How soon they forget. It was only three years ago that four
Villaraigosa agreed to pay $42,000 in fines to state and city regulators for taking free tickets from companies that had business with the city and for failing to report the tickets as gifts. Garcetti, along with Councilmen
But the memory of TicketGate must have faded because 12 of the 15 current council members had no qualms about accepting free tickets to the Made in America festival downtown last weekend, despite the fact that concert promoter
The city ethics rules prohibit lawmakers from accepting gifts worth more than $100 from bidders, contractors and others with a financial stake in a city decision. A two-day pass to the concert, which is what most council offices received, was priced at $185.
However, Garcetti's office told Times reporter Emily Alpert-Reyes that the rule didn't apply in this case because the festival was sponsored by the city and so the mayor was legally allowed to receive and hand out the tickets.
The acceptance of the tickets may be legal in this case, but that doesn't mean it was a wise decision.
Garcetti has boasted that he sought out the Made in America festival and helped clear away the usual bureaucracy that slows permitting, street closures and security. The City Council approved a fixed price of $500,000 for setup and security, without knowing how much the event would cost taxpayers. That's special treatment for a company doing business in the city. It may be justifiable treatment, if the concert delivers more in revenue than it cost, but it's still a favor for a company.
Did the mayor or the City Council roll out the red carpet for Live Nation so they could rock out to
When it comes to taking free tickets, city leaders should just say no.