Carmen Trutanich Vs. L.A. Weekly: In Legal Brief, City Attorney Grouses About "Biased" Coverage
D.A. candidate Carmen Trutanich is going to court next week to defend his right to be called "Los Angeles Chief Prosecutor" on the June ballot.
On his way there, Trutanich is taking a few shots at the L.A. Weekly, which broke this story last month. Here's what we wrote at the time about Trutanich's proposed ballot designation:
The phony title seems intended to make voters think Trutanich is already the district attorney, so voting for him would be like voting for the incumbent.
Rival candidate Alan Jackson later sued, alleging that Trutanich's title is illegal because it is misleading. He cited the L.A. Weekly to back up his allegation, and that's where it starts to get good.
In a response filed Monday, Trutanich's attorney, Stephen Kaufman, asserts that an L.A. Weekly blog post cannot be used as evidence in a trial:
"As his main authority, Petitioner relies on an article from the Los Angeles Weekly that contains the opinions of a writer who has expressed obvious disdain for Trutanich in the past."
Not sure if he's referring to this or this. (We also seem to have plenty of company.) Anyway, Kaufman goes on to ask the judge to strike the article from the record because it "contains the biased opinions of its author and does not contain any recognizable facts."
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Well, then who would be a good, non-biased source? In support of his case, Kaufman cites memos and press releases issued by Trutanich's own office, and an award from the California Narcotic Officers Association, which named Trutanich "Prosecutor of the Year" in 2011.
Who is the California Narcotic Officers Association? The former awards chairman is Gary Schram, who happens to be Trutanich's assistant in charge of the Bureau of Investigations. But certainly his opinions deserve great weight in this matter.
Bottom line, either "Los Angeles Chief Prosecutor" is a misleading title or it isn't. The L.A. Weekly is on record saying that it is, but ultimately, the opinion that matters will belong to the judge.
The hearing is set for April 11.
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