City probe ratchets up

U.S. Attorney and District Attorney investigators separately looking into L.A. city corruption have begun to cooperate and are expected to merge into a single probe, the Times' Greg Krikorian and Anna Gorman report.

Although joint federal and local investigations are not uncommon in large-scale narcotics or gang cases, this would mark the first time since the investigation into the LAPD's scandal-plagued Rampart Division that federal and state prosecutors had so carefully coordinated their public-corruption inquiries.

From a practical standpoint, combining the investigations would give both federal and local authorities more resources than they now have in probing suspicions that city contracts have been awarded on the basis of political patronage rather than merit.

The first step was designating two deputy DA's, Max Huntsman and Scott Goodwin, as temporary assistant federal prosecutors so they can attend the proceedings of the federal grand jury investigating City Hall's pay to play atmosphere. Some feds are also expected to begin participating in the county grand jury that is believed to be covering the same ground.

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