Posted on Sunday, August 24, 2008 – It was 2001, and I had been winding down my service with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, as a volunteer litigation clerk in the Criminal Prosecution Division of the Airport Courthouse. Although I was not an insider, I had enjoyed my time at the City Attorney’s Office under James Hahn’s Leadership. I was a law student, worked in a Home Depot. at night, for a civil lawyer in the day, and clerked a few days a week for the City.
There was a buzz of excitement at this time. New computers were coming in new boxes. Bad, old and outdated computers had been a big complaint by the CA’s I knew under Hahn. I mentioned to a lawyer there: “hey, it looks like you got a good CA”, and he responded, “Well see, we need a lot more than a few computers, I have been doing this long enough to know this could be a stunt.”
After I left the City Attorney’s Office, I stayed in touch with my old friends at the CA. Once, several months ago, I recalled a conversation I overheard between a few people at the CA, that indicated Rocky was “surrounding himself with outsiders who don’t even know misdemeanors, or what it is to be a City Attorney”. A close friend of mine told me Rocky had gone and hired a former federal prosecutor who did not work his way up the ladder into a position of power in policy and administration matter, which he [my friend] clearly saw as a mistake and a slap in the face.
A twenty-plus year man, my good friend seemed visibly demoralized. I could sense that this demoralization was present in the office in other Los Angeles lawyers who worked there. I remembered that under the leadership of James Hahn, that at least people appeared to have been appointed based upon merit, rather than cronyism, I thought to myself
Then last week, while I was working at my Los Angeles personal injury law firm, that Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, who has been thought to now be eye-balling the state attorney’s office, was now under an FBI investigation by San Francisco agents!
The news broke on Wednesday according to reports that the FBI had started a criminal investigation and according to his [Rocky’s] spokes person, Nick Velasquez, opponents who are also eyeing the state attorney generals’ position in 2010 leaked this in order to put a black mark on Delgadillo. It is unclear to me who these “opponents” are.
To my surprise, I also learned that previously, Delgadillo had admitted to ethical violations that included having city employees baby-sit for his children and having a city owned SUV repaired with tax payer money after his wife wrecked the vehicle by hitting a pole.
In another report, Laura Chick, who was actually sued by Delgadillo over plans to audit his office, stated she had even been questioned by FBI agents about the audit, and that questioning in fact, included workers compensation issues that Delgadillo had actually supervised.
The investigation is being conducted out of San Francisco according to reports instead of out of the Los Angeles office because of possible conflicts of interest should the U.S. District Attorneys Office becomes involved due to the fact that they have join cases with the city attorney. I was sarcastically thinking no conflict here, right, he is already employing U.S. Attorneys?
I presume Rocky innocent, until proven guilty. In all events, aside from the above, I implore Rocky to re-think his policies and makes sure that former U.S. Attorneys, for example, don’t get hiring preferences over loyal, dedicated CA’s, who truly deserve that position. After all, CA’s should be promoted to positions of power, only after they have been tested in the battlefield of Los Angeles courts, under California laws, in front of California state judges.