Wednesday, May 23, 2012
LA Weekly Reveals ‘Secrets’ About Trutanich
The LA Weekly’s daily blog yesterday revealed five “secrets” which a research firm, working for Los Angeles city attorney candidate Carmen Trutanich in 2008, dug up on Trutanich after going through public records.
The firm, VR Research, produced “a report that ran to 100 pages” which “includes a litany of lawsuits that together paint Trutanich as a trigger-happy litigator,” staff writer Gene Maddaus writes.
“Now that Trutanich is running for D.A., the report is coming back to bite him,” Maddaus says, providing “five of the weirdest secrets that Trutanich dug up on himself”
He reports that Trutanich…
—Sued a youth soccer league in 1989 to force a rescheduling of a game because several of the boys on the Rolling Hills Wildcats, which he coached, had the flu, and he wanted to stave off a forfeiture. His bid for an injunction failed.
—Sued Vons for $100,000 in 1976, when he was 24 years old, after he slipped and fell in store in San Pedro. Maddaus advises: “The case was later dismissed, and may have been settled out of court.”
—Sued the City of Los Angeles in 1999 for injuries to a customs employee and others from air pollution at the port. Maddaus says: “Trutanich’s client was later convicted of tampering with monitoring equipment to boost pollution readings.”
—Sued a man in 1995 for $50,000 for “emotional distress” and “nervous system damage.” The man had left his minivan at a used car lot on consignment; Trutanich bought it; the seller balked at the sales price and had the vehicle repossessed. Trutanich knew the owner of the lot, whose son was an employee of Trutanich’s law firm. Maddaus says: “The case was ultimately dismissed, and was likely settled out of court.”
—Responded to a 2006 letter to USC from the National Organization for Women charging that USC of ignored gender-based crimes and that “alumni lawyers have cleared players of crime, with help of friends from the DA’s office.” Alumnus Trutanich shot back: “NOW’s statement is almost patronizing. It’s upsetting to me when someone attacks the judicial system and has absolutely no facts....I would challenge them to come forward with the name of the alleged crony who was in contact with me. That’s a libelous statement. Who was the friend that I contacted? I never spoke to anyone in the DA’s office.”
The blog says the Trutanich camp provided this rejoinder to the report:
“It appears that the Trutanich campaign is the victim of a theft of research materials, prepared by his 2008-09 City Attorney campaign. It is both unethical and disturbing that any member of the media would knowingly use stolen documents—which may have been altered, embellished or edited—in order to write misleading negative stories about Carmen Trutanich.
“More troubling is that the stolen materials appear to have been widely shopped by the campaign of one of Carmen Trutanich’s opponents—a sitting Deputy District Attorney. This opposing candidate appears to have knowingly accepted a stolen document, which also constitutes an illegal, unreported campaign contribution valued in excess of $10,000. The irony is that this person is running to be the County’s top law enforcement prosecutor.”
John Thomas, strategist/press aide to Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson, a rival candidate, provides this reaction to the Trutanich statement:
“This is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to smear Trutanich’s opponents and distract voters away from his sea of monumental lies like pretending to be shot at by gang members and accusing the very office he is seeking to run of political corruption. Even a sitting judge called Trutanich ‘misleading.’ Carmen Trutanich is giving Pinocchio a run for his money.”
•Morrison & Foerster—a multi-state firm with offices in Los Angeles and four other California cities—yesterday announced the launch of a law and technology website at www.mofotechblog.com.
The firm already produces a magazine, “Mo Fo Tech.”
“The blog will update magazine stories—on topics such as tech transactions, litigation, intellectual property, government policy, legislation, and regulation—as well as feature new content written by Morrison & Foerster attorneys,” the announcement says,
“The blog archives past issues of MoFo Tech, first published in 2009 and still one of the few publications covering trends and developments at the nexus of law and technology.”
•The San Fernando Valley Bar Assn. tomorrow will present a talk on “Forensic Media: Getting to the Truth in the Zimmerman/Martin Case.”
The 6 p.m. dinner and program will take place at the SFVBA Conference Room, 21250 Califa Street, Ste 113, in Woodland Hills.
The cost will be $35 for members prepaid; $45 for members at the door; $45 for non-members prepaid, and $55 for non-members at the door.
One unit of MCLE credit will be given.
The talk concerns the second-degree murder charge in Florida against George Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watch captain, in the fatal shooting on Feb. 26 of Trayvon Martin, 17. Zimmerman is pleading self defense.
The bar association’s announcement says:
“Forensics Expert Doug Carner, in the headlines for his lab’s work on the George Zimmerman police station video, discusses how you can strengthen your case and locate weaknesses in opposing counsel’s case based on forensic media. This seminar will be relevant to attorneys who practice business litigation, family law, and criminal law and anyone else seeking clarity on the controversy surrounding the Zimmerman /Trayvon Martin case.”
Information is available by telephoning (818) 227-0490, ext. 105, or e-mailing email@example.com.
•The Daily News of Los Angeles has taken a stance against legislation to crack down on misleading ballot designations. If a candidate fibs about what he or she does, the newspaper says in a Monday editorial, that tells the voter something about the candidate’s scruples.
The editorial says:
“A Sacramento-area candidate for the Assembly in the June 5 primary is listing herself on the ballot as a ‘small business owner.’ This ordinarily wouldn’t make headlines, except that she is currently a member of the Assembly. Beth Gaines is running for re-election—she just doesn’t want to admit it.
“The flap has drawn new attention to candidates’ sometimes-misleading ballot designations and calls for courts or election rule makers to set them straight.
“We’ll stick to what we said amid a similar controversy involving Carmen Trutanich, the Los Angeles city attorney who’s running for L.A. County district attorney: Tighter regulations on candidates’ self-descriptions would be a bad idea. State and city election codes already have extensive rules on the subject. Plus, voters can learn more about office-seekers’ character from their attempts to deceive the public than we would from strictly accurate ballot lines.
“In Trutanich’s case, the attempt to identify himself as ‘Los Angeles chief prosecutor’ made him guilty of self-aggrandizement. A judge ordered the ballot line changed to ‘Los Angeles city prosecutor,’ which is still an overstatement of what a city attorney really does; let’s hope voters haven’t forgotten his deception.”
The editorial concludes:
“[L]et candidates like Beth Gaines and Carmen Trutanich call themselves whatever they want. But let voters decide what it really says about them.”
Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company