FOURTH UPDATE Exclusive: Antonio Villaraigosa free tickets are worth $50,000 to $100,000. Full list here of 80 free events; corruption laws ignored
By Tibby Rothman and Jill Stewart
|Did the mayor lose, misplace -- or destroy -- his records?|
L.A. Weekly is publishing below its exclusive ticket price list for the 80 events to which Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa accepted free seats.
But first the hot news from City Hall moments ago. The below is a full rewrite of earlier updates:
Brian Currey, the mayor's attorney, claimed moments ago that Villaraigosa believes that names of corporations and individuals who gave him tickets to more than 50 events do not need to be explained to the public, because his mere attendance is his official work.
They say they do not know who gave the mayor many of his freebies, but that for his $3,000 seats and other gifts to Lakers events, "we believe" much of it came from AEG, NBA and "friends of the mayor."
Good lord! For concerts, Currey says "we believe" he took stuff from the artists and the promoters.
Again, Good lord. Under law, Antonio can't take more than $100 a year from anyone doing biz with the city. Yet he doesn't KNOW who gave him these costly gifts?
What a mess. Currey is making the unique argument that Villaraigosa need merely show his face, and he can ignore anticorruption laws governing taking such freebies as event tickets, meals and so on.
"He [the mayor] thinks it's part of his job," Currey says, insisting "And the Ethics Commission thinks it's part of his job, and I think that most people in L.A. think it's part of his job."
No past mayors, in fact, have shared his view. They paid for their tickets, and largely stayed away from sports events where politicians are rarely welcome and often get booed. In fact, Villaraigosa has been booed.
Yet Currey says seeing the mayor's face helps "bring tourism to Los Angeles."
More bizarrely, Currey spun the mayor's freebies to sports functions as almost a moral need. "If the mayor can't root for his home team, then there's something wrong."
He also made another big stretch, claiming that somehow the mayor brings jobs to L.A. with his behavior. The city is mired in 13 percent to 14 percent unemployment under Villaraigosa, among the worst in the United States.
The mayor's free ticket take is worth $50,000 to $100,000 or more, the Weekly has found. (For more on the blowback to this scandal, see our story, "Villaraigosa's Five-Year Free Ticket Spree," posting at laweekly.com today, June 23, around 4 p.m.)
Our "Antonio Villaraigosa List of 80 Free Tickets" on the next page
appears to show violations of those laws.
Antonio Villaraigosa List of 80 Free Tickets
Date -- Event -- Venue -- Single Ticket Cost (Far higher if mayor took multiple tix to event)
11/3/05 Lakers v. PH Suns Staples Center -- up to $2,100
9/10/05 Aretha Franklin Concert -- cost unknown
11/3/05 Latin Grammys Shrine -- up to $500
4/3/06 Dodger's Opening Day Dodgers Stadium -- up to $400
11/28/06 Lakers vs. Bucks Staples -- up to $2,100
2/6/06 Musi-Cares Pre-Grammy Concert -- cost unknown
2/8/06 Grammy Awards -- cost unknown
2/26/06 Jose Jose Concert -- cost unknown
3/2/06 Carlos Santana Concert for D. Huerta -- cost unknown
3/5/06 78th Academy Awards Kodak Theatre -- $4,200 per seat
4/13/06 Luis Miguel Concert/Presentation -- cost unknown
6/27/06 BET Awards Show Shrine Auditorium -- cost unknown
7/8/06 Bebe, Reyli, Mexican Institiute Hollywood Bowl -- up to $80
7/22/06 Grammy Foundation Dinner/Concert -- cost unknown
7/29/06 Reventon Super Estrella Concert Coliseum -- up to $150
8/15/06 Shakira Concert Staples Center -- Tix started at $19.50
8/26/06 Smokey Robinson Concert Greek Theatre -- up to $80
8/27/06 58th Emmy Awards Shrine Auditorium -- (2) Tix at $1,300 each
9/30/06 Pepe Aguilar Concert -- unknown, but cost in 2010 at Gibson was $135
11/11/06 Vicente Fernandez Concert -- unknown, but cost in 2010 at Gibson was $300
12/22/06 George Lopez Concert -- cost unknown
4/15/07 LA Dodgers Game Dodgers Stadium -- up to $450
1/12/07 Lakers vs. Clippers Staples -- up to $2,200 (floor seats)
1/28/07 13th Annual SAG Awards -- cost unknown
2/3/07 Director's Guild Awards -- mayor presented Aldrich Award, seat cost $175
2/11/07 49th Annual Grammy Awards -- cost unknown
