seems that only the Daily News was willing to listen and publish his lame excuse. In what appears to be a cry-baby piece of blame-shifting from the wannabe tough guy, he pointed the finger at the Los Angeles Police Department . Rather than shoulder the responsibility for his failures, Trutanich blamed “paperwork errors made by police officers during the Nov. 30 raid” for the embarrassing collapse of his cases.
Reaction to the cowardly excuse was swift. District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson’s strategist, John S. Thomas, said, “The next District Attorney needs to stand with law enforcement, not throw them under the bus when it is politically convenient. Mr. Trutanich appears to be too busy collecting special interest cash and exploiting his elected position with city contractors to run the City Attorney’s office. Not only did Trutanich throw the police under the bus, he backed up and ran over them again.”
The Jackson campaign’s questioning of how the City Attorney prioritizes his time is, perhaps, not surprising. Trutanich had thirty days to prepare these cases for trial by carefully examining the evidence presented by the LAPD at the time the cases were filed. If there were any failures in the ‘paperwork,” these should have been identified and either corrected or the case should not have been brought to trial. But the fundraising activities of the City Attorney in his effort to raise over $1M for his District Attorney campaign by December 2011, may well have taken priority over his duties at the office.
The willingness of Trutanich to blame the LAPD for the collapse of his cases may also signal another impending failure in his District Attorney campaign. All District Attorney candidates have been working hard to secure key endorsements from law enforcement. Throwing law enforcement ‘under the bus’ to cover his thin-skinned ego is unlikely to help Trutanich in wowing LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, or the all-important LAPPL Los Angeles Police Protective League to endorse him.
While Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca has ‘supported’ Trutanich’s bid for DA, he has drawn short of an endorsement, and this latest act of cry-baby cowardice is unlikely to make that happen any time soon. Equally, ALADS, the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, were rumored to be strongly considering endorsing Alan Jackson despite Baca’s stated allegiance, and once word of the cry-baby antics of the City Attorney becomes know, Jackson’s chances look to be much improved.
But as for the remaining Occupy LA cases, and the fuss recently made about plans to sue the Occupy LA protesters to recover the city’s expenses, the collapse of these cases will do little to improve Trutanich’s chances of scoring any political points there. As one comment on Twitter perhaps best summed it up, ‘he can talk the talk, but he cannot walk the walk.’