In an apparent bid to sidestep the kind of controversy that has dogged Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's acceptance of tens of thousands of dollars worth of sports and entertainment tickets, Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck says he's going to pay for tickets to the Academy Awards early this year because he attended as a private citizen.

Beck released a statement about the tickets late Wednesday after news broke on the Enterprise Report website about his acceptance of the Oscar passes.

He said in statement that a request for information about the value of the tickets has been forwarded to the Academy and that once the price is determined Beck will pay up out of his own pocket.

It's not clear to us that Beck has to abide by the same rules as Villaraigosa, who's elected, but his spokeswoman, Mary Grady, said earlier this week that ” … the chief will report” the value of the tickets “when he files his ethics forms with the city and state.”

Villaraigosa has been in hot water over his own acceptance of tickets to the Oscars, Grammy Awards, Lakers games and Dodgers games. State and local law prohibits him from accepting gifts worth more than $420 from entities that have business before the city. The Academy, the owner of the Lakers and the owners of the Dodgers all have business before the city.

But the mayor has argued that if he attends an event in his official capacity as L.A.'s leader, he doesn't have to consider the tickets as gifts. They simply get his body where it needs to be.

The Weekly determined that those tickets could be worth a total of $50,000 and more.

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us.

LA Weekly