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Westside activist files complaint in L.A. city attorney's race

April 17, 2013|By Jean Merl | This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
  • Westside activist Laura Lake shown in 2005. She has filed a complaint about city attorney candidate Mike Feuer.
Westside activist Laura Lake shown in 2005. She has filed a complaint about… (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los…)

A Westside neighborhood activist who has sued Mike Feuer’s Los Angeles city attorney campaign has also filed a complaint with the City Ethics Commissionabout a legal defense fund Feuer set up in response to the lawsuit.

Laura Lake, who backs incumbent City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, complained that Feuer did not report any legal expenses, which she believes he had incurred by the April 6 reporting deadline.

She contends that Feuer already had retained attorney Ron Turovsky and therefore should have shown some financial activity on his report.

Feuer campaign spokesman Dave Jacobson said “of course it’s a matter of timing,” meaning that there was nothing to show on this report. “We’ve retained a law firm,” Jacobson said. “It will bill us for its services. We will pay the bill when it’s due. This ridiculous complaint just underscores how utterly desperate the opposition is.”

Ethics Commission policy is not to comment on any matters under investigation, including whether it has received a complaint. Fix the City, a group that Lake is affiliated with, on Wednesday issued a news release about the complaint and attached a copy of it.

Lake and Mike Eveloff, another supporter of Trutanich, whom Feuer is challenging in a May 21 runoff, were listed on the news release as contacts for Fix the City.

Also Wednesday, the Feuer campaign shot back at the group, releasing a copy of a public records request seeking communications between Trutanich and his City Hall staff and certain individuals, including Lake and Eveloff, Fix the City officer James O’Sullivan and Tammy Garcia of Rolling Hills.

Garcia was listed on financial disclosure forms as the major donor to an independent committee that supported Trutanich in the primary.

The Feuer campaign also released documents it obtained from the secretary of state’s office showing that Fix the City, a nonprofit activist group, formed in July of last year, around the time that Trutanich announced he would seek reelection.

[Updated at 2:14 p.m. April 18: On Thursday, Fix the City provided documentation that it formed in 2007 and has been involved in such issues as fire department response times and the Hollywood Community Plan. It did not apply for nonprofit status with the secretary of State until July 2012. The group does not support or endorse candidates, Eveloff, an organization officer, said.]

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jean.merl@latimes.com | Twitter: @jeanmerl

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