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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

Comments () | Archives (9)

....And yet they won't even consider taking a 10% pay cut!

The Pint Size Mayor is not a thinker, so he was just being paid for the favors he has given. If he was a thinker the city would not be in the mess it is in.

I thought that when the idiotic voters in LA approved the creation of the Ethics Commission, and also tied in Council pay to the same as judges was to end the gift giving. These are public servants, every gift received is a conflict of interest.

So good to read of the ways that wealthy people are creating jobs. They are such givers to the economy. This is why, when I hear Republicans (since this is usually their rationale against higher taxes) argue that the wealthy in this nation are the job creators, I scoff. Wealthy people, Democrats or Republicans, don't create jobs. They hide it all away. The super-wealthy corporations? They create jobs---in India and China!

Trickle down economics is one of the biggest lies we've ever been sold. City leaders need to "suffer" and take a pay cut with the rest of us.

Willie Brown of the $3,000 suits is giving out $50 ties? I don't think so.

According to the City's ethics policy, no city employee can receive a gift if it is valued at more than $50.00. So, I guess the rule of double standard is alive and well!

Come on Angelinos, do you honestly believe that these reported perks are the only gifts these highest paid public officials in the nation have received? Comped Travel packages, sports events, dining establishments and just looked at the cost of the paid staff entourage where ever these elected officials go for a photo op. Especially the Patron!
While the City of Los Angeles is in a financial meltdown heading for bankruptcy this Corrupt Political Machine is not even concerned about giving the image of propriety and proper conduct. All while preaching shared sacrifice to the lowest paid unions of this city as long as it is not there own salaries, perks and benefits. The shear arrogance, audacity and shameful conduct, is just sickening.
Reminder to Voters, taxpayers and this City’s utility rate payers this is your city and this Corrupt Political Machine is of your making. It is time to clean house the smell of corruption is getting more than anyone should tolerate. Recall, recall, recall

Political people are graded on different scale when it comes to job creation, Karoline. Their wealth is made up from side deals and promises to do certain things for other wealthy people to continue running a business and making a gigantic profit. It does not account for the business person whom is struggling to keep the business going because of the bad regulations and laws our politicians enact for their own betterment.

I see no benefit for any country, state or group to value anything Villiaragosa has to say. Nothing has been done to make LA a profitable city since he has been elected. We continue to spend money yet, no new jobs have been created.

Where are these reports available????


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