Are you kidding me? According to the Los Angeles Times, current Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, who is also running to become California’s attorney general, received $13,000 in campaign contributions for his election campaign from an oil company. The problem is, as the Los Angeles Times reports, Cooley was at that very time prosecuting the firm, Warren E & P, Inc. for violations of the state’s environmental laws.
Cooley now claims the contribution had no effect on his office handled the case. The company runs oil wells near the Port of Los Angeles, a large area of waterfront south of the downtown Los Angeles skyline. In my opinion, Cooley should not only return the money, he should drop out of the campaign and resign from office as I think this is a serious breach of his professional ethics
As if all this wasn’t enough, the plot thickens when you find out that the oil company’s counsel, Carmen Trutanich, was then elected Los Angeles city attorney, who was then responsible for prosecuting such violations of ethics law. Cooley and the district attorney’s office got the case from the city attorney’s office, which filed criminal charges against the oil company in January 2008. The case was handed over to the district attorney’s office after the firm’s defense lawyer, Carmen Trutanich, was elected city attorney last year. Its all one big insider boys club, with all the players trading public and private jobs as they climb the ladder of success.
Steve Cooley, a Republican, is currently in a tight race to retain his position as California District Attorney with Democratic candidate Kamala Harris, who is currently the San Francisco District Attorney. Harris has called for Cooley to return the donation and I call for him to do the same. In something that really amazes me, the article says Cooley said returning the donations would imply the company was trying to influence him, which I feel is exactly what they were trying to do.
The race for California attorney general is heating up as the election draws near, as there are many other controversial ballot measures that will go before voters in November, including Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana for personal use.
Cooley has also been the law enforcement choice, with large contributions from the various law enforcement organizations and unions, according to an article on the race in the Los Angeles Times. More than $1 million dollars has been spent to support Cooley from these independent expenditures by organizations like the Los Angeles Police Protective League.
Phil Willon and Jack Leonard “Cooley doesn’t plan to return $13,000. received during prosecution of oil company” Los Angeles Times via latimes.com
Phil Willon and Jack Leonard “Kamala Harris and Steve Cooley ramp up attacks in attorney general race” Los Angeles Time via latimes.com