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Mike Feuer collects $650,000 for city attorney runoff campaign

April 10, 2013|By Jean Merl
  • L.A. City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, second from left, shakes hands with challenger Mike Feuer before a debate.
L.A. City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, second from left, shakes hands with challenger… (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)

Former lawmaker Mike Feuer, a candidate for Los Angeles city attorney in the May 21 runoff, had raised $308,000 by April 6, the first campaign reporting deadline, and had collected an additional $350,000 in taxpayer matching funds, according to a document filed Wednesday with the City Ethics Commission.

Feuer turned in his campaign finance report a day ahead of Thursday’s filing deadline. He showed more than $540,000 in cash on hand.

The report indicated Feuer made a $15,000 payment to Shallman Communications, his consulting firm. The payment reflects a reworked contract with John Shallman, who worked for $1 during the primary and would have received a $50,000 bonus if the former city councilman and state assemblyman had won the post outright, Feuer said. The candidate finished first with 44% of the vote but missed getting a majority of the ballots cast and now faces incumbent City Atty. Carmen Trutanich in the runoff.

The Feuer-Shallman contract has been the subject of a lawsuit by a  supporter of Trutanich and at least two complaints to the Ethics Commission. Critics say the  arrangement -- which enabled Feuer to make only the $1 payment to his consultant during the primary in addition to a bonus if Feuer won the post -- hid the true cost of the campaign and kept Feuer from exceeding a spending limit he agreed to in order to receive matching public dollars.

Feuer said he checked with the Ethics Commission and got its verbal OK for the arrangement but has since reworked the contract to include three installments of $15,000 apiece, to be made over the course of the runoff campaign.

The Trutanich campaign said it will release its report by the close of business Thursday but argued that Feuer should not have received additional matching funds until complaints about his consulting contract are cleared up.

The Ethics Commission’s policy is to not comment on complaints, not even to verify their existence, during an investigation.

Trutanich finished second, with 30% of the vote, in the four-way primary and has been trying to catch up. An automated poll commissioned recently by KABC-TV Channel 7 News suggested Feuer has widened his lead since then.

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Twitter: @jeanmerl

jean.merl@latimes.com

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