Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wilmington Play Ground Dedication

Wilmington Vest Park Play Ground - Dedication

October 26, Wilmington, corner of Watson and "O" Street.

The Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney participated alongside Councilwoman Janice Hahn and other public officials from the Department of Recreation and Parks, the Mayor’s Office, LAPD, LAFD, and others, in the dedication of the new Wilmington Vest Park play ground.

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office was represented by City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, Senior Assistant City Attorney, Deputy Chief, Mary Clare Molidor, Neighborhood Prosecutor, South Bureau Assistant Supervisor, Sonja Dawson, Neighborhood Prosecutor, Harbor Area, Justin Houterman, Deputy City Attorney, Gang Unit, Harbor Area, Panagiotis Panagiotou, and Gang Specialist, CNAP, Jule Bishop.

Carmen Trutanich introduced the team to the attendees and spoke on the importance of taking back our neighborhoods from gangs and highlighted the great accomplishment achieved with the completion of this particular play ground.

This neighborhood was the target of a July, 2007 “takedown” by 500 LAPD officers and ATF agents, resulting in the arrest of 40 gang members and drug dealers, and the filing of 10 lawsuits against property owners by our Office and U.S. Attorney for narcotic and gang offences.

Since that time, the City Attorney’s Neighborhood Prosecutor program has worked with the Cruces (name of the local neighborhood) community (formerly referred to as Ghost Town) to create a viable community group and improve the area. One of the neighborhood goals was to improve the local park (the Wilmington Vest Park) and this event is the celebration of the community successfully obtaining brand new play ground equipment.

Carmen Trutanich participated in the ribbon-cutting with Janice Hahn and then tested the playground himself with the help of a couple dozen children from the neighborhood, who were obviously the happiest of all who were there.

ICAN NEXUS XIV Training Conference

ICAN NEXUS XIV Training Conference

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - Sheraton Universal Hotel

ICAN NEXUS recently held its 14th annual conference at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office has been an active participant all 14 years including presenting workshops for the past 5 years. The focus of the conference this year was Violence within the home and its effects on children. This is of the utmost importance to us as prosecutors as Child abuse, neglect, cyber crime and child exploitation continue to be an epidemic throughout Los Angeles with the potential for dangerous threats against children growing every day. For those children who survive, the personal and societal effects are staggering. It is our duty as prosecutors to intervene at the earliest possible stage with awareness and prevention programs and partnerships so that we can stem the tide of violence against our children.

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich joined District Attorney Steve Cooley, Sheriff Lee Baca, Supervisor Michael Antonovich and a host of other Public Officials at the commencement of this conference.

Executive Director of ICAN, Deanne Tilton Durfee, welcomed Carmen Trutanich as the “new kid on the block” within the group of public officials who make fighting and preventing child abuse within Los Angeles a priority.

Carmen Trutanich spoke on the devastating life-long effects that violence in the home has on children, and that the single most important thing to remember is to call the police at the onset of any violence on a child.

The Inter Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect was established in 1977 by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors as the official county agency to coordinate the development of services for the prevention, identification and treatment of child abuse and neglect. The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office has been actively involved in every aspect of the Council since its inception.

Tracy Webb, Managing Attorney of the Crime Prevention & Youth Protection Division in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, has contributed to all 14 Training Conferences and is responsible for building the bridge between ICAN and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.

The specific ICAN committees that the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office are involved with include their Operations and Policy committee and others that address a host of critical issues such as: review of child fatalities, including child and adolescent suicides; children and families exposed to family violence; Cyber Crime, development of systems designed to promote better communication and collaboration among agencies; prenatally substance affected infants; pregnant and parenting adolescents; abducted children; and grief and loss issues for children in foster care and siblings of children who are victims of fatal child abuse.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

City Attorney Explains Medical Marijuana Issue on NBC

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich was invited on NBC’s “Today in LA” show on Saturday morning to give his side of the hot-button Medical Marijuana issue. The show was live at 7:00 at the NBC studios in Burbank and reporter Ted Chen did the questioning.

In the couple minutes allotted, Mr. Trutanich made it very clear that from the Los Angeles City Attorney’s point of view, this is a public health and safety issue, and that the Los Angeles City Attorney will NOT prevent the legitimate and legal cultivation, distribution and use of Medical Marijuana within the city of Los Angeles.

Mr. Trutanich made the case that the users of Medical Marijuana don’t really know what is in the medicine that they are using, and that if this truly is medicine, it should be tested and examined with the same FDA scrutiny as for example Tylenol. They have a right to know what they are ingesting.

As City Attorney Trutanich explained, this position follows on the heels of three M.M. samples purchased covertly by the City Attorney’s office in CD 9 and 14, being screened for their contents by the FDA in Irvine. Two of the samples that came back had extraordinarily high levels of the insecticide Bifenthrin. One sample was found to have 1600 times the legal digestible limit of Bifenthrin, the other just over 85 times. The City Attorney used the analogy of spraying the ant-killing Raid on your salad and then eating it and that if this is indeed medicine, that these kind of ingredients pose a real health and safety risk to those patients taking the medical marijuana.

This automatically led to the on-air discussion of not really knowing the origin of the Marijuana being ingested, as Bifenthrin in those quantities would definitely NOT be used anywhere NEAR California. Prop 215 on which the cultivation, distribution and use of Medical Marijuana within the city of Los Angeles is based, clearly states that the Marijuana is to be cultivated in a collective.

