September 16, 2021
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first_imgLos Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Tuesday defended his use of a private corporate jet to fly to Detroit last week for the funeral of civil-rights leader Rosa Parks. “Because of the short notice, the mayor has to use a private plane to fly back there as the city’s representative,” spokeswoman Janelle Erickson said. “It did not violate any city or state laws, and the mayor is reimbursing the company for his fare and that of (Deputy Mayor) Carolyn Webb de Macias.” Villaraigosa was invited to give a eulogy, joining former President Clinton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and others to pay tribute to Parks. Erickson said the $438 that would have been paid for a commercial flight for Villaraigosa and De Macias will be paid to Ameriquest to cover their air fares. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The money will come from the mayor’s officeholder account, she said. “This was a unique situation, and there wasn’t time to book a commercial flight,” Erickson said. “And it might happen again in the future if the mayor is asked to be somewhere at a moment’s notice.” Erickson said two Los Angeles police officers, who are part of the mayor’s security detail, were also on the flight. Their fares will be covered by the LAPD travel budget, she said. Ameriquest is a financial services firm that contributed to Villaraigosa while he was Assembly speaker and it hired him as a consultant in 2001 and 2002. The company – which is facing lawsuits on allegations of inflating costs to borrowers – recently hired former Assemblyman Mike Roos as a lobbyist to the city. Roos was one of the first city commissioners removed by Villaraigosa after he took office July 1 as part of his campaign pledge to remove lobbyists from city panels. Roos had been serving on the Recreation and Parks Commission. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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