L.A. City Council? Pretty much in the blue corner. L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich? Not so much. (He declines to state). [Added, just in case]: We're talking political affiliation here, with blue equaling Democrat.
And so on Tuesday the City Council voted unanimously to look at ways to obtain legal representation for the body that would come from outside of Trutanich's office. Call it a vote of no confidence in an ongoing rift between the city reps and the elected top-counsel of L.A.
Crazy, innit? But fun to watch:
The proposal to study possible outside representation was brought forward by downtown Councilwoman Jan Perry and South L.A. Councilman Bernard Parks, a former lawman himself (he was once chief of the LAPD).
Jan Perry, on the record:
I am not talking about contracting out for legal services. That's not what I'm interested in. That is not the intention of this report The reason I have done this is out of expressions of concern and frustration as we have worked on some rather complex transactions over the last several years.
The councilwoman argued that City Attorney's office throughout the years, even pre-Trutanich, has been lacking in its deliverance of timely, objective advice to the council.
One idea that will be pondered as part of the approved study of City Attorney alternatives: Split the office into the elected role of prosecutor and an unelected department to deal with legal advice inside City Hall.
Chief Deputy City Attorney William Carter said hell no. L.A. voters elect the City Attorney to do both gigs. Anything less would make the office “not accountable to the voters of the city.”
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