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Judge Denies Restraining Order on Mike Feuer's Campaign Funds

Community activist claims Los Angeles city attorney candidate illegally obtained campaign matching funds.

A judge Friday, May 10 declined to issue a restraining order preventing city attorney candidate Mike Feuer from using his campaign funds, despite allegations by opponents that he illegally obtained matching funds from the city.

Feuer, former state assemblyman who's district covered parts of Brentwood, has denied any wrongdoing.

In March, Feuer was sued by Laura Lake, a community activist who claims the candidate illegally obtained $650,000 matching funds. Her attorney, Bradley Hertz, went to court in hopes of obtaining an order preventing Feuer from his campaign funds, but a judge said the issue should be considered at a hearing scheduled for next Friday.

Lake contends Feuer exceeded the spending limit to qualify for the matching funds. She released campaign finance records this week that appear to indicate Feuer's campaign spent $1.26 million during the run-up to the primary election, over the $1.25 million limit set by city campaign finance laws.

She is asking that Feuer return $300,000 in matching funds he received for the primary, and another $350,000 he received for the general election.

Feuer's opponent, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, has said the matching funds given to Feuer gave him an unfair advantage. Trutanich came in second to Feuer during the primary, with the two headed to a runoff election May 21.

Feuer spokesman Dave Jacobson said the accusation is a result of "bad math," adding that the Trutanich campaign is "trying to make much out of a line on a form" that he said is a "non-issue."

Jacobson said opponents failed to factor in "account refunds the Feuer campaign received for expenses for which the campaign originally was charged too much."

He also blamed the $1.26 million figure on a "software error."

Hertz, who does not represent Trutanich, said today he tried to give the Feuer campaign the "benefit of the doubt" by going back to review the paperwork, "but the numbers still resulted in Feuer spending in excess of the expenditure limit."

As of May 9, Feuer continues outpacing Trutanich in campaign fundraising, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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