Los Angeles City Hall politics revealed from an insider's point of view.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Deputy City Attorney Uses Misleading Ballot Designation in Judicial Race

Is Thomas Griego really a "Criminal Prosecutor?"
One man who must be banking on how little voters actually know about them when voters pick judges must be Deputy City Attorney Thomas 'Tom" Griego, who is probably relying on the fact that most voters in the November mid-term election have never heard of him, visited his website, or know the first thing about him.

What Griego is likely gambling on is that voters will just look at his ballot designation, "Criminal Prosecutor," and decide that a person who fights crime and puts bad guys in jail, must be a good choice for Judge.

But in the case of Thomas "Tom" Griego, there's good reason to question whether Griego has ever really "put a bad guy in jail," and it certainly appears that he hasn't done anything like that recently. Sources at the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office say that Griego has spent most of his lackluster career hidden away on the civil side and only recently requested a transfer out of his obscure civil duties to the criminal side. 
Griego is believed to have requested the transfer because it would help him in his bid to become a judge, a role that many do not feel his is qualified for.

The leading Los Angeles legal newspaper, the Metropolitan News-Enterprise, had this to say about Griego's misleading ballot designation:

"TOM GRIEGO is also running for the county’s Superior Court with a vote-attracting ballot designation of “Criminal Prosecutor.” In his case, it’s misleading.
I asked Griego: “Have you prosecuted anyone in the last year?”
His answer: “No, I have not.”
To me, that’s a confession as to the invalidity of the designation. If he has not prosecuted criminals (or alleged criminals), he has not been a criminal prosecutor.
Garcia admits that as of March 8, he in no way even assisted in any prosecution, but had been reading manuals and the like.
His job title is “deputy city attorney.” During the one-year period preceding the filing of his papers—except for some time in recent days in the role of a trainee—he handled civil matters.
The ballot designation he has chosen—which so far has not drawn a challenge—is a falsehood."

Those are strong words indeed from Roger M. Grace at the Met News, and many might well believe that a person like Griego who seeks to mislead voters so blatantly, has no place sitting in judgment of others. Certainly, the Los Angeles County Bar Association wasted no time in declaring Griego "Not Qualified" to be a judge, but in the Primary Election Griego fooled 223,411 voters into putting him into a runoff against a real "Criminal Prosecutor," Alan Schneider.

Schneider, unlike Griego, really does the job of "putting bad guys in jail," and instead of running around campaigning, is actually engaged in a murder trial. According to Schneider's website, he has "tried over 100 jury trials, including 40 homicides, with a 94 percent conviction rate. For the last 7 years, I have specialized in prosecuting complex murder cases against gang member defendants who pose the greatest threat to the public’s safety and the quality of life in our communities."

Schneider has valuable endorsements from all sides of law enforcement, including over 100 Superior Court Judges, as well as Michael P. Judge, Los Angeles County Public Defender and Steve Cooley, Los Angeles County District Attorney.

In a marked contrast, Griego has an endorsement from Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich. It's an endorsement that many find troubling, especially in the light of Griego's "Unqualified" rating, and the controversy over his misleading ballot designation.

It is rare for the City Hall Insider to disagree with Trutanich, but this time we have to say that even if there were internal pressures, it would have been better for Trutanich to only endorse candidates for judicial office who are rated "qualified" or above.

 On November 2, 2010 City Hall Insider urges you to vote for Alan Schneider for Judge.


Harvey said...

I think we are entitled to expect a very high standard of personal integrity when it comes to picking judges, and this Griego guy is the pits. What sort of lowlife scum uses a lie like "I'm a criminal prosecutor" to describe himself knowing full well that he does nothing of the sort?

What TRUly disappoints me is that Carmen Trutanich has endorsed this lying sack of shit. I have been so impressed with Trutanich and the way he has stood up for "doing the right thing" even when he was not popular for doing it. But I cannot believe that Trutanich has given his name to someone like Griego TO BE A FREAKIN JUDGE!!!!

I am sending this article to everyone I know, and I hope others do the same. This is a disgrace and an abuse of public trust. Shame on you Trutanich, and shame on you Griego.

Say It Aint So said...

I saw this on another blog, and I checked the links. Congratulations City Hall Insider on a great piece of investigative journalism. I hope the word spreads in time to reach voters before the election.

Who the fuck does Griego think he is? From the look of his website, he seems to be backed by the usual Spring Street gang of thugs, crooks and bullies. But WTF is Carmen Trutanich doing? I thought he was an independent, not part of the Business as usual crowd. Trying to sick a lying sack like Griego on us is as low as it gets. This is exactly the sort of crooked deal we used to get from Rocky Delgadillo and Jack Weiss, and now Trutanich is playing the same game?

Anonymous said...

You people are so stupid. Trutanich has to do whatever it takes to get judges appointed from his office so that they will help him when cases involving the city are being tryed.

The city pays out millions of dollars every year to people who sue the city and we need judges who will defend the city from this. Trutanich is playing a very clever game here, and you people should support what he is trying to do for you.

Anonymous said...

The race between Tom Griego and Alan Schneider is the easiest race to decide on the entire ballot. Schneider got the endorsement of both the L.A. County Democratic Party AND the L.A. County Republican Party. Schneider was found to be "Well Qualified" by the L.A. County Bar Association, while Griego was found to be "Not Qualified." Schneider got the endorsement of BOTH District Attorney Steve Cooley AND Public Defender Michael Judge. Alan Schneider is currently in the middle of trying his 41st murder trial and has tried more than 100 jury trials. The only criminal jury trials that Tom Griego has ever tried are misdemeanors. Is it any wonder that Alan Schneider is one of the few candidates that both the Democratic Party and Republican Party actually agree on?