LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Federal authorities are looking into whether the Los Angeles Police Department misappropriated millions of dollars it was paid for providing law enforcement services at LAX, it was reported Monday.
Federal Aviation Administration officials say they are reviewing a complaint alleging the LAPD overcharged the airport and used the money to bolster city coffers and pay for police expenses unrelated to LAX security, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Federal regulations require that revenue earned by an airport from landing fees, terminal rents, concessions and other charges must be used only for airport purposes.
The complaint asserts that the LAPD imposes exorbitant fees for assigning anywhere from 50 to 150 full- and part-time officers a year to LAX, where they share law enforcement duties with the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department, The Times reported.
Documents show the LAPD charged the airport agency about $384,000 in the 2008-09 fiscal year for the services of a police captain, who earned a salary of about $148,000, according to the newspaper. Additionally, it charged about $196,000 apiece to supply 20 full-time patrol officers, even though they earn about $80,000 annually. It cost the airport more than $250,000 apiece for seven sergeants, who earned $102,000 a year.
The complaint was filed by the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association, which represents more than 400 officers from the city’s airport department.
Airport officials declined to comment, except to say they have received a letter of inquiry from the FAA.”We are fully cooperating and are preparing our responses,” Los Angeles World Airports spokeswoman Mary Grady told The Times.
LAPD officials defended the billings, telling The Times they were directly related to work at LAX.
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