The cost of Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley's legal defense in a series of conflict-of-interest investigations has surpassed $750,000, according to a new report released Thursday.
The report on fund-raising activity by a committee set up to pay for the mayor's legal defense showed that Bradley still owes about $310,000 to a team of lawyers from three Los Angeles firms.
In the first six months of this year, Bradley took in $140,000 toward his legal defense. He has raised a total of $560,000 since the scandal surrounding his Administration erupted last year.
Bradley's spokesman, Bill Chandler, announced that another $150,000 is expected to be raised for the fund during a reception this month. He said the event is sold out, "a sign of continuing strong support for the mayor."
Records show that much of the money collected has come from prominent city lobbyists and Bradley's political appointees, or from special-interest groups that have business dealings with the city.
Among those contributing $1,000 in recent months--the maximum permitted--were CH2M Hill California, an engineering firm with large city contracts; City Centre Development, a real estate partnership developing a huge downtown project, and H.J. Russell, Felker Ward and Jesse Hill, a trio of Atlanta businessmen with interests in various airport concession contracts.
The report also reflects how the nature of the Bradley investigation has shifted in the past several months.
Last year, the bulk of the mayor's legal expenses were run up by the criminal defense firm of Fogel, Feldman, Ostrov, Ringer & Klevens during a period when the city attorney was probing the mayor's ties to local financial firms. That inquiry ended without criminal charges, although Bradley agreed to pay a $20,000 fine for not properly disclosing personal investments.
This year, most of the legal expenses have shifted to the firm of Miller & O'Connell, specialists in securities cases who are representing Bradley in an ongoing U.S. Justice Department probe of the mayor, including possible insider trading violations.