By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Based on documents obtained under the California Public Records Act, this paper found that Villaraigosa spends only 11 percent of his time on core city business, such as learning about policy issues, signing legislation, or meeting with department heads, community leaders or his chief of staff.
Two decades ago, similar behavior in the waning days of Tom Bradley's administration brought that popular mayor strong criticism. The aging Bradley had begun to spend a great deal of time at ribbon cuttings, banquets and other ceremonial events. But in those days, L.A. had a weaker mayoral system than it does now, so Bradley had fewer real powers than Villaraigosa enjoys.
This mayor has been given a measure of political cover for his approach to the job by the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times, whose editorials have argued that his devotion to ceremonial and self-promotional activities is good for L.A.
Yet it was a Times newsman, Willon, who determined that the mayor uses his largely ceremonial position to justify a lavish lifestyle financed on somebody else's dime. Willon spent months reviewing thousands of photographs of Villaraigosa at sporting and cultural events, and pored over five years of his personal schedule.
— Clarissa Wei also contributed to this report
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