Reporter Eric Spillman of KTLA finally got the data he has been seeking on the public cost of providing security for Mayor Villaraigosa's trips to Africa (with Spillman's Channel 5 colleague Lu Parker) and Iceland last summer. The tab comes to $20,736, according to a City Controller's report released to Spillman. It includes more than $3,400 in car rental and $8,600 in airfare for the mayor's security detail. Spillman's spin:
Both the LAPD and the Mayor's office refused to release this information when we began asking for it more than 3 months ago.
The LAPD stated, in its denial of our request, that releasing records relating to the cost of the mayor's security for his trips abroad might somehow compromise his safety.
By the way, $20,000 dollars would cover the cost of a rookie LAPD officer's salary (to help fight crime here in Los Angeles) for more than 4 months, according to the department's Media Relations office.