Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich found himself on the wrong side of an an op-ed recently published by US Attorney Andre Birotte.
The op-ed was full of law and order rhetoric, however, it was tempered by the need to “protect civil rights.” Birotte’s comments stand in stark contrast to the “aggressive stance” policies of Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich who threatened to throw political protestors in jail for their peaceful but irritating protests. Birotte did not mention Trutanich in his op-ed, but the message was a clear one, tolerance.
Trutanich was ultimately forced to back down from his “aggressive stance” as charges against the student protesters were summarily dropped when Trutanich’s inflammatory pre-trial remarks that these were “professional protesters” could not be substantiated.
Trutanich’s climb down followed a wave of criticism from the media, including harsh remarks from former “buddy” LA Times columnist Steve Lopez. Pressure on the DA hopeful reached meltdown during a Mafia-style luncheon with LA Weekly reporter Gene Maddaus when Trutanich, lost it with the reporter and blurted out “I am not a thug!” with the drama and credibility reminiscent of President Nixon’s infamous “I am not a crook!” defense of his civil rights violations.
That Birotte and Trutanich should see civil rights from different perspectives is not surprising. Trutanich is a police state kinda guy and aligns himself more with law enforcement than civil rights advocates, a strategy that may not help him in his bid to become Los Angeles District Attorney. Trutanich was recently revealed as being the reason why Los Angeles City Council’s anti-Arizona boycott ordinance has been delayed for over a year, lending more weight to his anti-civil rights position.
[This post from "Politics Without Mercy" blog. Link to top of the blog for more stories, here.]
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City Attorney Trutanich To Lose Right To Represent City in Civil Cases?
Embattled Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen ‘Nuch’ Trutanich’s ability to defend the City of Los Angeles in civil cases has come under fire from Councilmember Bernard Parks, according to a report filed by Los Angeles Daily News reporter Rick Orlov.
Councilmember Parks, who chairs the City’s Budget and Finance Committee and has to sign off on the staggering string of recent losses in cases tried by Trutanich, said that “We have been thinking on the larger issues that we should have a re-evaluation of the advice we get from the (City Attorney’s) Office,” Parks said. “And more and more we are thinking of hiring an outside attorney now and (thinking of) whether we should look at separating the office from the civil and criminal.”Trutanich has come under fire recently for his legal strategy in defending lawsuits brought against City departments.