Patterico's Pontifications

6/21/2007

Steve Lopez is EN FUEGO!

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:03 am

You folks know I’m a huge critic of the L.A. Times, and I’ve bashed Steve Lopez a time or two. But the man is on fire lately, and I think it’s time to acknowledge it and honor it.

Lopez has been regularly ripping up City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, who has been urging his wife to remedy several situations involving her driving — including ignoring an outstanding warrant for nine years, driving on a suspended license, driving without insurance, and cracking up a city vehicle and getting the city to pay for it . . . despite the fact that she wasn’t authorized to drive it.

You should read the columns in their entirety, but I’m going to excerpt some of the better lines to whet your appetite.

It started with this column, with this great line:

Look, we all know Rocky is not short for rocket scientist . . .

And this one:

[T]here should be an investigation or two, and I’d like to suggest someone take a good hard look at Columbia Law School and investigate how Delgadillo graduated.

This line, from the same column, isn’t as funny — but it asked a salient question:

If someone lets an unauthorized person drive a city car, the car gets dinged, the city foots the bill and the city employee seems to have misplaced the report that would have identified the driver of the car, is that a crime?

The not-very-funny answer came in this column, which explained that no such report was ever filed:

Rocky Delgadillo’s staff handled the paperwork on his wife’s 2004 accident, and the city attorney said he was unaware that a required report on the accident was never filed with the city.

In the same column, Lopez comes with the funny. He observes early on: “Somebody should have had the sense to duct tape Rocky’s mouth shut.” And he ends the column this way:

As for Delgadillo, he now claims that although he didn’t know it at the time, because his wife handled these matters, he had no insurance for 13 months beginning in June 2005 when their policy apparently was canceled because of his wife’s problems.

A Delgadillo aide told me the city attorney bought himself an insurance policy in 2006 when he discovered this snafu, which raises a couple of questions:

Why did he say at Monday’s press conference that he had never been uninsured? And did his wife continue driving even after they became aware she had no license and no insurance?

I’d love to know the answers, but if I were managing Rocky, I’d reach for the duct tape.

Heh. I’m also trying to understand how she had encounter after encounter with police, during a period when she had an outstanding warrant for her arrest, and yet she never got taken to jail.

I already linked Lopez’s latest column, from yesterday. But it’s just gold, from beginning to end. I have spoken to several people who hate the L.A. Times but loved this column. I’ll excerpt some of the fun parts:

In the interest of public safety, I’d like to volunteer to serve as driver for the wife of L.A. City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo.

Let’s say Michelle Delgadillo needs to go to the store or pick up the kids.

Let’s say she gets hauled into court on a warrant, things don’t work out too well, and she needs a ride to the Lynwood hoosegow to bunk with Paris Hilton for a few days.

I’m her guy.

I’m on 24-hour call, and I won’t charge a penny. My reward will be the relief I get from knowing she’s not behind the wheel.

It’s hard to resist the temptation to cut and paste the whole thing.

As for Michelle’s husband, it’s not as if he’s Mr. Responsible himself, which is all the more reason for me to be his wife’s chauffeur.

As we established on Monday, Rocky and Michelle in fact tooled around in their Ford Expedition for more than a year while neither had car insurance.

Frightening thought, isn’t it?

Two uninsured drivers barreling around Los Angeles in an SUV the size of Dodger Stadium.

Let’s see, a Yukon GMC, a Ford Expedition. The Delgadillos are just a Hummer short of being able to blow their own hole through the ozone.

Oh, it gets better:

He’s the city attorney, and yet his family photo could be used in a campaign against scofflaws. Given the way he manages his personal affairs, you have to wonder if he’s competent to run a huge city department.

Imagine what must be going through Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s mind during this debacle. He’s got to be sitting back and asking himself: “If a blockhead like Rocky could become a lawyer, what kind of dunce flunks the bar exam four times, the way I did?”

I don’t care how many times I read that line, I laugh each and every time.

This whole controversy is wonderfully ironic, in light of the posturing Rocky’s office did in screaming for Paris Hilton to be jailed for driving on a suspended license. But the best part is reading Lopez’s columns. I can’t wait for the next one.

