Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s security detail has racked up nearly $450,000 in travel costs since 2015 as Garcetti visited other parts of the U.S. and foreign countries, according to figures released by the city.
The year-by-year totals for the mayor’s Los Angeles Police Department security detail were provided in response to a lawsuit by the Los Angeles Times, which is seeking to determine how much taxpayers have spent on the mayor’s travels.
The security detail’s travel costs include airfare, meals, lodging, car rentals and other expenses, according to a letter sent to attorneys for The Times by Deputy City Attorney Sara Ugaz. The officers’ salaries and overtime are not included in the expense totals.
The Times went to court in July after city officials refused to turn over records for Garcetti’s out-of-state trips.
The security expenses totaled about $109,000 in 2015; $91,000 in 2016; $144,000 in 2017, and $105,000 so far this year, according to Ugaz’s letter, The Times reported.
The letter did not make clear whether the nearly $450,000 was entirely paid by taxpayers, or whether some portion had been reimbursed by outside groups, according to the newspaper.
Dan Laidman, an attorney representing The Times, said the newspaper continues to seek more complete records and that there are no plans to withdraw the lawsuit.
The mayor’s trips on city business are typically paid for by taxpayers, outside groups or his officeholder account. Taxpayers do not pay for his political or campaign trips. Garcetti is usually accompanied by LAPD officers both in L.A. and when he travels. The city has typically paid for the officers’ flights, hotels, rental cars and other expenses, as well as their salaries, according to The Times.
As the mayor seeks to bolster his national profile ahead of a possible presidential run, he has traveled to six states in the last two months. Garcetti was gone from Los Angeles for nearly one-third of the days in a 12-month period in 2016-17, The Times noted, citing his public calendar.
Garcetti spokesman Yusef Robb said in September that the Democratic Midterm Victory Fund, which raises money for Democratic candidates and state parties, would cover security expenses on all future campaign-related trips. He also said the fund would reimburse the LAPD for several trips that had already occurred.
The Democratic Midterm Victory Fund has reimbursed the LAPD $22,500, according to a Sept. 30 filing with the Federal Election Commission, The Times reported. Robb said Thursday that amount covered six trips.
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