Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Criminal Charges Possible In The Michael Jackson Funeral Fiasco

Forgive me if you don't live in Los Angeles, but I have to go on another rant about paying for the funeral of Michael Jackson. I want to make it clear upfront that I am willing for taxpayers to pay half. I have no problems with that at all. It is the other half for which I bitch.

First, all everyone heard about the entire time leading up to and immediately after the funeral was that it cost approximately $4M. That figure was everywhere. Suddenly, that number dropped all the way down to $1.4M. I actually think it cost more than $4M. I know it cost more than $1.4M. Just the police alone cost $1.1M. Are they trying to say the rest of the funeral only cost $300K? And I also want to know if you can get all of that for $1.4M, then what in the hell do celebrities spend their money on when they have a $1M wedding? Think about that.

The next item on my list is the fact that AEG just sold the footage of the last rehearsal Michael gave prior to his death. It was sold for between $50M-$60M to Sony. So, now that you are so flush with cash AEG, how about shelling out the money to pay for the funeral? Are you going to split the $60M with the tax payers? No, but you want us to foot the bill for the funeral and I bet there may have been some exclusive AEG footage of the funeral that was included in the deal with Sony and so if that is true then you used taxpayer money to benefit your company.

Finally, the City Council yesterday learned that there has been possible criminal activity in relation to the funeral and that one of the reasons it cost so much was that people were taking advantage of the fact the city would pay. $50,000 was spent on sandwiches for police officers. Now, granted there were 4,000 police helping out on the event, but if every one of them ate a sandwich that would still be a $12 sandwich. I'm guessing there was a little pad to that bill and there is probably a lot more where it came from.


.robert said...

If it had happened in Detroit the sandwiches would have cost $40 each.

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand why the tax payers of California have to pay for this??

hromaki said...

Not to stray from the MJ coverage, but I wonder if that "padding the bill" happens all over California? It seems there is so much money generated in CA, from the entertainment industry to agriculture to manufacturing to shipping, and yet the state is now being forced to have their governor autograph and sell state property to balance the budget. Something's just not right out there.

Now! said...

This is why California is bankrupt and, unfortunately, Obama is now taking the same approach to the federal budget. Just spend. Somebody else is paying for it.

surfer said...

I heard yesterday that 90% of the $50-$60 million will go to the Jackson estate, and the remaining 10% to AEG.

Even if that's the case, I think AEG should cough it up, for so many reasons.

lmnop123 said...

From Eonline July 13th:

"Los Angeles can pay for its own damn star-studded spectacles, thank you.

So says Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who returned from vacation last week to find that the councilwoman acting as mayor in his absence urged people to donate money toward last week's Michael Jackson memorial, which cost the city an estimated $1.4 million, most of that going to the L.A. Police Department for overtime expenses.

"This is a world-class city, and we provide fire and police protection, period. The idea that we would charge the family for a funeral is nonsensical," he said during his first public appearance today, calling the website set up by his office to solicit donations "ridiculous."

With that being said, the website (which was good for about $35,000 from civilians' pockets) stopped accepting money at 1 p.m. on Friday, according to Villaraigosa's spokesman, Matt Szabo.

It was acting Mayor Jan Perry who thought up the donation idea while Villaraigosa was traveling in South Africa. But it was Councilman Dennis Zine who was especially hot under the collar when he thought about cash-strapped taxpayers being held responsible for the expenditure in these economically iffy times.

Estimating the cost to be more like $3.9 million, Zine demanded that Staples Center owner AEG Live pick up the tab (which it did, along with the Jackson family, for what went on inside the arena). "


That explains the 1.4 million dollar vs. 4mil. and no it appears the taxpayers WILL NOT be expected to help cover the bill.

Marna Palmer said...

Again, I don't see why we even have to cover one CENT of that funeral. I am not an MJ fan. His death is sad, sure, like it is when anyone died, but did it merit the circus it turned into? Absolutely not. And why should I, a California resident, have to contribute financially to a funeral I had no part of? If I die tomorrow are all the taxpayers going to help pay for MY funeral? Nope. So why should I help pay for his? If this was a political figure or someone like Mother Theresa I'd understand tax payers helping to pay for it a bit more, because those are people who's actions directly benefit our community. But MJ was a celebrity. An entertainer. Why the hell is he being treated like some life changing saint?!

