Gone to the Beach

We had a chance to drop by the inauguration of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today. It was a classic, beautiful LA day – Michael Jackson’s will was being filed across the street, the helicopters were overhead and the Lakers Derek Fisher was master of ceremonies. For an hour before the ceremony actually began, the Agape Choir entertained, singing Man in the Mirror, among others. That seemed particularly appropriate for the inauguration of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to his second term. The former firebrand public interest lawyer squandered much of his first term with missplaced passion; and while he now seems focused on the basics of good government, he felt oddly flat and lifeless for someone who is a truly great up from nothing success story.

So it was newly elected City Attorney Carmen Trutanich who stole the show, bringing a coterie of judges and third graders to share his oath. The judges got a pass on reciting the Constitution, which the children from East L.A. did with brio. He promised to go tough on toxic polluters, gang members and others who harm the city. A former hard-core gang prosecutor, he was sworn in by District Attorney Steve Cooley and joined by resident U.S. Attorney Tom O’Brien. Trutanich overthrew City Hall insider Jack Weiss, the presumed insider, to win the job which has not produced a distinguished City Attorney in more than two decades.

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