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Water district officials toasted with $55 bottles of wine, stayed at $400-a-night hotel

March 7, 2011 |  7:40 am

Linking LAWINE AND DINE: Officials at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California appeared to spare little expense on trips in the last few years. The San Diego Union-Tribune reviewed expense records and found several cases of luxury spending by officials, including one official who stayed at the ritzy W Hotel in New York, at $419 a night. Another case:

The biggest bills were often on days when water leaders gathered for meals and Metropolitan picked up the tab -- such as the 20-person lunch in San Francisco in January 2010 that totaled $1,861.50, including six bottles of wine at about $55 each. That same month, San Diego’s water rates jumped 7.75 percent because city leaders said they needed to recoup the rising cost of water from Metropolitan.

...AND IN WEHO: More questionable expense have been uncovered at West Hollywood City Hall, including fancy meals and $370 Mont Blanc pens. (LA Weekly).

ART THEFT: More street art by Banksy stolen in L.A. (LA Observed).

NOT OPEN LATE: Residents fight a plan for extended entertainment hours at Santa Monica Place mall, reports the Santa Monica Daily Press:

If approved, patrons of Santa Monica Place could drink on eight of nine open-air patio spaces of restaurants until 2 a.m. or when the food kitchens closed. As drafted, restaurants could continue to serve alcohol at those hours seven days a week. Currently, guests must move to the indoor portion of the restaurants at midnight to continue imbibing.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Santa Monica Place. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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