L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich made it official this morning, announcing his candidacy for district attorney. Trutanich has been raising money for the campaign for a year, and has amassed a $1 million war chest, so this is not exactly a surprise.
It does, however, give Trutanich's opponents yet another chance to point out that Trutanich is violating his pledge to serve two full terms as city attorney. Prosecutor Alan Jackson, one of Trutanich's main rivals, immediately sent out a press release calling on Trutanich to pay the agreed penalty for violating the pledge, which is to take out a full-page ad declaring "I AM A LIAR."
Jackson's campaign even helped out by creating a mock-up of the ad, which is after the jump.
In his announcement, Trutanich's campaign said it would be "irresponsible for him to ignore Sheriff Lee Baca and other law enforcement professionals who have strongly encouraged him to run."
The campaign enlisted Baca to defend him from the charge that he is breaking his word.
"All this to me is merely a diversion from the real fact and that's who's best qualified to serve as District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles," Baca was quoted as saying. "That's Carmen Trutanich."
Trutanich's campaign consultant, John Shallman, said that over 1,000 people have signed a petition urging Trutanich to join the race.
"So it appears the only people unhappy with his candidacy are gang members and the other candidates," Shallman said. "The simple fact is that Carmen Trutanich's remarkable track record as a crime fighter is simply unmatched."
Several prosecutors are already running for D.A., including Jackson, Mario Trujillo, Chief Deputy Jackie Lacey and Danette Meyers.
So why does Trutanich want to be D.A.? In the release, he focused on fighting gangs and keeping schools safe, a theme reminiscent of his predecessor in the City Attorney's Office, Rocky Delgadillo.
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He also released a video that highlights the city attorney's lawsuit against Deutsche Bank for alleged failure to maintain foreclosed properties.
In its defense, Deutsche Bank has stated that the city has sued the wrong party, and that loan servicers are responsible for maintenance. The bank has vowed to fight the lawsuit in court. A trial is not expected until fall, at the earliest.
Here's the video: