Should the deal be approved, it would be the largest fine levied against a sitting public official, at $42,000.
But hopefully, this case will add additional clarity to a gifts policy that some say is confusing and vague.
For instance, Mayor Villariagosa had claimed that because he’d been exercising ceremonial duties at the events, any tickets he did receive shouldn’t count as gifts, but as part of his official responsibilities. However, the Executive Director of the FPPC, Roman Porter, said that while he was performing some official duties, it didn’t rise to the level of ceremonial. Perhaps this ruling will help better define where the line is drawn.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has agreed to pay nearly $42,000 in fines to resolve state and city investigations into his practice of accepting tickets to sports events, concerts and other pricey entertainment activities without reporting them as gifts.
The penalty would be the largest of its kind under California’s ethics law if approved by the state Fair Political Practices Commission and the city Ethics Commission.
In a pact drafted by officials with both agencies, Villaraigosa acknowledged that he had failed to report free tickets to 34 events during his first five years in office, including Los Angeles Lakers games and concerts at such venues as Staples Center, L.A. Live and Universal City’s Gibson Amphitheatre.
Read the full article here.