NEWS FLASH: City Attorney Carmen Trutanich announced he had charged two former Memorial Coliseum employees – a warehouse worker and a payroll clerk – with misdemeanor embezzlement and conspiracy involved $3,800 early this year. “This kind of criminal activity should not be tolerated, especially in a public agency,” said City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.
Wait a minute – didn’t Coliseum General Manager Patrick Lynch, the kingpin of the vast conspiracy that wrecked our beloved historical landmark and looted its treasury under the supervision of city, county and state officials, cut a deal with District Attorney Steve Cooley to plead guilty to a single measly charge of “conflict of interest” involving $385,000 in kickbacks instead of facing 15 ½ years behind bars on 10 counts that included embezzlement and conspiracy just like the warehouse and payroll guys?. Didn’t our illustrious political leaders led the Coliseum deteriorate to the point they could justify gifting to our fabulously wealthy private University of Southern California.
I bring this up as just one of a thousand available examples of the double standard of treatment provided to the populace by our officials and to their friends and family.
Take the case of the lovely Andrea Alarcon, daughter of the indicted perjurer Councilman Richard Alarcon, who despite the lack of any serious credentials was handed a $130,000 a year job as one of the fivemember of the Board of Public Works approving billions of dollars in contracts.
Like so many others who have held this sinecure over the years, Andrea Alarcon counts as “friend and family” like current board members Capri Maddox, wife of political operative Kerman Maddox; Valerie Lynne Shaw, former Council aide and daughter of prominent black civic leaders; Steve Nutter, well-connected labor union lawyer, and Jerilyn Lopez Mendoza, well-connected environmental lawyer.
Alarcon is a special case given her history of putting the life of her daughter Cheyenne, now 11, at risk in recent years with penchant for alcohol and who knows what else.
Olympian in its detachment from the city, the LA Times, institutionally, thinks it would wrong to fire Alarcon because she suffers from addiction so is not responsible for driving drunk with her daughter or abandoning her at City Hall until late at night while she partied down the street in Little Tokyo.
The Times could be right. Alarcon shouldn’t be fired. She never should have been hired in the first place any more than the four other “pols pals” who are paid and perked similarly to channel taxpayer money in ways that benefit the unions, contractors, consultants and other special interests who fund the political hacks – the pols – who keep their own spectacular pay and benefits thanks to the generosity of their pals.
What makes Alarcon’s case so disturbing is how she was treated when she finally showed up cockeyed at the police station at 2 a.m. to claim her daughter. No problem, Children’s Services let her take her daughter home instead of taking her into protective custody like they would treat anyone else.
Did the cops test her for intoxication? Did the Police Chief, mayor or other officials intervene? We’ll probably never know what with child endangerment charges likely to disappear once she completes rehab at public expense.
No, don’t fire Andrea, lock her up for her own and her daughter’s safety. Fire Herb Wesson.
That’s right, the president of the City Council of the City of Los Angeles has disgraced the city and done something so unspeakable that no one in a position of authority or influence has the courage or independence to speak about it.
I, for one, do not want to live in a city where honorable people are treated by high officials the way Herb Wesson treated Richard Riordan before one and all in what should be a temple of democracy as Eric Garcetti likes to call it – not a star chamber where citizens rich and poor are treated like scum unless they bring bags of money in tribute.
Double standard: Wesson’s colleagues didn’t call for his removal as president, didn’t submit a motion of censure, didn’t even mumble a public apology to a distinguished civic leader.
Then, there is the latest case, the little accident Councilman Jose Huizar had near City Hall with his city-owned Highlander SUV two weeks ago when he rear-ended retired Huntington Park cop David Ceja, who does some freelance investigative work for the City Attorney.
Ceja didn’t take no for an answer when Huizar refused to call LAPD to take a police report so he called himself and then watched for 2 1/2 hours as the Councilman sat in the police car sobering up before a breathalyzer was administered.
Double standard: You bet but we may get the truth since Ceja has filed a $500,000 claim against the city over what he believes in the spinal injury he suffered from the crash.
Scott Johnson at Mayor Sam’s blog has the complete story if you want to know more.