Police fundraiser ruins lawn; neighbors peeved

LOS ANGELES The front of a new eco-friendly LAPD headquarters in downtown L.A. is nothing short of beautiful. However, on the south side of the building there's open space that used to be a place to relax in the green grass, particularly for loft dwellers next door and their dogs. That is until things turned ugly.

"This is disgusting," said L.A. resident Al Robles. "You know, it's supposed to be our city building, and you're looking at this grass and it's dying?"

"I think it's quite awful," said Debra Chowdhury, who works downtown. "I'm a homeowner myself, so just to work out here, and knowing that the building is quite new and then to look at the yard, is just very embarrassing."

So what happened here? Last fall a huge tent went up here for a /*Los Angeles Police Foundation*/ fundraiser. The fundraiser earned about a million dollars, money used to improve the police department.

But city officials say that fundraiser left the grass trampled and destroyed, a brown mess. City officials are demanding someone pay to re-plant the grass.

Now the insurance company representing the firm hired to put on the fundraiser has reportedly balked at paying the $12,000 to replant the grass.

"I'm upset, and I think we should all be upset," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "We put a lot of money into that police administration building."

Late Friday afternoon, Eyewitness News talked to the police foundation, and they said they'll pick up the total tab to replace the grass. They said they'll get landscapers out to get the job done as soon as possible. A happy, green ending.

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