Thursday, July 28, 2011
Trutanich Still Looking at D.A. Run, Advisor Says
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has not written off a possible run for district attorney, despite rumors to the contrary, but he still is not formally entering the race, his advisor said yesterday.
John Shallman who is working with Trutanich’s “exploratory’ committee, said he expects Trutanich “will make an announcement sometime later this year,” but the city attorney currently is too “focused on his job” to make a decision about his candidacy.
“Politics is less important to him” than “doing the best job he can as the chief prosecutor of the city,” Shallman claimed.
He said Trutanich has been “deluged by leaders in law enforcement, including Sheriff [Lee] Baca, who have urged him to run” and over 2,000 people who are propelling a “draft” movement for Trutanich to get into what is now a six-way contest.
If Trutanich “felt that any of these candidates would do a good job, he may choose not to run,” Shallman said, but “the people backing the draft movement think the declared candidates are not good enough.”
Shallman added that Trutanich is “honored to have their encouragement and the financial support of over 700 donors” who have given to the exploratory committee. He said the committee has amassed over $507,000 in the past eight weeks, which was a “pretty phenomenal response.”
The consultant posited that it “probably would” help fundraising efforts if Trutanich would declare himself a candidate, “but that’s not how he thinks.”
He insists Trutanich as “never been a politician, never been somebody who has been looking into other offices.” Although Trutanich currently holds an elected office, Shallman emphasized that it was the first position Trutanich had ever run for, and it is a post as a “professional prosecutor,” which, he maintained, is what Trutanich is.
Trutanich also had no designs on the position soon to be vacated by District Attorney Steve Cooley, Shallman said. Trutanich “has great respect for the DA” and “had hoped [Cooley] would run for another term,” Shallman claimed.
But, with Cooley’s retirement slated for next year, Shallman said, the potential to “do more work for more people” as Cooley’s successor is “something [Trutanich] is contemplating.”
Trutanich, the consultant noted, “has been a deputy DA and knows that office extremely well.” After having “managed an office the size of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s, clearly [Trutanich] has a much greater level of experience than any other candidate who had entered the race,” Shallman said.
Shallman allowed that Cooley’s chief deputy, Jacqueline Lacey, “may know the office” better than Trutanich, but emphasized “she’s not the chief prosecutor.”
Trutanich “is the top guy” who “has been managing an office of over 600 attorneys,” Shallman said, “she’s not.” Shallman declined to comment on Cooley’s endorsement of Lacey, as “I don’t think it makes a difference in this race.”
The consultant was similarly dismissive of the issue of a campaign pledge Trutanich made during his bid for city attorney against then-Councilman Jack Weiss to serve a full term in office.
“That was a campaign challenge he presented to Jack Weiss that Jack Weiss declined to participate in,” Shallman said. Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson’s campaign “is the only one who has made a big deal out of this,” the consultant said, and “I don’t think anyone really cares.”
He further contended that “if Jackson had any sort of confidence in his ability to win, he’s welcome Trutanich into the race” rather than “act like a child having a temper tantrum every time Trutanich’s name is mentioned.”
Shallman also noted that Cooley, when he first ran for district attorney, had promised to only seek two terms in office, but “nobody had any problem with him breaking that promise and running for three because he was doing such a good job.”
Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company