Thursday, September 8, 2011
Trutanich Not Commenting on Election Charge—Spokesperson
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich will not comment on a blogger’s charge that he received an illegal in-kind donation in the form of headquarters space for his successful campaign, a spokesperson said yesterday.
Any comment on campaign finance matters will have to come from campaign consultant John Shallman or treasurer David Gould, neither of whom could be reached yesterday by the MetNews, the spokesperson said.
The accusation appeared yesterday on the Los Angeles Dragnet blog, which is associated with Deputy District Attorney David Berger, a former top aide to Trutanich who has become a persistent critic of his former boss.
A post suggested that Trutanich had violated campaign finance laws by accepting free rent for a portion of his 2009 campaign. The headquarters space at Allen Realty Plaza in Studio City was used by the campaign from November 2008, if not earlier, until Election Day, May 19, 2009, the blogger alleged.
Excerpts from campaign finance reports published by Los Angeles Dragnet list four payments to Allen Realty Plaza LLC, two for “Office Expenses” and two for “Campaign Paraphernalia.”
The office expenses payments, assumed by the blogger to be rent, were for $1,822.50 on March 11, 2009; and $2,053 on April 13, 2009. The first payment was for the reporting period of Jan. 1 to April 4, 2009; the second for the period April 5 to May 2.
“If indeed, our interpretation of these two payments is correct, several issues arise, issues that could constitute ethics violations as they relate to the timely and accurate reporting of campaign expenses, as well as non-monetary contributions,” the blogger said.
A property owner can provide a candidate with headquarters space as a reported in-kind, or non-monetary, contribution. But the blogger noted that no such contribution was reported, and that Allen Realty Plaza, LLC’s principal, Mort Allen, gave Trutanich a maximum contribution of $1,000.
The reports raise the questions “Who paid the rent for the period May 3 to May 19, 2009?” and “Who paid the rent for the period before January 1, 2009?”, Los Angeles Dragnet said.
Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company