John Spano, a former legal affairs reporter and editor who left the Times in the buyouts earlier this year, has landed as an associate with Kiesel Boucher & Larson, a Beverly Hills law firm.
Add Kiesel Boucher: Litigator Helen Zukin was elected today as president of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. Sean Treglia is vice president.
* Noted: The news about Spano caught the eye of Tod Tamberg, the head of communications for the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese, who emails that he "nearly gagged." Here's why:
With all that's going on at the Times, perhaps it escaped your attention that Spano's beat was the Archdiocesan sexual abuse litigation. Boucher had the largest number of plaintiffs in litigation against the Archdiocese.
Coincidental? Maybe. But this is the second time lightning of that sort has struck a Times reporter whose beat was the Archdiocesan sexual abuse litigation. Jean Guccione left the Times for Steve Cooley's office last year.
The church has accepted the consequences, both spiritual and financial, of the sexual abuse crisis. It wasn't anyone's fault but our own. That said, my experience wtih these reporters -- who most often called me for a comment after they'd already written their stories from a viewpoint favorable to the plaintiffs attorneys and the D.A. -- left me with the impression that they and their editors were heavily biased against the church. That the two principal reporters who covered the sexual abuse litigation have taken jobs with the two top entities that were often quoted favorably over and against the church only confirms my impression of the Times' bias.
This brought a response from OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano:
As a reporter who has covered the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal for the past four years, and as a devout Catholic, it never ceases to amaze me how disgusting, bitter, and self-serving the Church's hierarchy and its lackeys continue to be regarding their pedo-sins. I'm used to dealing with the idiots at the Diocese of Orange, but Tod Tamberg's hilarious screed forces me to cross the Orange Curtain.
He writes that the sex-abuse scandal that wracked the Archdiocese of Los Angeles "wasn't anyone's fault but our own" but neglects to mention that they didn't come to this realization until after years of pressure from sex-abuse victims and their lawyers who wanted the cover-up exposed, and the reporters whom often served as the only people who lent the victims an open ear. Even more ridiculous is Tamberg's charge that Spano, Guccione (sp?) and the Times "were heavily biased against the church." No, Tod: they were too fair with Mahony and his goons.
The best reporter on you fools was Ron Russell of the late New Times LA--I'm sure His Excellency lit many a votive candle after the paper folded. To paraphrase the Nazarene, the truth set the Times free to report on your employer's track record--and I'm sure the paper and its religion reporters are more than happy to compare its record reporting on the scandal with your horrors.