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THE indictment of P.R. exec and Hahn administration insider Doug Dowie last week offered the departing mayor yet another chance to take even a small measure of responsibility for the scandal that engulfed him.

But true to his colors, James Kenneth Hahn expressed through his spokesman that he was ``outraged that anyone would misuse the public's trust and the public's money.''

The citizens of Los Angeles surely share that sentiment - which is the main reason 60 percent of those who voted last month chose to replace Hahn as mayor.

The truth is that during his 24-year run in city office, Hahn sustained his career by ducking responsibility for just about everything that happened in Los Angeles. In a City Hall where dirty money and dirty politics have long reigned supreme, Hahn always wore white gloves, leaving the dirty work to aides so he could maintain his posture of plausible deniability.

As local and federal investigators close in on the role of his staff and appointees in City Hall corruption, it will be interesting to see if they are able to determine what Hahn himself knew about his administration's sleazy contracting and fundraising practices - and when he knew it.

What has become clear with each new revelation and each new indictment is that his plausible deniability has become increasingly implausible.
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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jun 6, 2005
Previous Article:PUBLIC FORUM.

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