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More accusations lodged in Feuer-Trutanich race

April 10, 2013|By Jean Merl
  • Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, left, and challenger Mike Feuer meet before a debate last month.
Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, left, and challenger Mike Feuer… (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)

Accusations about ethics continue to fly in the bitter runoff for Los Angeles city attorney.

On Wednesday, the campaign of former lawmaker Mike Feuer claimed a man with a part-time city contract is doing campaign work— on the taxpayers’ dime — for City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, Feuer’s opponent in the May 21 runoff.

Through his company, Santa Monica-based Intelligent Content Inc, Daniel Raskov has a $4,175 a month contract to work up to 20 hours a week to write newsletters, apply for grants  and perform community outreach and other duties for the city attorney’s office and Trutanich.

The Feuer campaign produced what it called evidence that Raskov has also been involved in campaign duties, including email showing his involvement in setting up candidates' debates in the primary for the city attorney's race and in Trutanich’s failed race for Los Angeles County district attorney last year. It also provided a photo of Raskov attending a candidates' forum earlier this month.

“This is hypocrisy at its worst,” Feuer campaign spokesman Dave Jacobson said in a statement released by the campaign. He said Feuer has filed Public Records Act requests with the city attorney’s and controller’s offices seeking details about Raskov’s work, including invoices and other information about what services he performed under the contract.

Raskov could not be reached for comment but Sandy Cooney, a spokesman for the city attorney’s office, said Raskov is a “part-time, contracted city vendor and is not permitted to engage in campaign-related activity while on city time.”

“Should he be engaged in activity associated with campaign-related events, he is doing so on his own time and not on the city’s,” Cooney said.  He added that the city attorney’s office is “in the process of determining if there are documents responsive to” Feuer’s public records request and would provide any such documents “within the time frame required by law."

The Trutanich campaign said Raskov has a right to volunteer with the campaign on his own time. “We trust he is doing the right thing and have no reason to believe he has done anything other than what is proper, campaign spokesman John Schwada said.

Schwada added that Raskov “is so much a volunteer that the regular campaign staff does not — I repeat  — does not direct or manage his activities” in the campaign.

Earlier, the Trutanich campaign filed a complaint with the City Ethics Commission regarding an unusual contingency-type contract between Feuer and his campaign consultant, alleging that the arrangement hid the true cost of the campaign and enabled Feuer to stay below the spending limit he agreed to when accepting taxpayer matching funds. The Feuer campaign said it has done nothing wrong and filed its own complaint with the commission, accusing Trutanich of violating a campaign “blackout period” when his office sent email to city employees, neighborhood council members and the like. A Trutanich deputy said the email was  completely proper.

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Twitter: @jeanmerl

jean.merl@latimes.com

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