Politics, government and public life for Southern California

California corrections office helps victims navigate parole hearings and release of perpetrators

iStockphoto.com

California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s main job is to keep criminals behind bars. But at some point, most of those inmates are released.

The agency’s Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services informs victims before that happens. To highlight that work, California prison officials are holding a ceremony Monday morning in honor of Victims Rights Week.

Corrections department spokesman Bill Sessa says the agency's responsibilities also include notifying victims if a prisoner gets a parole hearing.

"The board of parole hearings takes the feelings or the consequences of the crime on the victims as one serious factor in deciding whether on not someone should be released," Sessa said. "Those victims can testify in the parole hearing and our office of victim’s services helps them do that."

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Poll: Eric Garcetti widens lead over Wendy Greuel in LA mayor's race

Los Angeles Mayor

AP

Los Angeles mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti has increased his lead over Wendy Greuel in the latest poll conducted by USC and the Los Angeles Times.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013With the L.A. mayoral election a month away, Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti has opened a double-digit lead over City Controller Wendy Greuel.

According to a poll released Sunday by the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and the Los Angeles Times, 50 percent of likely voters favor Garcetti, while 40 percent prefer Greuel. Once thought to be the favorite in the race, Greuel is seeking to become the city’s first woman mayor. The runoff election is May 21.

Perhaps most surprising: female voters support Garcetti over Greuel 50-41 percent.  Poll director Dan Schnur, who heads USC’s Unruh Institute of Politics, suggested Greuel’s emphasis on her work as city controller may be weakening her with women voters.

“Greuel may be suffering from a Hillary Clinton problem,” Schnur said in a statement, referencing Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid. “Clinton emphasized her qualities of strength and toughness to such a degree that it mitigated her gender advantage. The difference is that Greuel might still have the time to fix it."

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Bill Clinton stumps for Wendy Greuel at iconic LA deli (updated)

Bill Clinton

Alice Walton/KPCC

Bill Clinton and mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel participated in a town hall Saturday at Langer's deli in Westlake. The former president had previously endorsed Greuel's mayoral campaign.

Former president Bill Clinton came to Los Angeles Saturday to make a public show of support for mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel.

Appearing at Langer’s deli in the Westlake neighborhood, Clinton praised Greuel’s work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. He also referenced her work with the LA’s BEST after-school program.

“One of the things you need to do is to go out and tell people that the mayor’s job is a job that makes a big difference in their lives and we can’t tolerate, in this condition of the economy, the kind of low turnout you always have in these mayors’ races,” Clinton said.

In the March 5 primary, just 21 percent of L.A.’s registered voters completed a ballot.

In order for Greuel to win the May 21 runoff against Councilman Eric Garcetti, she needs to show voters her true self, Clinton said.

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Friday roundup of news from LA's mayoral candidates

Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti

Wendy Greuel Campaign/Eric Garcetti campaign

Wendy Greuel has a head start on TV ads in her race for mayor against Eric Garcetti.

Here's what's happening Friday in the race to be Los Angeles' next mayor:

  • The Wendy Greuel campaign is on a roll this week, releasing a third television commercial. This one goes negative and highlights Eric Garcetti's vote on digital billboards as well as an oil lease his family owns near Beverly Hills High School. A the time of the billboards vote, the councilman held stock in a billboard company. "Eric Garcetti. In it for himself," the ad says.  (It's worth mentioning that all of the city's digital billboards went dark this week following a court order.)
  • The Garcetti campaign responded to the ad, noting that both Greuel and Garcetti voted in favor of digital billboards in 2006. Also, his billboard investment, which Garcetti's camp says he has since sold, was noted on state and city ethics forms.

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LA City Council wants more info on pension investments in gun businesses

This AR-15 style weapon was on display in March at the 7th annual Border Security Expo in Phoenix, Ariz. It's among the type of weapons that advocates of new gun laws want to see banned.

Joshua Lott /Reuters /Landov

The Los Angeles City Council is still gathering numbers on how much of the city's pensions funds are invested in gun companies.

The L.A. City Council asked for more information Friday on how much employees' pension funds may be invested with gun and ammunition companies. 

After the mass school shooting in Newton, Connecticut,  elected officials requested the information, but months have gone by and the city council is still looking for answers.

A report from the Los Angeles City Employees Retirement System found about $158 million with companies that manufacture and sell guns and ammunition. The largest piece of that — $151 million — is  invested in retailers such as Wal-Mart and Kroger. Another $6.7 million is with ammunition companies and $240,915 is with gun and magazine manufacturers. 

It is unknown how much money the pension funds for police officers, firefighters and utility workers has invested in similar companies.

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