Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's entertainment-tickets problem just moved to the front row: The state Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating his acceptance of 80 or so tickets for events that included Lakers and Dodgers games as well as the Oscar and Grammy awards shows.
The commission's investigative powers were enlisted by local authorities, FPPC spokesman Roman Porter told the Weekly.
"We're cooperatively working with the L.A. Ethics Commission and the D.A.'s office," he said.
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At issue is Villaraigosa's claim that he can accept valuable tickets from entities that have business before City Hall -- the Dodgers organization and the company that owns Staples Center included -- so long as he's conducting official city duties at events.
State and local rules require that he list gifts more than $50 and deny gifts worth more than $420 from entities doing business with his government. Some of the tickets the mayor has accepted were said to be worth $3,000, possibly more, with an LA Weekly investigation concluding that the mayor has accepted at least $50,000 worth of tickets.
"The issue that the FPPC is focused on pertains to one of our regulations dealing with a ceremonial role or duty of an elected official," Porter said.
Read our in-depth look at the mayor's ticket problems.