Reporter Ted Chen was fair and to the point.

The issue marches on.

Posted by: Nigel Skeet
Photos by: Nigel Skeet

Monday, October 12, 2009

City Attorney's Office Hosts Domestic Violence Meet 'n Greet

October 7, 2009

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich hosted a Meet and Greet/Roundtable Discussion with more than 30 representatives from Domestic Violence Agencies throughout the area.

The City Attorney, along with Eve Sheedy, Director of Domestic Violence Policy, Earl Thomas, Chief of the Criminal and Special Operations Branch and Maureen Siegel, Deputy Chief, Criminal and Special Litigation met with Executive Directors;
Patti Giggans, from Peace Over Violence,
Sara Berdine, from Haven Hills,
Karen Rosenthal from Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles,
TuLynn Smylie, from WomenShelter of Long Beach,
Bernita Walker from Project Peacemakers and
Judith Gordon, from Women’s and Children’s Crisis Shelter.

Also present were;
Marci Fukuroda from Rainbow Services,
Gerrie Rosen from the African Community Resource Center,
LaDawn Best from the LA Gay and Lesbian Center,
Gail Pincus from the Domestic Abuse Center,
TC Kim from the Asian Pacific Women’s Center,
Adriana Molina from Children’s Institute,
Ana Storey from Los Angeles Legal Aid,
Sandra Schooley from Seraphim Manor,
Ellen Sanchez from the Violence Intervention Program,
Kim Goldberg-Roth from Valley Trauma Center,
Kathy Adams from the Child Abuse Trauma Center,
Hamid Khan from South Asian Network,
Michelle Wall from Angel Step Inn and
representatives from Village Family Services.

The City Attorney shared his experience as a Prosecutor of Domestic Violence crimes and his plans to address this serious problem as City Attorney, including introduction of a Bureau of Investigators to provide both trial and victim support and Mentorship programs to prevent and guide youth away from violence.

Participants asked questions covering areas from Restraining Order enforcement to School based programs. The City Attorney confirmed both his personal commitment and the commitment of the City Attorney’s Office to address Domestic Violence both in the courtroom and in the community. The City Attorney clearly recognizes the contribution that Domestic Violence Agencies make to public safety and thanks them for their continued hard work, particularly in these economically challenging times.

Above (left to right) Maureen Siegel, Carmen Trutanich, Eve Sheedy, and Earl Thomas

Posted by: Eve Sheedy
Photos by: David Berger

Friday, October 02, 2009

Trutanich Takes Community Advice

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The newly formed City Attorney Community Advisory Group held its inaugural meeting on Thursday night organized by Marcia Selz, one of the group's founders and ardent campaigner for transparency in local government.

The group is comprised of representatives from Los Angeles' Neighborhood Councils and Home Owners Associations who not only have a wealth of information and advice for the City Attorney, but who also will provide vital feedback to the City Attorney on how the Office is responding to their needs.

Carmen "Nuch" Trutanich arrived at the meeting keen to hear from the group and received a warm welcome before fielding questions on hot button issues including; Medical Marijuana, Graffiti, Billboard Blight, Ethics and Crime.

There were hard questions for the City Attorney, and hard answers for the Group, many of whom were frustrated by the often overly obscured machinations of lobbyists, developers and planners.

Trutanich's Senior Assistant Jane Usher was on hand to assist the City Attorney some of the questions, along with West LA Neighborhood Prosecutors Dena Carreyn and Gita O'Neill and Sheryl Smith, Director of Public Affiairs.

Promising rapid and responsive solutions to issues in the community, Trutanich urged the group to contact their Neighborhood Prosecutors at the earliest stage to make sure the community gets the service it deserves from the City Attorney's Office. Click here to find out more about the Neighborhood Prosecutor Program.

The first meeting of the City Attorney Community Advisory Group wrapped up its business at around 10:30pm with a promise to meet again in 3 months at the City Attorney's Office, and with a commitment from Trutanich that any 'hot button' issues don't have to wait "Call your Neighborhood Prosecutor, call Jane Usher, call David Berger, or call me." said Trutanich.

Posted By: David Berger
Photos By: David Berger

Thanks to Sheryl Smith, Director of Public Affairs and Chief Public Information Officer John Franklin for logistical support.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

City Attorney's Workers' Compensation Program Saves City $6.5M

October 1, 2009

The City of Los Angeles said a big "Thank You!" to the City Attorney's Office Personnel Department today;

Thank you for saving the City of Los Angeles $6.5M last year, with

Workers' Compensation Claims down by 36%, and

IOD (Injured On Duty) payments down by 32%.

That's the biggest saving of any City Department and it earned the City Attorney's Office Personnel Department an engraved crystal award for their hard work in running an effective program for the 1,000 plus City Attorney employees.

City Attorney Carmen "Nuch" Trutanich congratulated Personnel Director Rosemary Fisher-Anaya and her staff of Christina Sarabia, Kristina De La Vega, Wanda Hudson, Kelly Tran, Irene Quan, Alma Zavaleta and John DiGrazia for their hard work in saving the City more money than any other City Department in these difficult times.

When asked how the Personnel Department was able to achieve such dramatic savings, Director Rosemary Fisher-Anaya said that she believed it was due the their policy of having a more personal "Hands on" approach to handling claims. Giving claimants quick answers to their questions, finding solutions for them and most important of all, "keeping in touch and making it personal."

Posted by: David Berger
Photos by: David Berger