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How Success Spoiled Carmen Trutanich

Just a few weeks before Carmen Trutanich took the oath of office as LA City Attorney, I asked this question: “Will Success Spoil Carmen Trutanich?”

“Some people are worried his election will go to Carmen Trutanich’s head. Others are asking, “What’s all this talk about Nuch already turning into an unapproachable <expletive>? … As someone who owes his election to strong support from community
activists and is the only city official carrying the torch for positive changes at City Hall, Trutanich has created high expectations, impossibly high expectations for that matter.

NuchAnnounce.pngOn the day after his crushing defeat of Jack Weiss, Trutanich told the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association: 

“I’m not going to let you down…We’re going to prosecute misdemeanor ethics law violations by politicians…We’re going to change the way politics is played in the City of Los Angeles…The future of this city is going to be bright and clean…I want to be your City Attorney. I want to be the people’s lawyer..I want to hear what you think is broken and I want to try to fix it. I’m not a politician. God forbid I ever become one.”

“That’s the kind of talk that puts a guy in a fishbowl with everyone watching his every move.”

Sadly, the answer to the question I posed on June 9, 2009, has been clear for a while. Today, Nuch removed the last shred of doubt by announcing he is running to succeed District Attorney Steve Cooley (Nuch-Run.rtf).

Nuch-liar.pngIt is no surprise. Trutanich has been raising a lot of money and seeking endorsements from other politicians for many months. His opponents have been gearing up to cut the 800-pound gorilla in the race down to size with Deputy D.A. Alan Jackson ready with a full-page ad layout with a picture Nuch and the large headline: “I am a liar.”

Next to the picture is the pledge Trutanich campaigned on against Weiss, a pledge that promised to give his “full attention to serving the people of Los Angeles as their City Attorney rather than running for other political office.”

The penalty:

“Should the pledge be violated, a penalty of $100,000 must be paid to LA’s Best After School Program from the violator’s personal funds. In addition, the candidate breaking the pledge must purchase one full-page newspaper advertisement in every daily newspaper in Los Angeles to be run on the first Sunday following the breach of the Pladge. The ad must included a large headshot of the candidate in question, a copy of the Pledge and the words, ‘I AM A LIAR’ in large block print.”

Trutanich signes that pledge, Weiss didn’t. Trutanich won, Weiss lost. Now it’s time to pay up.

Alan Jackson’s campaign consultant John Thomas, who had worked on Trutanich’s City Attorney campaign, has saved Nuch the trouble of producing the ad, leaving only the question of whether Nuch will find a legal loophole to avoid fulfilling his promise.

The first clue to what was going to happen came when Trutanich stood before the City Council in the first weeks after taking office and calledLA’s Mr. Big, Tim Leiweke, a criminal and threatened to prosecute him.for how he stuck the city for the bills for Michael Jackson’s funeral while setting AEG up to make tens of millions of dollars in profits from it.

The very next day, former City Controller Laura Chick called Trutanich “a demagogue” who lied to her in order to get her endorsement.

“The CityAttorney lied, and is not a man of his word…he is a demagogue who will say anything to get elected, and then go back on his word… he stood next to me and lied to get my support,” she told KABC’s Doug McIntyre.

Then, there was the falling out with top lieutenant David Berger who had campaigned so hard for Trutanich and was so embittered he set up the LA Dragnet blog as a forum for sharp criticism of the City
Attorney.

What ensued at City Hall were savage cuts to Trutanich’s budget, constant carping at every move he made by City Council members who from time to time have dealt with outsiders entering the inner sanctum of their petty little political machine by thwarting every move they made.

Paul Krekorian elected to the City Council in 2009 with an outpouring of grassroots support similarly found he had to go along to get along and now is a rising star as the Council’s most eloquent and convincing re-writer of reality and concealer of truth.

A lot of people, myself included, gradually saw Trutanich disappear from visibility while using his vast staff of lawyers to clear the way for the mayor and Council to get away with just about anything. We heard less and less from him about his budget woes and less and less about standing up for the people.

