Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA City Attorney race: Lacey endorses Feuer over Trutanich

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Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey Tuesday endorsed former State Assemblyman Mike Feuer in his bid to unseat City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.

“It is important to me that I have a thoughtful and informed individual with the highest standards of integrity as a criminal justice partner,” Lacey said in a statement.

Lacey, who defeated Trutanich in the district attorney’s contest last year, said she was unhappy with a Trutanich campaign mailer. The mailer blames Feuer for the recent sexual assault of a Northridge girl, allegedly by a man released under California’s prison realignment plan. The former state assemblyman voted for realignment.

“Realignment is the biggest challenge facing public safety in 30 years,” Lacey said. “Misrepresenting the facts surrounding the violent sexual assault of a child for political purposes is intellectually dishonest and counterproductive to finding solutions to the challenges brought on by realignment.”

Trutanich spokesman John Schwada defended the mailer.

“Feuer doesn’t like to be held accountable for what he did in Sacramento,” Schwada said. He also suggested Lacey’s endorsement of Feuer was politically motivated.

“Democrats are going to circle the wagons when one of them is on the ballot.”

Though the city attorney's race is non-partisan, Trutanich was the Republican candidate when he ran for district attorney.

Feuer has defended his vote on realignment, saying the plan was the only way the state could comply with a federal court order to reduce the prison population. He’s also said the program needs fixes, including more rehabilitation efforts.

During his run for district attorney last year, Trutanich issued a plan that addressed realignment. It said the program “pushes the responsibility for rehabilitation down from the state level to the local level. Why? Because local responsibility is the most effective way to attack recidivism.”

The latest poll showed Feuer leading Trutanich among likely voters, 35% to 24%. But the survey by the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs at Cal State LA found 41% of voters remain undecided in the race for city attorney.

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