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Airport vendor punk'd--Nuch, Ek, Shallman flying high

Cocktails, anyone?

What a coincidence. Last year, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich scribbles a legal opinion invalidating a vendor contract at LAX.

Now Council awards a new ten-year vendor contract at LAX. To a firm represented by John Ek, who hosted a fundraising party for Trutanich in April.

Media have questions. Ek doesn't talk to media much; he's above the fray. Nuch strategist John Shallman to the rescue, insisting Ek didn't actually raise any money during the April Nuch fundraiser.

No, but a source tells me Ek figures to be one of Trutanich's most active fundraisers overall.

In fact, according to the arithmetic suggested by this fundraiser parchment, Ek achieved inner-circle host status by pledging to raise or contribute $25,000 for Nuch (click to enlarge):

The Weekly reported in April that Ek sought Trutanich's counsel a few years back when it looked like the former might be obliged to appear before a grand jury for allegedly tampering with another airport contract.

Ek's piece of the scandal involved one of his airport clients, URS, which complained to investigators that he had urged them to donate to Hahn's anti-secession campaign. This was supposedly done at the behest of Hahn's appointee to the Airport Commission, and Ek allegedly warned of the consequences of not contributing.

Ek denied the allegation.

Which may be fair. The Weekly is prone to rake the muck. But the way Nuch tore up the previous prospective contract only to have the new one end up in his longtime buddy's lap seems to be quite a question-beggar.