Reporting Dave Lopez
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Friday responded to a L.A. Weekly article that claimed he was financially broke.
When asked about the report, the mayor said, “You notice, there weren’t many facts in it or many quoted sources … all it is is just chatter,” he said.
The article stated in part that, “close associates and City Hall insiders, on and off the record, concur that Villaraigosa, the second-highest-paid mayor in the country, at $232,735 a year, is broke — and has next to nothing lined up.”
At the opening of an extra lane on the 405 Freeway through West LA, the mayor admitted that he doesn’t have a car and is currently living at the Getty House — the taxpayer-supported mayoral home.
He also said that he doesn’t have a job lined up … yet.
“I don’t have a job yet but I expect that I will. I’ve worked my whole life. You know, I started shining shoes when I was five years old at downtown. I’ve worked my entire life,” the mayor said.
The article further alleged that, “Villaraigosa has been paid a total of $1,682,937 as mayor, a serious chunk of which, for the past several years, has gone to his ex-wife and children in alimony and child support” of which the mayor didn’t want to get into specifics about.
The mayor did not give a definitive answer when asked if he’d run for governor but said that he believes in public service.
“I do want to serve the people of this town and one day the people of this state again,” Villaraigosa said. “The only way I would run for governor is if I could make a difference. And right now, politics is so broken on the right more but also on the left.”
Villaraigosa will be replaced by Eric Garcetti on July 1 after spending eight years in office as mayor.
“I think you can almost certainly guarantee that I will affiliate with a university or a think tank. I want to figure out how we fix what’s broken,” he added.