Free tickets for elected official alleged

The L.A. Times reports on allegations that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa accepted free tickets to various events.

The Times reported in May that since 2005 Villaraigosa attended dozens of awards shows, concerts and sporting events: sitting courtside next to movie mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg at three Lakers games at Staples Center; sitting with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt in the owner’s box at Dodger Stadium during playoff games; and attending the Academy Awards, the Grammys, the Emmys and the BET Awards.

Courtside seats at regular-season Lakers games cost $3,100 each, according to the Lakers organization. For the last five years combined, the total value of the four tickets Villaraigosa received to the Academy Awards and Governor’s Ball is $21,000, according to the academy.

State and city laws require politicians to report gifts they receive, say who gave them and limit the value of tickets they can accept to $420 from any one source in a year. Elected officials are exempt from those requirements, however, if they conduct official business or have a “ceremonial” role at an event.

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