Soon it was clear that once again the promise of a “People’s Attorney” who would stand up against the politicians and for the greater good of the community was just one of those things that are said in the heat of a campaign to become one of those politicians serving the interests of the few, and not the many.

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34 Responses to How Success Spoiled Carmen Trutanich

  1. Anonymous says:

    What a disappointment Nuch has become. His alignment and attending community meetings with Tim Lieweke favoring the corrupt NFL stadium lost tons of support for him. Trutanich is asking his staff to help him campaign and get invited to meetings all over the City. Because he’s become just like the rest in City Hall we’re all going to campaign hard for Jackie Lacey. Many of us feel let down by Trutanich and another politician who broke his promise to the people who put him in office. Sorry Nuch, no way will you Win this one without the PEOPLE.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Did not the Mayor make the same pledge–to serve a full term as Councilman. He won did he not? The fact that he is the worst Mayor ever is besides the point. I’ll take Trutancich any day over the unknowns from the corrupt Cooley’s stinkin stable.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “Then, there was the falling out with top lieutenant David Berger who had campaigned so hard for Trutanich and was so embittered he set up the LA Dragnet blog as a forum for sharp criticism of the City Attorney”.
    The guy is a friggin ass, hardly worth a mention. He needs theraphy.

  4. Scott says:

    Here’s a real problem. According to Ron, whom I believe, Trutanich lied big time when he said he would go after Ethics Violation in City Hall.
    As soon as he was elected, Trutanich said that he represents the City and its elected officials and not the public. Thus, his job was to defend the councilmembers against any charges of wrongdoing. He went so far as to claim that if he were investigating a corrupt developer, .e.g. 1601 n Vine, and the investigation lead to a councilmember, e.g. Garcetti, he would have to stop the entire investigation.
    Trutanich knew this fact as Noel Weiss had brought it up during the campaign.

  5. MissAnthrope says:

    A report came out today about a survey of physicians who admitted they often lie to their patients. If you can’t trust a doctor to tell you the truth, then why expect a politician or anyone else to speak the truth.
    I remember Doug McIntyre calling out Trutanich for his broken promises shortly after he was elected.
    Trutanich danced around McIntyre’s pointed questions so hard he could qualify for a starring role on “So You Think You Can Dance” or “Glee.”
    Seems like dancing around the truth is the primary qualification for all of L.A.’s politicians.
    If he and Zine were competing for roles on any of those shows it would be a dead-on tie; they’d have to create a part for twin characters.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I want to ask Trutanich how can he say to KFI reporter that “Beck and I are working it out” regarding the 30 day vehicle impound. Trutanich office is in court now defending the City of LA in a lawsuit by the illegal immigrants stating its unfair to impound their vehicles. Trutanich is using the defense impounding vehicles of anyone stopped without a driver’s license, insurance etc. is against STATE LAW. So Trutanich knew he was going to announce his run for DA and wants like Beck to kiss butt to the wrong people.

  7. Anonymous says:

    When it is the Mayor and the City Council who control the City Attorney’s budget, there is little independence to be expected from this office. If this Office was wiped out, nobody would miss it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    While I certainly understand your points, Ron, I still believe in Nuch. Sure, he said some pretty stupid things – like wanting to be the “people’s attorney” knowing that he really works for the City and the City Council. The sad truth is that once he learned the practical realities of the job, the Mayor had started to move against him, costing him that 1.7 Million Dollar budget cut-back which has limited his ability to focus on those big picture items he campaigned for. We shouldn’t forget that in his 3 years, he has eliminated billboard blight/supersized wall graphics; closed down lots of illegal pot shops, and collected a closed-door settlement from Tim L. covering the expenses for the Michael Jackson funeral, and has just filed a lawsuit against the city’s pension management. (That’s the short list). Further, he has stayed connected with the communities by meeting with groups (which is unprecedented for any City Attorney).
    I would be remiss in saying that I also share the disappointment in realizing that Nuch broke his promises about not running for another office. However, one must look to the bigger picture and ask if the people will be better served by Nuch as the City Attorney or DA?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ron, how could you, an old hand, be fooled by two bit attorney from San Pedro? You should have known that an honest politician is an oxymoron.
    Trutanich proved it in no time. At least it clears the way for Feuer to kick his ass, because when Cooley gets done with this ingratiate,there is no chance he`ll win. He was lucky Weiss was an incompetent ass.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Carmen Trutanich started with a big lie “We’re going to prosecute misdemeanor ethics law violations by politicians”
    At Trutanich’s open house meeting with neighborhood leaders he double-talked his way around that statement by saying “I work for the Citizens” in one breath and in the next breath saying the City Council members are my clients.
    So instead of prosecuting misdemeanor ethics law violations by politicians, Trutanich became the City Council criminal defense attorney while giving the shaft to the working class taxpayers.

