Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Villaraigosa's free-tickets fine made official by state ethics commission

Antonio Villaraigosa and Lu Parker attend a game between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on May 2, 2010.

The Fair Political Practices Commission made it official Monday, voting to fine Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa $21,000 for accepting free tickets to various athletic events, concerts and awards shows without reporting them as gifts.

The fine was approved without discussion, said Deputy Mayor Sarah Sheahan.

The vote was cast one day before the city’s Ethics Commission was scheduled to consider its own $20,849 penalty regarding the mayor’s violation of the city’s gift law, which prohibits elected officials from receiving any gift worth more than $100 from an entity seeking business from City Hall.

When combined, the two fines cover Villaraigosa’s appearance at 34 events, including Los Angeles Dodgers games, Los Angeles Lakers games, a Spice Girls concert and various awards shows. Villaraigosa said last year that he did not need to report his attendance at those events as gifts because he was performing official, or ceremonial, duties as mayor when he attended them.

Four members of the City Council also face a combined $13,300 in city fines resulting from their own appearances at Hollywood awards shows and dinners. The Ethics Commission also takes up those proposed fines Tuesday.


4 L.A. councilmen fined $13,300 for taking free tickets to Hollywood events

-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall

Photo: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Lu Parker attend a Lakers game at Staples Center in May 2010. Credit: Noel Vasquez / AFP/Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (22)

They should have thrown him in jail for violating the set rules/laws that are established for everyone to follow. I'm glad though that in this case, the citizens of L.A. have the last laugh.

"Aw, come on!"

I'd waive the money and just order him to take out ads in national papers that say he attended a Spice Girls concert.

To me this is one of the perks that the Mayor should get. I think it adds to the sporting events & galas. After all he does represent the city of L.A. Seems like the public was going after him for something that really doe not matter. Its the trips these politicals get is what should be looked at & stopped. All the trips to look at the bus that is used in Sweden....these cost millions the cities do not have. Along with the time away from business here.

Looking at Mayor V and the rest of the Los Angeles City Government reminds me of watching an episode of Bonanza. We need Ben Cartwright and the boys to ride into town and clean up this corrupt bunch out to line their own pockets with town money.

I guess he will pay the fines using his campaign funds which are funded by the same rich friends of his who is giving him all these freebies. Villagrosa is just another shameless politician of our corrupt system. He should be voted out for not showing any integrity.

This is chump change when it comes to payoffs. If the ethics committie wanted real money payoffs they would have a audit of the city treasures books along with the Mayors bank records in this country and in foreign countries. They would check the people the Mayor hires at his home for legal papers and the aid they recieve from the State and federal tax payers. Check on how many people he has in offices that do nothing but work to get him relected to another office and who pays for that. Audit all the purks he recieves from his car to the gym to his retirement and health insurance. Check into how many companies have him on their boards where he recieves a advisory gift. Where does he get his clothes and who pays for that. We could go on but none is interested in the real money.

The reporter failed to mention that the money to pay the fine is not comming out of Villaraigosa's pocket... It is comming out of his campaign fund. That should be illegal!

It's not enough punishment for his actions. He lied about performing official duties. What else has he done that we don't about yet. Impeach him. Our city has had enough.

Removal from office would be the first action that needs to be set in motion.

whart happen to the other chick the newscaster he was dating while being married?

glad he's paying........ but VERY DISAPPOINTED ON HOW MUCH! .. that will only pay for 1pair of laker tickets! what about all the other free tickets!!! ... LET'S BE FAIR!

Yeah impeach the jerk i cant stand is hipocercy!!!!

It's about time that something is being done! I was at a Dodger game last year and I paid a lot of good, hard-earned money for the tickets I bought. I noticed the mayor sitting behind home base with his daughter and his girlfriend. He was NOT there to carry on any "official city business." It was really bothering me as I sat there watching him enjoying the game for free. Luckily, he and his entourage left a bit early (probably because the Dodgers were losing). He was bringing the Dodgers bad luck. All this mayor does is take advantage of opportunites (that are not his right) to impress his girlfriends. He needs to pay like everyone else does. Not only should he be fined, but should be jailed for this crime.

He's yet another politician taking advantage of the system and our tax monies. He shows up at media events to get his name and picture in the paper (when in fact, he was not even invited to the event). Does he actually "do" any work??????????

Dirty crooks, just like all the other politicans. "It wasn't a gift I was doing my service". I am sorry what is the service at a spice girls concert? you are nothing but a crook, you politicans are ALL crooks. I did not want to discriminate. we need to take them out now!

I hate to say this, but he should be termed for lying on his expense reports and not reporting them. This only causes me concern for what else is he hiding.. I mean the man was having an affair with a reporter and hiding this...Now this? Are we kidding... He should be termed immediately...

Here is a great question:::: Why is he accepting freebies???

Only in L.A. do unethical politicians get to keep there jobs and avoid jail after violating city and state laws. Its not the first time for some of them.
Receiving gifts from people doing buisness with the city is a bribe. Anybody else would be in jail. It seems that celebrities, politicians, and rich people seem to be above the law in Los Angeles.

Only in L.A.

this guys an embarrassment to the Hispanic Community. he would rather be a celebrity than an actual public servant.

"To me this is one of the perks that the Mayor should get. I think it adds to the sporting events & galas. After all he does represent the city of L.A."

It may very well be a perk...but disclose it to the ethics committee beforehand...This isn't corrupt Mexico...

If it has been determined that he should not have received the tickets to those events, then it should also be said that he should pay the City back for those hours he spent at those events. If he was officially there, then he is on City time...don't have any problems with that. However, if he is not officially there, then he should be on his own time...meaning he should not be paid while he is there.

Unlike other elected officials who were successful business people prior to being elected to their political post, our mayor's ascent to wealth and influence has been achieved at the expense of naive tax payer. He lives a lavish lifestyle without a conscious, at the expense of the fools that are enamored by his cheesy smile. Let them eat cake!


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
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.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: