LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Is the highest-paid mayor in the United States broke?
With just over a month left in his second and final term, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will leave office in June reportedly without a place to live or a car of his own to drive, according to a report published Thursday.
Jill Stewart, L.A. Weekly’s managing editor, told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that Villaraigosa faces an uncertain political – and financial – future when he steps down June 30.
In order to maintain his current lifestyle, which includes frequent cross-country travel, a mayoral mansion at the taxpayer-supported Getty House, an Los Angeles Police Department security detail for his personal SUV, courtside seats to Lakers games, and several other perks, associates estimate Villaraigosa’s next gig would need to pay about $750,000 a year, according to Stewart.
“His friends are so concerned because he’s lived so flamboyantly and spent basically so much of other people’s money on a very, very costly lifestyle,” Stewart said, adding that Villaraigosa has lived “far better than Gov. Jerry Brown and far more flamboyantly than actual multi-millionaire mayor Richard Riordan.”
The report, entitled Antonio Villaraigosa’s Quest for Wall Street, Washington and Wealth, also cites mayoral associates and City Hall insiders in estimating Villaraigosa earns a salary of $232,735 a year, more than any of his mayoral counterparts nationwide.
And now, according to Stewart, Villaraigosa is broke.
“He didn’t save any money…we got his required economic interest reports where you see all their stocks and bonds and property,” Stewart said. “Nada.”
Outside of a rental property in Moreno Valley which brings in about $600 a month, Stewart said that Villarigosa has no major assets despite having been paid over $1.6 million during his time as mayor. Public pension information for Villaraigosa was not available, L.A. Weekly reported.
KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports the outgoing mayor greeted Mayor-Elect Eric Garcetti at the Getty House to congratulate his successor Thursday and then left before reporters could ask about his future plans.
“I wanna give Eric Garcetti the opportunity, and again, I couldn’t be prouder to welcome him and congratulate him,” Villaraigosa said.
It’s still unclear where Villaraigosa will land: while staffers have been mum on the mayor’s job search, he is reportedly considering a number of possibilities after denying in February any interest in a Cabinet position in the Obama Administration.
According to L.A. Weekly, Villaraigosa may also have to wait until 2018 to make a bid for Governor of California, with Brown expected to run for reelection in 2014.
“He is asking anyone and everyone for jobs at think tanks; he thinks he could be a resident-in-scholar at UCLA or USC; he’d like to work on Wall Street,” said Stewart. “It’s incredible, he’s throwing a really wide net out there.”