Press Releases

LA City Council approves $400,000 for Democratic Convention litigation costs

The Associated Press
Friday December 21, 2001

City already has spent $36 million on the August 2000 convention 


LOS ANGELES — The City Council allocated more than $400,000 Wednesday to hire more employees to handle litigation resulting from police tactics at last summer’s Democratic National Convention. 

Deputy City Attorney Terree Bowers urged the council to approve her request, saying recruiting an assistant city attorney and two deputies would be more cost effective than hiring outside counsel to defend 11 pending complaints. The council agreed. 

“These are folks who can move, after those cases are settled, to other cases,” said Councilman Eric Garcetti. “And if we can build that sort of expertise with really front-line lawyers within the city, long-term it makes a lot of fiscal sense.” 

The $400,000 will add to the estimated $36 million the city has already spent on the August 2000 Convention, more than four times as much as the $8.3 million city officials originally believed they would have to pay. 

A report submitted to the council a year ago showed that most of that money — $22 million — was spent on security, including overtime pay for police officers. 

The cost overrun has irritated some council members, among them Councilman Joel Wachs, who called the event’s cost a “fraud on taxpayers of the city.” 

In August, county Supervisor Mike Antonovich said he wanted the city’s “billionaires and millionaires” who helped organize the event to reimburse the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for the extra $1.5 million it spent on security. The department originally planned to spend only $2.6 million on the convention.