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California ethics agency investigating L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa's acceptance of free tickets

The state’s ethics watchdog agency has opened an investigation to determine whether Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was engaged in his "ceremonial role or duty’’ when he accepted thousands of dollars in free tickets to sporting events and concerts, officials said Tuesday.

Villaraigosa was notified of the probe late Monday by the state Fair Political Practices Commission. It had been requested by local authorities who were already investigating the issue, according to Roman Porter, executive director of the state agency.

"Due to the unique nexus of state and local laws, the FPPC was asked to open an investigation into allegations that Mayor Villaraigosa may have received reportable gifts and that some of these may exceed gift limits," Porter told The Times.

"The L.A. Ethics Commission, L.A. district attorney’s office and FPPC have separate jurisdictions and we are cooperatively working together to appropriately and fully investigate this matter."

Calls to the mayor's office for comment were not immediately returned. But Villaraigosa has said that his acceptance of free tickets to 85 athletic events, award shows and concerts is not subject to state disclosure law because he attended as part of his official duties as mayor.

The FPPC has jurisdiction over the state law that defines what constitutes ceremonial duties and what is exempt from disclosure.

The state regulation says: "A ticket or pass provided to an official for his or her admission to an event at which the official performs a ceremonial role or function on behalf of the agency is not a gift to the official."

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

 
Comments () | Archives (11)

I know how you can respond, Tony: bring up the boycott of Arizona again. That'll throw everyone off your trail. You'll be attending a Dodger playoff game, gratis, in no time at all.

He's the mayor of LA, so what! Go after the multinationals and top 1 percent who pay no taxes - go after the banksters who are sinking our country. Get your priorities straight!

This isn't old time Chicago, but it's getting close to Mexican style corruption. It's all about the appearance of "Conflict Of Interest", and it stinks.

Didn't the guy attend 88 events, (that can be documented that is). 88 events! 12 months in a year.. some of these seats at sporting events were worth over $1000. Limit on acceptance of gifts is $420/year. That's right, $420/year.

Legislation to crack down on concert tickets, meal tabs, greens fees, Sacramento Kings tickets and other gifts to California lawmakers has been killed before reaching the Assembly floor.

The derailment marks the second time in two years that bills to restrict gift-giving by interest groups have been shelved with no organized opposition and no lawmaker voting against them.

More than 4,635 gifts totaling $256,789, excluding travel, were given to the state's 120 legislators during an 18-month period ending July 1 by Capitol interest groups, records show.
AB 1412 basically would have barred some of the state's most powerful political players from buying legislators much more than a few cups of coffee or a Big Mac each month.

Torrico's bill would have lowered the state's limit on gift-giving to legislators from $420 per year to just $10 per month from any single source.
All gifts exceeding $50 are required to be disclosed.

http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/politicians/articles/?storyId=32482

Mayor V, not only corrupt, but stupid!

Our Mayor is a phony and only interested in his celebrity!!!! I look at him on the red carpet with his girl friend and LAUGH!!!!! I hope they nail him! I have seen him leave celebrity parties!! with a driver....he is only interested in what perks he can get...married three times a cheater!!! and this is our Mayor Puleeeeze! get him he deserves to be put in front of the public as a disgrace!

And we all know how these investigations turn out. ' Found nothing' It's like the mafia looking into corruption of....The Mafia. Pure and simple! What a joke this guy is and what is he still doing in office. Politicians who are suppose to be for the people, once they get into office they think it's a free rein on getting whatever they can for themselves! All of them are crooks, believe it!!

I thought they were talking about the Mayor, they meant....Tony Freebeeraigosa

JediRock:
Yes, he is the inept corrupt mayor of LA, and the worst. His free rides have cost the tax payers money, and that has been reported in the Times. Giving breaks to AEG, and Eli Broad is a gift of public funds. AEG had a tax break of $ 226 million while our taxes, and fees were raised.
Fed Up:
This is not old time Chicago, but it is Mexican style corruption, and we are paying for it. Our city is near bankruptcy thanks to him and the rubber stamp city council. I hope he will leave office, but I know his pint size ego would not do that.

interesting to note that villaraigosa's girlfriend, ms. "tv news anchor", failed to investigate and report this important story, and it was happening right under her, uh, nose!

excellent journalistic enterprise, ms. parker. hope you enjoyed the shows and games.

The only picture of Tony Villaraigosa that I want to see is him in an orange jumpsuit as he stands before a judge for his sentencing.

Okay so we know he "takes gifts" and doesn't report it.....(Fraud)....Now when is someone going to investigate his & his councilmembers continued misspending of the city budget (or lack of budget)...When is someone gonna pull the accounting books and see where the money is going...Mr Mayor and all the Council Members...News Flash....LA IS BROKE...STOP SPENDING WHAT WE DON't HAVE!! And Mr Mayor stop schmoozin like you are a celebrity and start working to fix your mistakes!! You work for US...you rememeber who "we"are?..refresher...we are your bosses..the residents of LA. So GET TO WORK Antonio..and same for everyone of you on the Council...You all work for us!! Get to Work and stop spending!! Mr Mayor... you don't have time to be going to 81 events in 12 months time when you have work unfinished at the office! I hope he gets caught on whatever illegal activities he is up to behind the disguise of Mayor, cuz he has to be doing something illegal to have LA so screwed up!


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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