Crime & Justice

LA city attorney may get grand jury power

The California Senate voted to vastly increase the powers of the Los Angeles city attorney by allowing the prosecutor to convene a grand jury to investigate misdemeanor cases.

If approved, as expected by the Assembly, Los Angeles would be the only city in California given power to impanel a grand jury to compel testimony and subpoena evidence before criminal charges are filed. The panel would not issue indictments, however.

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich asked for grand jury authority, saying it is a crucial tool for prosecutors.

Senate Bill 1168, approved 23-9 on Tuesday and sent to the Assembly, grants the Trutanich request.

District attorneys already have the power to convene criminal grand juries.