The grand Michael Jackson memorial in Los Angeles last July reportedly cost the cash-strapped city millions of dollars in police overtime and sanitation expenses, and now one angry resident wants the King of Pop’s family to foot the bill. According to the AP, Jose F. Vallejo is seeking $3.3 million from Jackson’s estate, saying he’s entitled to request the funds as a taxpayer. He’s requested that the money be deposited into Los Angeles’ treasury.
While the memorial cost the city millions, it reportedly earned $4 million for the city’s hotels, restaurants and local businesses, too. However, in his claim Vallejo alleges, “The [Jackson] estate benefited from the use of public resources that amounted to an illegal gift of public funds.” The city of Los Angeles and AEG Live, the organizers of the memorial and Jackson’s planned This Is It concerts in London, have reportedly been in talks to repay the city some of the costs but according to the AP no agreement has yet been reached. At one point, L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office launched a Website seeking public donations to help ease the city’s financial burden in paying for the memorial.
As Rolling Stone previously reported, the Jackson memorial featured performances by Mariah Carey, John Mayer, Stevie Wonder and newcomers like Judith Hill and Shaheen Jafargholi. According to the AP, the administrators of Jackson’s estate will decide whether Vallejo’s claims merit payment.
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