Facing questions about his handling of free tickets for Lakers games and other high-profile events, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is seeking a legal opinion on whether he must report such items as gifts on his financial disclosure documents.
Villaraigosa has previously insisted he does not have to report complimentary tickets to events where he performs an official function – such as presenting a proclamations – because those are exempt from disclosure under state law.
However, with a new controversy swirling over the issue, Villaraigosa's staff asked the office of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and the city Ethics Commission for advice on whether he should report the tickets.
Questions were raised after the mayor was shown courtside at a Lakers game, where tickets generally run $3,100. The mayor told KTTV-Channel 11 that the tickets were a gift from either AEG or Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks, but that he had performed a ceremonial function at the game.
Spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton said the mayor decided to request a legal opinion because of the inquiries.
"We believe the mayor has complied with all applicable laws and regulations," she said.
The mayor's staff also reviewed his calendar since he took office and determined that Villaraigosa has attended 13 Lakers games and 12 Dodgers games. He also has attended the Oscar, Emmy and Grammy awards, in addition to numerous concerts.
In 2006, the mayor reported receiving a ticket to the Academy Awards and receiving a $100 ticket discount.
It has been estimated the value of the awards show tickets is $21,000.
The mayor's disclosure form lists other items he has received while in office such as coffee mugs and T-shirts.