Amid investigations of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's acceptance of valuable sports and entertainment tickets the man responsible for his scheduling, deputy chief of staff Jimmy Blackman, announced he's stepping down Aug. 13.
Blackman was responsible, in part, for making arrangements for Villaraigosa to be at special events, including the Lakers games and entertainment-awards shows that have gotten the city's leader bad press.
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The mayor's acceptance of more than 80 tickets, which the Weekly calculated could be worth a total of $50,000 or more, has come under investigation and inquiry by the likes of California Fair Political Practices Commission, the county District Attorney's office and the city Ethics Commission.
The issue is whether the mayor should have reported the tickets as gifts in ethics filings. Some of the tickets came from organizations, including the owner of Staples Center, with significant business before the City Council.
Blackman, meanwhile, stated that "after 13 years of public service in the Villaraigosa administration, I've made the very personal decision to move forward and experience new challenges and opportunities in my professional career.''
Villaraigosa said, " ... He will be missed."