GladysKravitz said...

I don't understand why the city of LA would pay anything for anyone's funeral. I understand the need for police protection, but it's like the pap situation: at some point, the person who is waving their arms around, begging for attention, needs to pay for their own police protection.

That said, and I hate to contradict Enty, $12 a head for catering is CHEAP. I figure it wasn't just a sandwich, but probably a bag of chips and a soda, too. I think Enty hasn't checked out the cost of catering lately. I'd be thrilled to get anything for $12 per person.

emailchallenged said...

how about do what 99% of families do when someone dies..they pay for it themselves!!!! your telling me the jackson family can't pay their own son's funeral???!!!

kimmypie1 said...

SFG - ditto a thousand times over!

Even if I wasn't a California resident, I would still agree with you.

MJ was a talented person, but that does not make him a GOOD person.

Robyn....but call me Rob said...

You took the words right out of my mouth Enty!

Mackenzie said...

When I cater lunch at the office it costs $6.00 per sandwich on a tray. If I get boxed lunches they cost about $9.75 each. Bottled drinks are about $1.25 each on top of that. That's $11 a head if I order a boxed lunch and drink for everyone at a meeting. This is in VA and that doesn't include the 10.5% sales tax. I can see it costing $12 a head to feed police officers sandwiches in CA.

TinselSass said...

Enty, you are my favorite muckraker! Thanks for keeping this abuse of public funds - and trust - in the spotlight.

bionic bunny! said...

enty, i'm actually surprised that you're willing for the taxpayers to pay half!

taxpayers sat in the traffic that the funeral caused.
AEG could have charged for the tickets instead of having an online raffle.
this was NOT his funeral. there was a private family service held at forest lawn before this circus.
the taxpayers were not ASKED whether or not they wanted to front the bill for this, and our taxes have already been raised to the max.
now, i have no problem with feeding the cops. i wouldn't have a problem with the amount of money spent.
i DO have a problem with the fact that the company that provided the food was located in BIG BEAR, which is not even in L.A. county, so even that amount of money was taken out of L.A. and yes, the food was supposedly a couple of sandwiches, 2 drinks, chips, some fruit, other stuff. it's been claimed that nobody else could provide that amount of food that quickly, but i don't believe that. big bear is not a big town, not to demean the company that provided the food, they were only doing business.
for the mayor to come in and state that the taxpayers WILL pay for this, and that's the bottom line....
well, the mister heard on the radio, that AEG or their affiliates donated to the mayor's campaign fund.
whether or not i was a fan of michael jackson's, getting stuck with a bill of this magnitude is ridiculous. especially with the economy as bad as it is right now, this is totally not fair to ask of the people.
can you tell this is a very sore point with me?

Susan said...

When I was a cop, there were overtime opportunites...things like a condo association that wanted to hire a cop to sit in a cruiser during the overnight hours. The condo assoc. paid for that service, and paid at the overtime rate. If a private funeral is going to need extra protection, traffic control, etc, then they need to be the ones paying for it...period.

Judi said...

The State of California has nothing to do with this. It's the City of Los Angeles.
And I think the City should sue AEG for payment. AEG is selling commemorative T-shirts online that would have been sold at MJ's concerts. I know - I ordered one from Night 1. They're sending emails out now for Night 4. They're going to make a fortune and should definitely reimburse the City of L.A.
And Villaraigosa's a disgusting slut moron. Thank GAHD he's not running for Governor.

Dead Angel said...

Tax payers were not asked if they wanted to pay for a man's funeral who had already cost the state millions, so the family should pick up the entire tab, 12 dollar sandwiches too. They chose to have it at that venue, when they could have set up cameras at Forest Lawn's mortuary and broadcast it, having close friends and family there. They need to pay for the funeral, he wasn't Martin Luther King, he's not somebody who did any good for anyone but himself. He lead a sick, misogynistic life - there are no children's wings at LA hospitals he funded with his millions, no art collection donated so all Angelinos could enjoy them, he gave this state bills, headaches and at the end of his life managed to have one more debt he and his estate are weaseling out of because they don't believe they should pay their bills. Enough already. He had more than enough money to pay off his victims, he should pay for his funeral as well. Not the already burdened taxpayers. Ugh, he's not even buried yet and still causing heartache and problems.


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