8:03 PM PST, November 6, 2012
A tussle was reported Tuesday afternoon at a local polling place between an attorney for a firm that represents an arm of the California Democratic Party and a campaign staffer for GOP Assembly candidate Greg Krikorian, police said.
Police officers were first called to a polling station in Fire Station 21 on Columbus Avenue near the Glendale Galleria at 4:30 p.m. in response to reports of electioneering filed by an attorney who works for a Los Angeles firm that represents the state Democratic Party’s Promote and Protect the Vote program.
Glendale police did not immediately identify the attorney Tuesday.
Police cannot take reports regarding electioneering allegations unless a violation is confirmed at the site, said Glendale police spokesman Sgt. Tom Lorenz. Instead, officers respond primarily “just to keep the peace.”
A formal complaint must be filed with the L.A. County registrar, which attorney said he planned to do, Lorenz said.
Police officers were called back shortly after 5 p.m. on a report of an assault, Lorenz said.
Art Tavana, communications director for Krikorian -- the Glendale school board member who has been locked in a contentious race against incumbent Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) to represent the 43rd Assembly District -- said the attorney touched his arm as he was being videotaped.
The attorney had left the scene by the time officers arrived, Lorenz said.
Tavana said in an interview that he was trying to hide his face with a clipboard when the man “grabbed” his arm to “physically jerk” him around.
Witnesses at the scene verified Tavana’s account, Lorenz said, but an investigation into the allegation had yet to be completed.
“This isn’t going to end today,” he said.
After investigators get a statement from the attorney, the matter will be sent to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office for review.
The alleged incident could result in a misdemeanor assault charge, Lorenz said.
-- Mark Kellam, Times Community News
Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam