In office just a week, LA City Attorney Carmen
“Nuch” Trutanich boldly appeared before
the LA City Council Tuesday and declared he would get to the bottom of the Michael Jackson fiasco.
Taking the extraordinary step of appearing during the public comment period just like Zuma Dogg, Nuch laid down the law on the city spending millions of dollars for police and other services in
support of the Michael Jackson Memorial at
He vowed to investigate who authorized
spending the money at a time when the city is carrying a $320 million deficit into the new fiscal year –a time when the Mayor, City Council President and Police Chief are all out of the country.
In a matter-of-fact and friendly manner, Nuch said he has a plan to recoup whatever the city spent for round-the-clock police on a holiday weekend and on Tuesday when the 3,000 cops on duty outnumbered the crowd outside Staples Center.
His final comment left no doubt about where he stands.: Nuch said he would back to the Council on Friday, in private session if need be, to discuss his investigation and plans — and to propose legislation to make sure something
like this never happens again.
The Mystery: Who Approved LA Paying the Bill?
Councilwoman Jan Perry is quite an actress — acting mayor and acting City Council president at the same time.
And what a time it was: The Michael Jackson Extravaganza.
To all appearances, it was Perry — as the woman in charge with the Mayor and City Council President junketing overseas — who gave the green light for the city to pick up the multi-million dollar tab for police and other services needed because of AEG’s decision to hold the Michael Jackson Memorial at its Staples Center.
At first, Perry defended the expenditure which comes at a time the city is operating with a $320 million hole in its budget in the new fiscal year and has to borrow $1.1 billion – a quarter of its annual operating budget – just to meet cash flow demands.
But was it really Perry who made the call? Or the mayor’s office? Or even Police Chief William Bratton?
Councilman Dennis Zine told a meeting of San Fernando Valley Republicans Tuesday night that Perry was “kept out of the loop” in the decision-making process that led to the city’s decision that providing around-the-clock police security on overtime during the long July 4 weekend and extensive planning for a massive crowd outside Staples for Tuesday’s Memorial Service.
He accused AEG, owner of Staples and promoter of Jackson’s planned revival tour, of hyping claims that hundreds of thousands of Michael Jackson fans would show up as part of its strategy of profiteering from the King of Pop’s death. In fact, the 3,000 cops on hand — a third of the LAPD force — outnumbered the fans.
Zine went so far as to suggest the lottery for tickets to the service was part of AEG’s strategy and the firm would cash in on the 1.6 email addresses submitted for the 11,000 tickets that were made available to the public.
Tim Leiweke, who’s in charge of Staples and other AEG operations in LA and one of the city’s most influential powerbrokers, was the target of much of Zine’s attack.
Leiweke has rebuffed demands that AEG pay the city’s costs which could run as high as $4 million and sharply criticized Zine.
“There should be a thing called common decency,” Leiweke said. “This could have waited until after the family was through the memorial. It shows no class at all. Beware the man who shouts while standing on another man’s casket.”