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Los Angeles County, CA March 5, 2013 Election
Smart Voter

Trutanich Accomplishments as City Attorney

By Carmen "Nuch" Trutanich

Candidate for City Attorney; City of Los Angeles

This information is provided by the candidate
City Attorney Trutanich's has put together a winning record for Los Angeles based on his accomplishments in protecting the city's most vulnerable populations, its taxpayers and its neighborhoods.
  • Protected women with breast cancer who were threatened with the loss of their health coverage by unscrupulous insurance companies, winning a $2 million judgment in one case against Blue Shield;
  • Initiated a program to protect our families from the kind of gun violence tragedies that have rocked our nation by warning gun buyers (in letters signed by Trutanich, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and Sheriff Lee Baca) that they cannot sell or transfer their firearms to others except through a licensed gun dealer and that if their guns are lost, stolen or sold the authorities must be notified in writing;
  • Embraced an alternative sentencing program that steers youthful offenders who are in gangs into an 18-month educational program that seeks to reform, not punish;
  • Authored legislation to prevent tragedies involving children shot by police officers who mistakenly believe a child's toy-gun is a real gun; the law requires that toy guns have distinct markings that enable a police officer to easily identify them as replicas;
  • Protected children against violence, sexual assault and abuse with the aggressive prosecution of numerous predators, including winning the first case brought under a new anti-predator cyber-criminal statute;
  • Protected our children by prosecuting many crimes-against-kids "wobbler" cases as misdemeanors after the District Attorney's office declined to file felony charges in the same cases;
  • Embraced a program (VALOR) to provide struggling military veterans with an alternative sentencing program after they had been arrested for certain non-violent offenses;
  • Protected immigrants by advising LAPD chief Charlie Beck that his agency was NOT required to detain undocumented persons for possible deportation if they were only arrested by the LAPD for minor, non-violent offenses;
  • Protected young women - most of them immigrants - by supporting state legislation to give prosecutors new tools to punish human traffickers in Los Angeles which is one of the three most active transit points in the U.S. for the trafficking of women and children as sex slaves;
  • Protected the homeless by creating a unique safety zone - applauded as a national model - that puts a large area of Skid-Row off-limits to scores of drug dealers and gangbangers who have a track-record of preying on the homeless; the City Attorney team that works on this program was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the LA Police Commission;
  • Protected the Skid-Row community by helping create Operation Healthy Streets, a program that cleaned up Skid-Row while preserving the dignity of the homeless and providing them with alternatives to storing their possessions on the street; and
  • Protected low-income residents by negotiating a landmark settlement in the Lincoln Place dispute that allows Venice residents, including 83 evicted households, to return to rehabilitated units at pre-eviction rental rates, that established a multi-million dollar fund to compensate former tenants and that put 696 vacant apartments back on the market as rent-controlled units.

  • Protected taxpayers from $284 million in potential civil damage awards by winning or obtaining favorable verdicts in 134 of 147 cases brought by private attorneys who mistakenly hoped the city would continue to be a pushover in court;
  • Cracked down on deadbeats, collecting in the 2011-12 fiscal year alone $7.8 million in taxes and debts owed the city - 3 to 4 times more than was collected by a predecessor administration;
  • Protected taxpayers by slashing city expenditures on outside attorneys to $8.2 million, one third of the $25 million-a-year that had been spent on outside counsel under a previous administration;
  • Encouraged new business by writing the law eliminating the city's gross receipts tax on new car dealerships, a measure Mayor Villaraigosa embraced as a big step toward making the city more business friendly;
  • Protected employees and taxpayers by suing investment manager Northern Trust for $95 million for defrauding the Los Angeles City Employee Retirement System (LACERS) for years by failing to reveal its risky investment bets with LACERS money;
  • Broke with a misguided City Hall tradition of secretiveness and welcomed an audit of his office by the city controller, the first time in memory that the controller audited an LA city elected official's department (i.e., mayor, city council, city controller, city attorney);
  • Went to bat for taxpayers by winning a $1.3 million settlement for the city (including $400,000 for a non-profit that supports the LAPD) from entertainment giant AEG/Staples Center which finally agreed to help pay for the city's cost of policing the Michael Jackson tribute at the Staples Center, an event that benefited AEG's financial stake in Jackson's career;
  • Delivered exceptional legal services despite a slashed budget and a 15% reduction in attorneys and support staff - all of this thanks to the hard work of the City Attorney's staff;
  • Saved taxpayers money by developing an innovative Reserve Deputy Program in which the city receives free legal assistance worth more than $2 million annually from private attorneys;
  • Protected taxpayers and a Latino heritage landmark by negotiating a long-overdue increase in rents for commercial tenants in the El Pueblo historic area, ending taxpayer subsidies for the El Pueblo governing agency and ensuring the continued financial viability of the Plaza de Los Angeles; and
  • Recovered penalties through the enforcement of consumer, environmental and unfair business practice violations totaling $8.5 million in 2011-12 alone, twice as much as the amount recovered in similar cases won in the last two years combined by the prior administration.

  • Protected some of our city's toughest neighborhoods by starting an innovative program to prosecute graffiti vandals, who cost the city $10 million a year in cleanup, by obtaining a first-of-its-kind injunction against MTA (Metro Transit Assassins), one of the city's most destructive graffiti gangs, while also prosecuting another 1,200 graffiti-related and vandalism cases annually;
  • Protected our city by filing about 50,000 criminal cases annually that were referred by the LAPD for prosecution (approximately 70 percent of all LAPD referrals are handled by the City Attorney's office) and being part of a public safety solution that has seen crime rates in Los Angeles, including shooting victim incidents, steadily decline in recent years (shooting victim cases have gone down, for example, 13.4 percent from 2010 to 2012);
  • Protected our environment by filing cases against polluters that won penalties of $22.5 million against Target, $16.7 million against Walgreen, $13.5 million against CVS and a $1.75 million penalty for an oil spill, the largest penalty of its kind in LA City history;
  • Protected consumers by winning a $1.1 million fine against Ralphs' grocery stores for overcharging customers;
  • Protected hard-working families from gangs by initiating injunctions to curb some of the most blatant and intimidating activities of the 38th St., Rancho San Pedro and Black P-Stones criminal street gangs while vigorously enforcing previous injunctions against other gangs;
  • Fought to protect our city from urban blight by successfully removing more than 1,000 illegal billboards and ending much of the legal chaos - inherited from previous administrations - surrounding the city's billboard regulations;
  • Recommended changes to city laws to protect neighborhoods from the installation of unsightly cell phone towers, unregulated group boarding homes and quality of life code violations;
  • Wrote the law to protect Venice boardwalk from being over-run by commercial sidewalk vendors while protecting the free-expression rights of legitimate artisans, artists and social-political commentators;
  • Protected hard-pressed families in neighborhoods ripped apart by foreclosures by suing US Bank and Deutsche Bank for creating neighborhood blight by failing to maintain hundreds of empty houses that became eyesores and havens for gangbangers and drug-dealers after the banks foreclosed on the properties; and
  • Won the removal of a giant supergraphic movie-ad erected by a Hollywood property owner who defied repeated city warnings that the illegal multi-ton, multi-story hanging structure put building tenants and pedestrians at risk; the owner, who hoped to make a big, quick buck off the Oscar Awards ceremonies, removed the supergraphic only after being arrested, jailed, and ordered by a Superior Court judge to post a $1 million bail bond; this episode prompted scores of owners to voluntarily comply with the city's sign rules.

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