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Council to Trutanich: Wrap up AEG investigation

December 11, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The Los Angeles City Council tells the city attorney it's time to wrap up his investigation into the public cost of the Michael Jackson memorial.The controversy has already dragged on for nearly six months. But the city attorney is refusing to show his hand.

The Los Angeles City Council Friday accepted a $900,000 donation from AEG, the owners of the Staples Center, for costs related to the Lakers parade.

The cost of the Michael Jackson memorial is more than $3 million. AEG wants to make a donation.

But L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has said publicly there might be criminal charges stemming from the Jackson memorial.

Tim Leiwicke, head of AEG, has said to Trutanich: "Prove it or drop it."

"I don't think we can have fruitful discussions on a possible donation until the issue of potential litigation is resolved," said L.A. City Councilwoman Jan Perry.

The council would like to recover part of the cost of the memorial for a city that keeps going deeper in debt. But when the memorial was held there was no city law to cover such events. However, AEG has indicated a willingness to help if the threat of litigation is removed.

Members of the city council told an assistant city attorney to report back to his boss.

"There is a demand to find a closure one way or the other then we can pursue a donation or reimbursement to the city of Los Angeles," said L.A. City Councilman Dennis Zine.

There was no comment at this point from the city attorney.

Councilwoman Janice Hahn would like to see reimbursement for the Jackson memorial but thinks the city is a world-class city obligated to pay for big events.

The city is hurting for money. AEG has expressed a willingness to reimburse it for the Jackson memorial. Now the only Christmas present the city attorney can deliver is a decision on whether it will file criminal charges.


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