29 Responses to “Steve Lopez is EN FUEGO!”

  1. Risin’ up, back on the street
    Did my time, took my chances
    Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet
    Just a man and his will to survive

    alphie (015011)

  2. Heh. I’m also trying to understand how she had encounter after encounter with police, during a period when she had an outstanding warrant for her arrest, and yet she never got taken to jail.

    I heard her name was misspelled on the warrant. Michelle with one “l”? Delgadillo with one “l”? It sounds phony. Plus, the warrant was based on her smacking someone with her car and not giving insurance information. They must have copied down her license number at the time, so they had to find some dmv info on her and could have matched her that way. Don’t be surprised if she was stopped by the police and given warnings to go clear it up and never did.

    sam (c61923)

  3. I’m convinced that the Sheriff’s office combed their records for anything on Delgadillo after he tore into Baca for releasing Hilton. Then they gave it to a sympathetic newsman. I have a hard time believing that all these police records coincidentally came to light all by themselves.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  4. Maybe a copper who ticketed her for driving on a suspended license talked to a reporter after Rocky got all huffy about Paris Hilton.

    Patterico (9bde8d)

  5. Maybe I’ve read too much James Ellroy. But someone, with access to this info, really didn’t like Delgadillo’s attitude on Hilton. Low level or high level, you decide.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  6. On many occasions Steve Lopez’s stuff reminds me of the Howard Cosell line that the late Jim Healey loved to play “Healey, your show is weak!”.
    I understand that Steve Lopez was paid big bucks to come to the LAT as a columnist. For quite a while it looked like that investment decision was about as wise as the Dodger’s decision to pay $47 million for three years of Jason Schmitt’s time–a real disaster.

    But Lopez was a good city columnist at some of his earlier gigs (San Francisco and Philadelphia), and a chance to afflict the overly
    comfortable fat cats at City Hall is raw meat for such as Lopez. He’s doing a heck of a job.

    And that line about Vilarragoisa was worth a year of suffering through Lopez’s weak stuff. The dude is on fire.

    Mike Myers (2e43f5)

  7. Whether or not it’s related to Paris Hilton, the dude and his wife are both imbeciles.

    otcconan (f17c7c)

  8. addendum: And it frightens the hell out of me to think they could have children.

    otcconan (f17c7c)

  9. It’s a crime to access computerized law enforcement records without a reason to do so. How ever, for a price, you can access public records documents. Additionally, every courtroom, prosecutor’s office, and clerks office has access to court computerized documents and there would be no record of doing so. IOW, thousands of people could have checked the court records by computer and dropped a dime on her.

    sam (c61923)

  10. We should keep it in perspective. Patterico described the situation as amusing in a previous thread and that’s all it is. Mildly. And not necessarily in a mean way — just “the cobbler’s children going unshod”.

    A bench warrant is not a conviction and the one here may turn out to be less reliable than the one issued against Kathryn Johnston. The Delgadillos were the ones at risk for driving uninsured. They likely have more assets than the “judgment-proofs” driving with the mandatory minimum. Mandatory insurance is a scam on the public perpetrated by sub-standard insurance companies and their bought-for legislators. As for the suspended license, that’s just “contempt of bureaucrat”. In real-world terms, spitting on the sidewalk is more of an offense against society.

    nk (0ebe4a)

  11. LA is beginning to remind me of the Woody Allen flick Bananas. I urge the voters to remedy this situation.

    Patricia (824fa1)

  12. This is obviously pay-back from someone – probably the Sheriff.

    But its hilarious payback.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  13. Between Delgadillo and the esteemed Mayor Villaraigosa L.A. is beginning to look like a joke. Thank goodness the Police Commission had the good sense to re-up Chief Bratton for another 5 years. At least there’s one person with half a brain in charge of something in that city.

    Jackie Warner (41f17a)

  14. “I’m also trying to understand how she had encounter after encounter with police, during a period when she had an outstanding warrant for her arrest, and yet she never got taken to jail.”

    I keep hearing and reading that comment. The picture I saw on the news was for a warrant issued for Michele Namen on a Montana DL.

    A short time later she became Michelle Delgadillo. Why would any traffic cop that stopped her, know to connect these two names?

    I don’t think this was influence by Rocky, just dumb luck. Am I missing something?

    TakeFive (2bf7bd)

  15. What some people are missing – as otherwise ironic and amusing as the story is – is that these two people are elitists* and the hubby has some authority within a local government.

