Second indictment soon *

During a trial status conference Monday for John Stodder, the ex-Fleishman-Hillard executive indicted for his alleged part in overbilling the city DWP, Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam D. Kamenstein disclosed that a second "superseding indictment" is coming. This month or next, he said, a grand jury may return a new indictment against Stodder (who pleaded not guilty) and another person that Kamenstein did not identify. No matter who it is, the political calculation is fairly simple. If it comes before the May 17 runoff, Hahn's reelection chances will be hurt — and his supporters will cry foul. It's worse for Hahn if the second defendant had a job in his administration, but it's damaging even if it's Doug Dowie or another Fleishman figure. Hahn catches a break, however, if prosecutors wait until after May 17.

Kamenstein, by the way, oversees the broader federal-local investigations into corrupting contracting practices and pay-to-play. Also, notice the bylines: both the Times (Ted Rohrlich) and the Daily News (Beth Barrett) sent diggers rather than campaign or court reporters to cover a routine hearing. [* Update: Rohrlich wasn't there, he wrote in the office from notes sent by David Rosenzweig. Same point, though.] They be workin' on something, and you can bet both hope to break some splashy news before May 17. And it's probably safe to assume that Times Editor John Carroll would like his piece in the paper sooner than the final days of the race, so the Times doesn't become the story again — which diluted the impact of the Schwarzenegger groping revelations in 2003.

Also: Magic Johnson's endorsement is analyzed as a big plus for Villaraigosa in the Times, Daily News and Daily Breeze.

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