  11. Anonymous says:

    3:31pm I think you meant Trutanich is defending the City of LA using its STATE LAW to have a drivers license, etc.
    Why were the meetings with Lieweke a closed door settlement? Aren’t we taxpayers entitled to know since Trutanich is suppose to be our Attorney but when it suits him he says his clients are the politicians. 3:38pm the only reason Trutanich was meeting with community members was to pretend he was serious about staying City Attorney. What happened to his threats on the Michael Jackson funeral costs?? It hasn’t come out and why? Who is he protecting. Trutanich has come off like a loud mouth, classless clown. Digital billboards are still all over the City, marijuana shops still in business, this lawsuit over pensions is timing and to help him in his campaign. Please….he’s toast

  12. Anonymous says:

    Here’s the thing, Ron. Until you run for office and serve, you never know what you will do. After the campaign dust settles, the real work of governing begins. We are a democracy, which means you can’t get anything done without the buy-in from other politicians. So, you have to make a choice: Stand up on the soap box and curse them (like you do freely on your blog) and deliver nothing to your constituents; or, compromise, be called a liar by some who supported your campaign, but deliver services and some results.
    Take Laura Chick. As a councilmember, she was just as corrupt as the rest of them. She raised tons of money from special interests–including developers and contractors and voted for their projects. When it was in her interest as city controller to capture headlines, she railed against the system she so readily embraced just years before. Her anger with Trutanich stemmed from his unwillingness to use taxpayer dollars to pay for her personal lawsuit againt Rocky Delgadillo which she lost. He was acting more like the Controller than she was.
    I like Trutanich. All this nonsense about a pledge not to seek higher office is ironic when you consider that almost every candidate who ever runs for an office repeatedly state that they have no plans to seek higher office. Obama, Brown, Villaraigosa all the way down to city council.
    Who really cares?
    They can’t appoint themselves to the higher office. They have to get elected by real voters who will factor that into their decision.
    It’s easy to blog about change. Affecting real change requires compromise. Read the history books. It’s how our government was formed.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Here’s the thing, Ron. Until you run for office and serve, you never know what you will do. After the campaign dust settles, the real work of governing begins. We are a democracy, which means you can’t get anything done without the buy-in from other politicians. So, you have to make a choice: Stand up on the soap box and curse them (like you do freely on your blog) and deliver nothing to your constituents; or, compromise, be called a liar by some who supported your campaign, but deliver services and some results.
    Take Laura Chick. As a councilmember, she was just as corrupt as the rest of them. She raised tons of money from special interests–including developers and contractors and voted for their projects. When it was in her interest as city controller to capture headlines, she railed against the system she so readily embraced just years before. Her anger with Trutanich stemmed from his unwillingness to use taxpayer dollars to pay for her personal lawsuit againt Rocky Delgadillo which she lost. He was acting more like the Controller than she was.
    I like Trutanich. All this nonsense about a pledge not to seek higher office is ironic when you consider that almost every candidate who ever runs for an office repeatedly state that they have no plans to seek higher office. Obama, Brown, Villaraigosa all the way down to city council.
    Who really cares?
    They can’t appoint themselves to the higher office. They have to get elected by real voters who will factor that into their decision.
    It’s easy to blog about change. Affecting real change requires compromise. Read the history books. It’s how our government was formed.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Actually, he did us all some good by being elected. The previous DA waas nothing to brag about. Also with the situation the way it is downtown, he may have had to play ball to get anything at all done. DO NOT STAY HOME
    ON ELECTION DAY. GET OUT AND VOTE FOR CHANGE.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Pleaseeee..what a dumb excuse that once Trutanich got into office he had to play with the politicians and buy in to what they wanted. Hellooooo it was a grass roots support that got Trutanich in and that can’t be said for Villar and the rest. We don’t forget and we will stand and fight to support your cause but when you turn on us like Nuch has we will go after you and campaign harder so you dont’ get elected to higher office. Greuel, Garcetti, Perry and the rest will soon see how upset taxpayers are and fight back at them NOT TO BE ELECTED TO HIGHER OFFICE

