LA scrambles for help with Jackson service tab

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles spent $1.4 million to provide security, traffic control and other services for Michael Jackson’s memorial service, city officials said Wednesday as they looked for ways to have others help the financially troubled city pick up the bill.

The amount included $1.1 million in overtime pay for the 4,173 officers who worked to secure Staples Center, Forest Lawn cemetery and other areas that attracted fans and members of the media, the Police Department said in a statement.

City officials said the remaining amount covered traffic control, cleanup and other costs related to Tuesday’s public memorial service, which was attended by more than 17,000 fans.

City attorney Carmen Trutanich said his office was investigating how the city can legally press third parties to pick up at least some of the tab.

Trutanich aims to have a report ready for the City Council by Friday, said spokesman John Franklin.

The city has also set up a Web site urging fans to make tax-deductible donations to help defray costs.

Fans have thus far donated $17,000, Matt Szabo, a spokesman for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, said in a statement.

AEG Live, the owner-operator of Staples Center, has not committed any money to the Jackson memorial, which it organized and promoted.

City Controller Wendy Greuel called on the City Council to create a policy declaring who should pay for city services associated with such events.

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