Less than six weeks before the election, Los Angeles city attorney candidate Carmen "Nuch" Trutanich on Thursday outlined his agenda for the office, promising to slash spending on outside counsel, improve training of deputy city attorneys, increase transparency and hire a team of investigators to aid the city attorney's office.
"We spent in excess of $37.5 million last year on outside counsel; it's time to pull the plug on that expenditure," Trutanich said at a news conference outside City Hall. "It's time to put the money back to use where it belongs . . . fighting crime, hiring cops and making sure that the politicians that spend your money are transparent in how they do it."
Though his chief opponent, L.A. City Councilman and former federal prosecutor Jack Weiss, is ahead more than 2 to 1 in campaign donations, Trutanich argues that the breadth of his nearly three-decade legal career makes him a better fit for the office.
"I have put people on death row, I have tried burglars, robbers, assaulters, shooters, you name the crime," Trutanich said. "I've been a successful litigator in every facet of my career as a D.A., as a civil practitioner, as an environmental lawyer."
Trutanich said Weiss' connections to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa would make it difficult for him to act as an independent agent.
Weiss defended his record Thursday, saying: "I'm proud of my service as federal prosecutor, as a City Council member and as chair of the council's public safety committee at a time when we've expanded the [police department] in partnership with the mayor and reduced crime dramatically."
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley -- who have both had tense relations with City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo -- said Trutanich is uniquely positioned among the candidates to improve cooperation with their offices.
"He was a great deputy D.A. with my office in his younger years, [a] successful private practitioner, great litigator," Cooley said.
Baca, who endorsed Weiss more than a year ago and then urged Trutanich to run, said he trusts Trutanich "to build relationships that strengthen the city attorney's office."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times