Council Puts Off Jackson Memorial Inquisition

Council Puts Off Jackson Memorial Inquisition
Sony Pictures

Inquiring minds want to know who approved the city's involvement -- police, street closures, clean-up -- in the Michael Jackson memorial, but those minds are just going to have to wait.

The City Council's Public Safety on Monday postponed its look into the memorial costs. We're told the debate could be picked up again next week or the week after. Councilwoman Jan Perry says she's going to pursue negotiations with the Anschutz Entertainment Group, the organizer of the event, in an attempt to make the company cover the city's tab, estimated to be $3.2 million.

The July 7 memorial, televised as a 90-minute special, has sparked some controversy because the city had to pitch in at a time when the budget is tight and fire stations are being closed intermittently as a result. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has vowed to pursue reimbursement from AEG. Councilman Dennis Zine told LA Weekly he has received a commitment from the company to pitch in already.

Backers of the memorial say the city benefited when tourists and visitors drawn to the Jackson event spent an estimated $4 million.

While superstar memorials will happen in this entertainment capital and, as former police Chief William Bratton argued, we'll just have to deal with it, AEG stands to continue to profit from its interests in Jackson, including a 10 percent state in the profits from the $200 billion concert film This Is It.

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