LOS ANGELES, Calif.–Four Los Angeles City Councilmembers will pay a total of $13,300 in fines for accepting free tickets to various events, such as the Oscars and Emmy Awards, according to city Ethics Commission documents released today.
The commission is expected to approve the fines of Eric Garcetti, Jose Huizar, Herb Wesson and Tony Cardenas at its meeting Tuesday.
Garcetti will pay a fine of $4,800 for accepting tickets to the 2007 Emmy Awards and the 2007 and 2008 Oscars. Huizar will pay $2,100 for accepting tickets to the 2007 Academy Awards. Wesson will pay $3,900 for accepting tickets to the BET Awards in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Cardenas will pay $2,500 for accepting tickets to the 2008 Emmy Awards.
The council members violated the city’s Government Ethics Ordinance, which prohibits city officials from accepting gifts of more than $100 from restricted sources, including lobbyists and individuals or businesses seeking to do business with the city. It is also a violation of city law for restricted sources to give such gifts.
“While I paid the full cost of the awards show tickets, I messed up when it came to the dinners afterward,” Garcetti said. “That’s my mistake, and I’m personally paying for the cost of these three dinners now to clear it up.”
Garcetti said he plans to pay for his fines out of his own pocket.
As a result, the city Ethics Commission will also approve fines for the groups that gave the various tickets, including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ($13,250); Academy of Television Arts & Sciences ($7,900); Black Entertainment Television ($3,900) and AEG ($799). The Recording Academy, which produces the Grammy Awards, will pay an $8,300 fine.
On Tuesday, the commission will also approve the roughly $21,000 fine for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has also agreed to pay a similar amount to the state Fair Political Practices Commission.