2/17/07 Mana Concert -- cost unknown
2/25/07 79th Annual Academy Awards $4,200 per seat -- entire Villaraigosa family attended
6/26/07 BET Awards Show -- cost unknown
9/16/07 59th Annual Prime Time Emmy Awards -- 2 tix up to $1,300 each
10/3/07 AFI's 40th Anniversary Celebration -- cost unknown
11/18/07 American Music Awards -- cost unknown
11/20/07 Mary J. Blige Concert Nokia Theatre -- up to $95
3/29/08 LA Dodgers Game Dodgers Stadium -- up to $500
3/31/08 Dodger's Opening Day Dodgers Stadium -- up to $500
10/13/08 LA Dodgers Game Dodgers Stadium -- playoff prices N/A
10/15/08 LA Dodgers Game Dodgers Stadium -- playoff prices N/A
3/28/08 Lakers vs. Grizzlies Staples Center -- up to $2,300 (floor seats)
4/11/08 Lakers vs. New Orleans Staples -- up to $2,000 (floor seats)
5/23/08 Lakers vs. Spurs Center -- up to $3,400 (for courtside)
1/27/08 14th Annual SAG Awards -- cost unknown
2/10/08 50th Annual Grammy Awards -- cost unknown
2/15/08 Gloria Trevi Concert Gibson Amphitheatre -- up to $94.75
2/24/08 80th Annual Academy Awards -- $4,200 per seat (may have taken multiple tix)
4/18/08 Placido Domingo's 40th Anniversary at LA Opera -- up to $1,750
5/10/08 Juanes Concert Nokia Theatre -- $125
6/24/08 BET Awards Show -- cost unknown
7/16/08 ESPY Awards -- cost unknown
9/6/08 Frankie Beverly and Maze Concert -- cost unknown
9/6/08 LA Opera-Opening Weekend -- up to $250
9/11/08 Alejandro Fernandez Concert -- cost unknown
9/21/08 60th Primetime Emmy Awards -- (2) tix at $1,300 each
9/28/08 Luis Miguel Concert -- cost unknown
10/16/08 Tina Turner Concert -- cost unknown
11/16/08 Vicente Fernandez Concert Gibson Amphitheatre -- up to $200.50
4/13/09 Dodger's Opening Day Dodgers Stadium -- up to $500
6/28/09 LA Dodgers Game Dodgers Stadium -- up to $500
7/21/09 LA Dodgers Game Dodgers Stadium -- up to $500
10/7/09 LA Dodgers Game Dodgers Stadium -- playoff prices N/A
10/16/09 LA Dodgers Game Dodgers Stadium -- playoff prices N/A
3/16/09 Lakers vs. Minnesota Staples Center -- up to $260 (possible suite)
3/17/09 Lakers vs. 76ers Staples Center -- up to $2,500 (floor seats)
6/4/09 Lakers v. Orlando Playoffs Staples Center -- up to $4,200 (courtside)
6/7/09 Lakers v. Orlando Playoffs Staples Center -- up to $4,200 (courtside )
10/27/09 Lakers v. Clipper(opening night) Staples Center -- more than $2,500 (floor)
1/11/09 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards -- cost unknown
2/8/09 51st Annual Grammy Awards -- cost unknown
2/22/09 81st Annual Academy Awards -- $4,200 per seat
5/20/09 American Idol Finale -- cost unknown
7/13/09 Beyonce Concert Staples Center -- up to $200
9/12/09 Alejandro Fernandez -- cost unknown
9/20/09 61st Primetime Emmy Awards -- (2) tix $1,300 each
10/8/09 LA Philharmonic-Opening night Walt Disney Hall -- cost unknown, scalper tix up to $15,000
10/25/09 U-2 Concert Rose Bowl ***Mayor paid for this one event
4/13/10 Dodger's Opening Day Dodgers Stadium -- up to $500
5/2/10 Lakers vs. Utah Staples Center -- up to $4,100 (courtside)
1/17/10 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards -- cost unknown
1/30/10 Director's Guild of America 62nd Dinner -- mayor scheduled, but didn't attend
1/31/10 52nd Annual Grammy Awards Staples Center -- cost unknown
3/7/10 82nd Academy Awards Kodak -- $4,200 per seat
5/26/10 American Idol Finale Nokia -- not avail to public, scalper tix $5,000
Update: In response to intense interest, here are answers to your key questions:
We often can't cite precise ticket values because the mayor kept
only spotty records. In the list, we often use the highest known price because
that's Villaraigosa's MO -- top seats. But some prices we called
"unknown" because the cost would be astronomical, like sitting with the
McCourts. Our $50,000 to $100,000 figure may be conservative.
This just in: Investigative reporter Eric Longabardi of the Enterprise Report discovered new Clippers, Galaxy, Lakers and other events Villaraigosa got into but didn't divulge to the Ethics Commission. See Eric's site for the newly unearthed events.
Readers, if you have information about the $ value of tickets to events marked "cost unknown," please tell us in "Write Comment" below. Comments are anonymous. If you want to reach the writers please email firstname.lastname@example.org