Villaraigosa and other L.A. city leaders release lists of gifts [Updated]
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s all-expenses-paid vacation to South Africa last July, provided by the group Academy of Achievement, was valued at $17,346 -- topping the list of gifts he received in 2009, city records show.
During his trip to the Los Angeles-themed Guadalajara International Book Fair in November, Villaraigosa also came home with three art pieces, cuff links and a $75 bottle of tequila courtesy of Mexican dignitaries.
A list of gifts the mayor received in 2009, as well as his major assets and other economic interests, was released Tuesday by the city Ethics Commission along with those for other city elected officials. Under state law, elected officials have to file a statement of their financial interests every year.
City Atty. Carmen Trutanich also had a pretty good year. He collected $32,000 in rent in 2009 for his $2.3-million home in the Naples section of Long Beach. The city attorney, who lives in Harbor City, also received cigars and a humidor as gifts, along with a few neckties.
The records also show Controller Wendy Greuel owns an interest in a building supply company worth $600,000. City Council President Eric Garcetti collected about $300,000 from his financial stake in a Beverly Hills beauty salon. [Updated at 12:55 p.m.: Garcetti reported receiving between $10,000 and $100,000 in income from the investment – and his spokesperson on Wednesday said he received roughly $14,000. The overall value of the investment was declared to be approximately $300,000.] And Councilman Richard Alarcon reported receiving a $100 suite ticket to the Dodgers' Oct. 7 playoff game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Villaraigosa reported receiving more than $2,300 in gifts, including a $65 pair of cuff links from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a $50 tie from former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown. The mayor also received $23,319 in “travel payments, advances and reimbursements,’’ which included travel for public policy speeches he gave to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute.
The nine-day trip to Africa was for an Academy of Achievement event that assembled graduate students from around the world to meet with "the greatest thinkers and achievers of the age," according to the group’s website.
Villaraigosa was accompanied by Lu Parker, a KTLA-TV Channel 5 reporter the mayor is dating. The free travel expenses, however, did not include the cost of sending the mayor’s Los Angeles Police Department security detail. According to KTLA reporter Eric Spillman, the city picked up that $12,800 tab.
-- Phil Willon in L.A. City Hall