    The other thing we see is that the hubby is treating government employees as if they were apart of his own “celebrity posse.” The government employees like the income and the bennies, they may even like rubbing elbows with the rich and famous and going to all the right parties …so, the government employees do what he says when he says…because if they don’t…

    *i.e. “Rules and laws are for thee, but not for me.”**

    **(The same rule applies towards senators and congressmen. If you or I did half of what most of them do, we’d spend the next twenty-five years in a cross-bar hotel – convicted on RICO charges.)

    Warren Bonesteel (d48442)

  16. Payback is a bitch.

    Alta Bob (4fd45e)

  17. Hahhahaha… and so, the lunatics are running the asylum. I mean, seriously, what a dunce.

    Imagine what must be going through Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s mind during this debacle. He’s got to be sitting back and asking himself: “If a blockhead like Rocky could become a lawyer, what kind of dunce flunks the bar exam four times, the way I did?”

    LOL!!!

    David N. Scott (71e316)

  18. Paging Mayor Shaw, paging Mayor Shaw. ha ha ha ha. Sure she had a license, she meant to go pick it up at Pater Noster high school. Or did she leave it at Vickman’s Bakery? Ha uh heh. uh. ummm. Damn it, shouldn’t have mentioned Vickman’s – if it were still open I’d get in my car and drive over there now just to wait for it to open in a few hours. Sigh.

    californio (2c4e35)

  19. We’re all enjoying the hell out of this one, but in my opinion it was the Hiltons who “leaked” this juicy time bomb, and it was they who leaked the million dollar payoff to Hilton upon her release from jail. The “outrage” being uttered by the media just guarantees huge ratings for her appearance.

    Now, let’s look at the LA Times. Do any of us believe that this agenda driven left wing rag actually decided to to a real story about local politics? No way Hose-ay. Somebody (the Hiltons, the Sheriff, a pissed off Delgadillo employee) gave all the data to Lopez so the lazy bum wouldn’t have to do research.

    Anyway, ha ha, ho ho, he he…… And a phony law degree? From an Ivy college? Ooooh God, I just had an orgasm.

    Howard Veit (4ba8d4)

  20. Yahoo News has this story up:

    “The Los Angeles Times, citing unidentified city sources, said the Los Angeles Ethics Commission and the California State Bar are both investigating City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo.”

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  21. Here’s the Yahoo link.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  22. Additionally, every courtroom, prosecutor’s office, and clerks office has access to court computerized documents and there would be no record of doing so.

    In which case the computer system is probably in violation of several laws / standards, since all the ones I’m aware of (SOX and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, for openers) require that kind of audit trail on “private” information.

    SDN (ae40c3)

  23. Michelle Delgadillo used to do “public relations” work for URS Corp. on the LAUSD Bond BB project in the late ’90s, early 2000s. She was given a high-profile position and commensurate salary, but was considered a ‘patronage’ employee with no expectation to produce by everyone at URS. She made sure everyone knew who her husband was. Hope the LAT gets into her past work history, it might be another parallel to Paris Hilton’s.

    TimesDisliker (4f0c5a)

  24. SDN, most court records are not “private” but rather public documents and Sarbanes-Oxley does not apply to governmental agencies.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  25. Man! Just another example of why one should not be throwing stones at others, especially when you are throwing them at people who may actually be on higher elevation.

    Considering the downward spiral of politics, will political writers become more like mouthy sports writers? This one sure reads like it, and its great!

    xray (bce477)

  26. You know, I love how someone with integrity, like Patterico, can give props to those they normally disagre with. It’s such a stark contrast to the lunatic leftists who would rather cut their own entrails out than give props to any conservative at any time.

    Ranten N. Raven (1f5d50)

  27. The 3 Amigos Antonio Villaraigosa (sorry Antonio Villasalinas), Rocky Delgadillo aka Rock Delgado and the Sheriff Baca or is Vaca. spanish for MUUUUUU!!!

    The mexican tean 3 Amigos as you expected, have you ever hear: Mexicans do not belive in condoms (she is pregnant with Antonito junior), Mexicans drive without insurance (if they get caught they will buy it for one week). Baca is not a Sheriff, he is the Red carpet buffoon.
    We need to deport the 3 Amigos to south of the border so they can con the 3 million Amigos in Tijuana.

    Antoniete (3ca51e)


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