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Trutanich stuck with debt from his unsuccessful D.A. run

August 2, 2012 | 11:23 am

Carmen Trutanich in debt from D.A. run
Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich has racked up more than $154,000 in unpaid bills from his unsuccessful run for district attorney, a situation that could complicate his bid for reelection in March.

Trutanich failed to make the runoff in the June election for district attorney, a drubbing that prompted him to seek a second four-year term in office at City Hall instead. Yet even before he has begun raising money for reelection, the city’s top lawyer has a pile of bills from his countywide campaign, according to a report filed this week with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk for the period ending June 30.

Trutanich owes $10,000 to his polling firm and nearly $19,000 to his lawyers, Kaufman Legal Group. And then he has $112,000 in unpaid bills from his former campaign consultant, John Shallman, for television ads that aired in the final weeks of the campaign, the report states. Trutanich is currently disputing that final figure because he has not yet received backup documents from Shallman’s firm, said David T. Vahedi, who was tapped by Trutanich to serve as a go-between with Shallman in the wake of the campaign.

In a bitter split after the June election, Shallman opted to stick with the city attorney campaign of Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), who had hired him months earlier under the expectation that Trutanich would now be in a runoff. Feuer boasted earlier this week that he has raised more than $655,524. Senior Assistant City Atty. Eduardo Angeles has collected more than $67,174 and attorney Gregory Smith has raised another $161,425.

Smith predicted that Trutanich, who plans to form a campaign committee next week, will run into difficulties raising money for his reelection. “The period [of time] is getting shorter and shorter and paying off that kind of debt is going to be a concern,” he said.

Trutanich disagreed, saying he expects the issues surrounding his campaign debt will be resolved. “On a going forward basis, I don’t think it’ll be a problem,” he said.

A representative of Shallman’s firm did not have any comment about the disputed bills.


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-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall

Photo: Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich at the Angels Gate Lighthouse completion ceremony at the Port of Los Angeles in May. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times