  16. Heywood Jablowme says:

    Ron-bo, get your facts straight. If you read the appellate decision in Rocky Delgadillo v. Laura Chick, you’ll see that the appellate court wrote “True to his word, Trutanich allowed a full audit of the workman’s comp division on his first day in office.” Laura was upset that Trutanich was not going to roll over and give $200,000 of OUR MONEY to Laura’s lawyer who agreed to work pro bono.
    Doug McIntyre is managed by Wendy Greuel’s husband, so he and Laura ganged up on Trutanich because he wouldn’t roll over like every other politician does in this city.
    Trutanich has also cut outside counsel expenditures from $38 million dollars when Rocky was there, to $7 million dollars. That’s OUR MONEY too that he’s saved. He has also stopped all the large money settlement payouts that previous City Attorneys used to give away to any lawyer or law firm that was connected.
    Trutanich may not be perfect, but that’s what you get when you bring in outsiders. They’re not slick like Felonio Villaragosa or Wendy Greuel.
    I’ll take Trutanich any day over all these career politicians who do nothing except waste OUR MONEY.

  17. No justice says:

    Why are the pots calling the kettle black.
    Cooley is a liar: He said he was only going to run for two terms.
    Jackson is a liar: He said recently in a video that victims can trust him, but he illegally violated Marsy’s law and like Arnold Schwarzenneger reduced a murder case to 6 years without notifying the victim. If Jackson can’t even follow Marsy’s Law victims can’t trust him.
    Seems the liars are everywhere in this race.

  18. Anonymous says:

    That campaign AD sure doesn’t look good for Trutanich. Really stands out and when you have the other candidates against the one it stacks up. I like Jackie Lacey. She’s decent, good record, and will make a sharp DA

  19. Lying is OK -- ?? says:

    It is disharenting to see people vigorously defending Trutanich for his numerous lies and blaming the people naieve enough to believe him.
    Then people lie right here and say that other politicians have ten and broken the same oath. Show me the politician who took and oath not to run for another office and if he did, he would personally pay $100,000 to charity. Show me! There is none so it is a lie to say that others have made the same promise and broken it.
    But Trutanich hs been schooled by some of the best liars, i.e. the land use judges on the L.A. Superior Court bench — Political hacks who just like Trutanich see their job as protecting the 1% against the 99%.

  20. Lying is OK -- ?? says:

    It is disheartening to see people vigorously defending Trutanich for his numerous lies and blaming the people naieve enough to believe him.
    Then people lie right here on this blog and say that other politicians have broken the same promise. Show me the politician who took an oath not to run for another office, and if he did, he would personally pay $100,000 to charity. Show me! There is none; so it is a lie to say that others have made the same promise and broken it.
    But Trutanich has been schooled by some of the best liars, i.e. the land use judges on the L.A. Superior Court bench — Political hacks who just like Trutanich see their job as protecting the 1% against the 99%.

  21. No justice says:

    @2:01 – Lacey has a good record, uhhh did you know she purgered herself under oath and is the ring leader in Cooley’s union busting federal law suit. She did have a good record until she went back under oath and tried to take back the fact that she outed Cooley’s federal crime by say, “My blood sugar was low. I was confused.” Give me a break. She is Cooley’s glowing little lap dog. Good record, if you are a moron who doesn’t have a clue.

