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Jackson memorial: City attorney investigating how L.A. ended up footing the bill

July 8, 2009 |  7:52 am

The Michael Jackson memorial is over, but the debate over the estimated bill to the city of nearly $4 million continues to rage.

Newly elected Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich told the City Council he was investigating how the city ended up on the hook for police costs surrounding the memorial.

He assured the council that his new management team was going to find out how the city got into the position of providing support for the event and how it could recoup some of the money. His staff also is  researching legislation “so we won’t be caught in this lurch again,” he said.

City sources had estimated the cost of policing and other city services at $3.8 million, though officials are still tabulating the final costs. Far fewer fans than expected converged on downtown Los Angeles for the memorial than expected, and the LAPD decided to let about 1,000 officers go home early. 

Before the event, L.A. Councilman Dennis Zine said AEG, the entertainment company that produced the memorial and was handling Jackson's comeback, should pay the city for the costs it incurred. Councilwoman Jan Perry suggested the Jackson family make a contribution.

Of course, at least some of those costs could be recouped with extra tax revenues from the swarm of fans and media reporters who came to L.A. for Jackson's memorial. There were reports of full hotels, but it's unclear exactly how much extra tax revenues the business brought in.

-- Maeve Reston and Andrew Blankstein