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AEG president says Trutanich tried to 'bully' company on Jackson costs

Jacksonmemorial Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich tried to pressure the owner of Staples Center to pay $6 million for city services provided during the Michael Jackson memorial, saying he would "go after you guys" if the money was not paid, the company's top executive alleged Wednesday.

"I wouldn't say it was extortion. I would say it's a bully tactic. That's the way I would put it. He's trying to bully us. And he's done it on three different occasions," AEG President and Chief Executive Tim Leiweke told The Times' editorial board Wednesday.

His accusations escalate a growing public feud between the brash new city attorney and one of L.A.'s most influential corporations.

On the one side is the company that owns two of the city's most prominent entertainment venues, Staples Center and the L.A. Live entertainment complex. On the other is a city attorney who took office in July and has quickly developed a reputation for aggressive and sometimes unorthodox actions. Trutanich recently threatened to throw City Councilwoman Jan Perry in jail and file criminal charges against the city's top building-and-safety official if they violated his directives regarding AEG.

Read the full story here.

--Phil Willon and Cara Mia DiMassa

Photo: The Jackson brothers carry the casket containing the body of Michael Jackson during his public memorial service in July at Staples Center. Credit: Mario Anzuoni / Getty Images.

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Comments () | Archives (12)

Gee Mr. Leiweke, does this mean you don't want to participate in the Mayor's program of shared sacrifices?? I would think that, being his good buddy and all, your organization would be the first to step up and help LA become "A Better Place"!

Carmen seems to be the only politician not out to rip off the taxpayers!

What's the matter Mr. Leiweke, don't you want to participate in the Mayors "Shared Sacrifices" program??? I would have thought that you, of all people, being his good buddy and all, would be the first to step up and sacrifice for the sake of "A Better LA"! Guess not!

Good. As a taxpayer who will otherwise pay the tab, I say collect by whatever means are necessary. Does the Staples Center expect Los Angelenos to pity big business?

Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich reads like an idiot! The residents of LA needs to keep their eye on this nut and prepare for the recall to remove him as City Attorney. This is what the residents get for voting in a non-ABA law student into office.

Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich aggressive yes Bully no! Have you heard this City is in a Fiscal Emergency?
I feel that this is the type of City Attorney this city needs not a political pawn to the Mayoral Political Machine. L.A. Times please find out and publish amount of political campaign contributions AEG pays to city elected officials of the city of Los Angeles. Who enjoys the highest contribution? This will buy a lot of influence and/or silence.
Go! City Atty. Carmen Trutanich. Aggressive that not we called it in Compton back in my!

The fact is, if you put on a circus, you have to pay for necessary security...The City should shut Staples down until they pay...

They wanted to exploit Michael Jackson's death, they should be made to pay for the city's costs.

It looks as if the los angeles times is finally able to cover the City Attorney's corruption. They should look at this case in the criminal courts building if they what an epic story of bad faith goverment.


If you have a beef with the corrupt Trutanich check out this case that involves corruption in his office and elsewhere.


Good - is there somewhere we donate to Carmen? It sounds like he has our interests in mind, not some rich family or company.

In the years to come, perhaps reasons will emerge from the rubble as to why a supernovic talent with a history of unparalleled giving and a persona of complex innocence, was consistently and wilfully humiliated, tortured and stripped of his dignity and spirit for a period of over 15 years, on the basis of astonishingly non-credible accusations – and more importantly why this was actively encouraged. These days everyone has an opinion about the life and death of Michael Jackson - myself included. But it cannot be denied that the potent, heady mix of newly syndicated televison networks and online tabloids all fighting for their share of white hot media glare; the lure of fantastical amounts of money; and good old fashioned human greed - all came together to produce one mother of a takedown. In the final analysis, it seems this was never really a story about drugs and the Beatles catalogue - but about our willingness to believe a lie. And no, I do not include the 2005 trial. Michael was found not guilty on all 14 counts by a highly conservative jury. Interesting isn't it, that one man links both sets of allegations. Send the bill for the memorial to Tom Sneddon. He spent millions of dollars hounding Michael, culminating in an abortive trial that everyone knows was based on the lies of a disturbed mother with a history of alleging sexual abuse - see Arviso J.C.Penny case. Respected attorney Thomas Mesereau, who repeatedly tried to draw attention to the fact that the costs accumulated by Sneddon in his years-long pursuit of Michael were 'unprecedented,' could have done with the support of some of the voices I see here now. Where was the debate about 'waste' then? What was done to Michael Jackson - who was also I might add, an American citizen - will forever remain an indelible mark on the American Justice system. And in the misleading, inflammatory, and publicity-driven antics of Trutanich - it is clear that shame has found its heir apparent.

Off -topic?

There wouldn't 'be' a memorial to pay for if the bully-boys of City Hall and our so-called Justice system hadn't put hearsay and fabrication before the rule of law. I am delighted sense has prevailed. To have denied AEG - who are investing $2.6 billion in LA, these previously agreed permits would have been ludicrous. Hopefully this unanimous council decision to honour their original agreements will send a clear message to Trutanich; - that the people of Los Angeles are not only tired of the endless grandstanding of highly paid public officials, but that we are also thinking long-term. We want investment in our city. In case, anyone hadn't notice, we are in the middle of a global recession. So here's a question: A $ 2.6 billion investment over a few billboards that had already been pre-approved? Hard math? Not really. As a taxpaying citizen, I take extreme umbrage at the decidedly cheap comment of a man who thinks that the excessive numbers and 'overkill' policing that City Hall and the LAPD themselves decided was appropriate for Michael's memorial - 'wasted a lot of dough.' And Trutanich's claim that this dispute was merely about the 'legality of current billboard ordinance' - is laughable. Hopefully the City Council's decision is a reminder that the old truism: - you can only fool some of the people some of the time - is a sign of things to come.


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