  22. No justice says:

    @2:01 – Lacey has a good record, uhhh did you know she purgered herself under oath and is the ring leader in Cooley’s union busting federal law suit. She did have a good record until she went back under oath and tried to take back the fact that she outed Cooley’s federal crime by say, “My blood sugar was low. I was confused.” Give me a break. She is Cooley’s glowing little lap dog. Good record, if you are a moron who doesn’t have a clue.

  23. martin j vasquez jr says:

    the clown belives hes gering our vote , not my , he just another crook and liar low life politician from los angeles city hall.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Nuch played us for fools. He thinks that there are enough people left in LA who don’t know the number of times he as been proven to have told lies. It was his Chief Lieutenant, David Berger, who first blew the whistle on Nuch’s power crazy ACE Program, that insane program would have Nuch appointing his own judges to hear code violation cases brought by the Dept. of Building and Safety ‘just like a parking ticket.’ When was the last time you fought a parking ticket and won? And to make matters worse, Nuch was planning to use the Building & Safety inspectors to issue the tickets. Hello! Anyone paying attention to the FBI investigation into corruption at Building & Safety? Anyone notice Trutanich saying anything about corruption in the Dept the he was going to sic on residents? Face it, Nuch served his purpose – stopping that sleaze Weiss from becoming City Attorney but in the process he became Weiss on steroids – he’s even using Weiss’s campaign manager Dave Jacobsen for his DA campaign. Time to kick Nuch out of office and elect someone who actually places some value on their word.

  25. anonymously says:

    Ron your a smart guy but this one you have gotten wrong. Nuch is the best thing that has happened to this city, outside counsel costs are down, pot shops down, billboards are gone. He has kicked butt on civil suits losing no more than 10, saving the city 300 million in costs. graffiti injunctions, skid row injunctions, Michael Jackson money,kept telling the mayor to enforce the law regarding occupy la. The city would of saved 2 million plus. the list goes on about his accomplishments. The city had an empty suit in office prior to Nuch, who did zero. This is the chance of a life time the DA seat has not been open for 12 years. I hope that you haven’t forgotten the DA’s office is in LA County and he would still be serving the people of the city. As for the stooge David Berger he did nothing while he was in his position with the city attorney’s office. He completed zero projects hell I don’t think the guy can read or write. He spent every day for 8 hours smoking cigarettes at the trash can next to the pita rest., most people walking by thought he was a homeless guy going threw the trash. Again Ron Nuch was the best thing LA has had in awhile now. Don’t forget the ACE program several cities have it but Parks refused to move it along.

    • Daniel says:

      So the only comment in praise of Nuch the liar hasn’t got the guts to give his name, but is all too ready to regurgitate the BS that Nuch spews out at the few neighborhood councils that still let him talk there.

      First of all, thank god Bernard Parks squashed Nuch’s crazy ACE Program. The latest bribe scandal in LADBS shows just how insane it would be to give them even more ticket writing power.

      Pot shops? There are even more of them now than when Nuch was sworn in, he screwed up big time by passing an unconstitutional ordinance, now all he can do is claim there are less, but come on, you see the evidence for yourself, there are more pot shops now than before.

      And billboards? Gime a break. Nuch had his own illegal billboards on Ventura Blvd. for 2 years before the Dragnet blog forced him to take them down.

      Everything about Nuch is shady. Weird looking people get to use his office when he’s not there, they get to park free and order his staff around. The fat guy who looks like Uncle Fester is always hanging around Nuch’s office like a he owns the place. He probably owns Nuch.

      Ron, you are 100% right, Nuch is bad news for LA, he’s unfit to be City Attorney, and nowhere near qualified to be DA. He should go back to San Pedro and go back to being a personal injuries lawyer. That’s what liars do best.

