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Is Mayor Villaraigosa’s use of free tickets ethical?

by AirTalk®

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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa cheers on the Los Angeles Dodgers against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game One of the NLDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Dodger Stadium on October 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

During the NBA finals, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was frequently spotted enjoying courtside seats at Staples Center for Lakers games and since 2005, he’s reportedly accepted free tickets to over a dozen concerts. His ongoing practice of accepting thousands of dollars in free tickets is currently under investigation by the City Ethics Commission. Villaraigosa argues that he should not have to report his free tickets as gifts since he has been representing Los Angeles and conducting official public business at these events. State law prohibits politicians from accepting over $420 in gifts from a single source in one year. Should the mayor be “on duty” at major LA games? Or must he pay to play?


David Zahniser, staff writer, Los Angeles Times

Bob Stern, President, Center for Governmental Studies

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