Friday, October 22, 2010

Applause for City Attorney Carmen Trutanich for Defending Venice's Beach Curfew

Our City Attorney, Carmen Trutanich, has once again come to the aid of his Venice constituents.

As you will see from the attached letter from Trutanich's Office to the Coastal Commission, Trutanich has rejected the attempt by the Commission's staff to force the City Department of Recreation and Parks to apply for a Coastal Development Permit to continue the City's beach curfew in Venice, which would surely be rejected by the Commission.

The curfew was established at the request of the LAPD and local residents more than three decades ago. The curfew is a lawful exercise of the City's inherent police powers, in this instance to prevent and abate criminal and life-threatening behavior at nighttime along Venice Beach.

The City Attorney also suggests that the current investigation of the beach curfew has been instigated by the Commission in retaliation for the City's decision to join the VSA's lawsuit against the Commission for its rejection of overnight restricted parking for residents. The VSA agrees that this is the probable motivation for the Commission's "mission creep" into an area that is traditionally the prerogative of municipal government.

I would encourage you to send an email of support to Mr. Trutanich at, with a copy to his chief deputy, Jane Usher, at, thanking him for rejecting the Commission's attempt to take jurisdiction for public safety along the beach away from the City and LAPD, which would invite more transients sleeping on the beach and more criminal activity.

Click Here to read the letter.

Prosecution of Culprits in Pacific/Fleet Sewage Dumping Incident

The City Attorney's Office has just provided us with this formal report on the result of the prosecution of the couple that was involved in the sewage dumping incident at Pacific and Fleet on the Venice Peninsula:

Both defendants were arrested on their warrants on Tuesday October 12, 2010. They appeared in court on Wednesday October 13, 2010 for arraignment. The defendants were charged with three counts each (Penal Code 370/372, LAMC 62.80(a), and Penal Code 182(a)(1)). Both defendants pled "Open to the Court" to the following sentence: 36 months of summary probation, Time Served in County Jail, 120 days of county jail suspended (which means that if the defendants violate the terms of their probation the Court will automatically impose 120 days of county jail each), restitution and a stay away (Imperial to the South, Navy to the North, Sepulveda to the East and the Pacific Ocean to the West). We will be having a restitution hearing on November 16, 2010 (to recover the costs of the clean up).
Pleading "open to the Court" means that the Court determines the sentence (after hearing from both our Office and the defense). When pleading "open to the Court" the defendants must plead Guilty or No Contest to ALL charges (in this case there were three charges filed against each defendant).

(This is from Claudia Martin, the Neighborhood Prosecutor assigned to Venice.)