  26. Wayne from Encino says:

    I worked my ass off on the Nuch 09 campaign and what did I get in return? A DOOCH-BAG! He said to me and the others at Studio City in the fucking campaign HQ “I DON’T WANT TO BE DA, PERIOD, ONLY CITY ATTORNEY FOR 2 TERMS!” He repeated that PROMISE over and over. We all know he called out Jack-Ass Weiss who wouldn’t promise the same. He’s much worse than a sell-out: HE’S A BACKSTABBER AND A RAT! He’s played all of us for fools and he doesn’t give one damn care in the world for it! Berger bailed out in 09 because he knew very early the Nuch was a TRU DOOCH! Give Burger-Berger credit for that much. People will “reward” our Dooch for his record of jailing janitors, single moms, and students; Giving his buddies at big Downtown firms those OUTSIDE CONTRACTS, Letting City Hall DEPLETE his office and budget, allowing Digital Billboards all over the Downtown area and everywhere AEG desires; and he’ll be “rewarded” for every single lie and dodge he gives us in the Media. The D.A.’s race will be a non-issue campaign—This time it will be about DEFEATING the CAMPAIGN DONORS OF NUCH-DOOCH vs. THE PEOPLE OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY! He’s been purchased and the D.A.’s seat has been PRE-PAID like a fucking visa debit card. Kicking him to the curb in this D.A.’s race would be a miracle, but if it happens it would be a major REJECTION of the usual 50 or so CAMPAIGN BUNDLERS who own and prepay every candidate for every race in L.A. City and County. Nuch-Dooch 2012? HELL NO!!!!

  27. Kate Barner says:

    The content of what Wayne said is absolutely correct. Trutanich has gone back on his word and has become Jack Weiss on steroids.

    He has betrayed us.

    • Jane says:

      He looked us in the eye, swore he just wanted to be city attorney and do the job. What a liar he turned out to be. At the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association meeting he said “My greatest legacy will be, in eight years time, for someone to go before the city council and ask that the city attorney be given four more years!” You know what Nuch, your greatest legacy will be a lesson to elected officials not to lie to voters. You are finished in politics. PERIOD.

  28. Jane says:

    I don’t think there has ever been a more morally corrupt politician in LA than Nuch Trutanich. He plays us for fools thinking we won’t check the claims he makes about what he does. It is hugely significant that his top lieutenant has taken such an active stand against him, the blog you mention often presents the truth about Trutanich, like his personal billboards and campaign finances. I will never vote for Nuch for anything again, unless it is to recall him.

  29. Mark says:

    Ron,
    Success went to Trutanich’s head the morning after he won the election, two months before he was sworn in. All of a sudden the guy who would take your call anytime, anywhere, had a voice mail message saying he was too busy to return calls. That should have been the first red flag that we has been conned by this shill for special interests. The second was his 180 on Laura Chick and whether the Controller should be able to audit elected officials. Sure, he didn’t mind Rocky’s Workers Comp program being audited, but that was as far as that right was going to go. Then he made a big deal about ‘criminal aspects’ to AEG and the Michael Jackson memorial, at last, we thought, someone is going to stand up to the business as usual brigade. But a year later and nothing. The investigation is dropped, and Nuch accepts a bunch of Lady Gaga tickets from AEG and then goes around to neighborhood council meetings with AEG’s boss claiming their best buddies. Then, thanks to his former chief of staff David Berger, we learn that the ACE Program is basically a power grab to give Nuch grand jury powers and give the Dept. of Building and Safety powers to write tickets for pretty much anything that judges he controls get to decide. He claims to be tough on billboards, but his own illegal billboards were up for 2 years before anyone noticed. Ron, you can say it better than anyone else. Make a fool of me once, that’s your fault, make a fool of me twice, that’s my fault. I’m not going to get Nuch make a fool of me twice. I’ll vote for anyone but Nuch.

  30. Jimmy James says:

    Trutanitch is a closet homo. No lie, look into it. You will be surprised, and the homosexuality is only the tip of the iceberg in regards to weirdness that goes on in his personal life. Everything about him is a lie, not just his politics.

  31. Peter says:

    Trutanich is a low grade incapable politician that does not belong anywhere close to the DA’s office. LA SHOULD REJECT TRUTANICH.

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