LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Congressman Darrell Issa from Washington questions why the port of Los Angeles owns a 73-foot yacht called the Angelena, and why they’re using taxpayer money to refurbish it.

“I do sometimes question why they need a VIP yacht at all,” says Issa.

KCAL9‘s Investigative Reporter Davd Goldstein discovered the port using $489,000 in federal taxpayer stimulus money to outfit the Angelena with two hybrid engines.

“This is the American people’s money that was borrowed in stimulus,” says Issa. “It was supposed to create net new jobs. Could that half a million dollars have been used better? Was this really just show without substance? And we think the Port Authority has a lot to answer for.”

Port general manager Geraldine Knatz raced down the hall and avoided Goldstein’s questions about the yacht. But she can’t dodge congress.

Representative Issa shot off a letter to Knatz after our investigation. As chairman of the committee on government oversight and reform, Issa wants to know why the stimulus money was used.

“This appears to have no net new jobs,” says Issa. “And obviously half a million dollars gone.”

The Angelena is worth about a million dollars according to a boat broker KCAL9 contacted.

Goldstein obtained the ship’s logs and found it’s used mainly for VIP tours of the harbor.  Much of the time for groups that have nothing to do with the port — like the mayor’s interns who have taken two trips in the past two years.

Mayor Villaraigosa says he believes the money was used correctly, but could not say if jobs were created.

When pressed as to whether jobs were created to install the two new engines, Villaraigosa directed Goldstein elsewhere.

“To give you a specific answer to that question, that’s a question you’ve got to ask the port authority,” says Villaraigosa.

We asked the port spokesperson that question but he did not respond directly, only saying they look forward to presenting all of the information that the committee has requested, and they will cooperate.

Taxpayer Money Used To Maintain Million-Dollar Yacht

David Goldstein

Comments (20)
  1. Vernon Laux says:

    That money could have paid 10 employees for a year, now they money is going to pay for a boat “A hole in the water you pour money in to”

  2. natalie says:

    Hard to justify the boat, or the refurbish, in times like these.

  3. Vacht not that Vacht-y says:

    NOw this one is a bit I don’t know… unfair.

    I mean, if you have VIP coming to the Port Of LA and they need to presented the port, would you have them just get on a banana boat and go around the port?

    That yacht isn’t exactly a 1 million dollar 5 level mega yacht, looks pretty average to me.

    I just think this one is a bit unfair and a bit over the top, its not that fancy of a yacht, in fact, they should get a bigger fancier one. Of course, not use it for crazy parties either, just business.

    1. san says:

      GENIUS —- boats are EXPENSIVE, in addition, it’s minimun $2000 per month just to park a boat like that and boats are MONEY PITS,,,,, they require constant maintenence and huge $$$ in annual repairs —- uhhhh stuff happens when you sit in the water 24-7. google costs of maintaining a boat..

  4. edb2012 says:

    I think the State of California should give every Californian 1 day trip on the yaht. Better yet … a wekend. I’ll bring my fishing gear and if we get anywhere around Catalina Island …. It is seabass season.

  5. sab88 says:

    The Port of Los Angeles has 2 Tall ships that take intercity kids out sailing, so why couldn’t the city rent these boats for the day or a few hours? These ships are representatives of the port and the city. They are big and beautiful and would be a great way to see the harbor. I would to see these ship under full sail, and to be able see the port from these ships would be great.

  6. Tex Geoas says:

    Some “connected” somebody was going to buy (and still might) that yacht at a “surplus sale”… and used taxpayer money to put new engines in it first! CALIFORNIANS… WHY do you continue to elect these people? It is insane.

  7. Ruckus says:

    Owning a yacht. You will get the same sensation, standing in the shower and tearing up $100 bills. Governmentment money, State money, city money. It is still the peopls money and we should stop spending it. These people are like drunk sailors on leave. . In the worst economy in decades they are going to refurbish a YACHT. It beggars belief !!!!!

  8. Ruckus says:

    Sorry Government “big fingers ” 🙂

  9. Paul says:

    Mayor Villaraigosa says he believes the money was used correctly, but could not say if jobs were created. What a complete crook the mayor is. Of course he believes the money was used correctly, he is the one who uses the boat the most.

  10. James says:

    Don’t worry folks! The Port Authority will manufacturer some BS “jobs” that they created (more than likely, a lie) from the half mil, Issa will be glad he got more attention, and all the crooks will have pulled off yet another heist of the taxpayers’ money.

    See? Things always work out in the end!

  11. Kevin D. Korenthal says:

    This is so par for the course. Everyone, even unionized port workers should vote against Democrats. You’ll see more money available for jobs if we get rid of the elitist Democrat pigs that eat at the trough at YOUR expense.

  12. Troll says:

    Not to fear, they only have to arrest and fine 500 people for throwing frisbees on the beach… that “crime” is $1,000.00.

  13. san says:

    Heck, Buffet’s secretary could have paid it off in 4 years ? what’s the problem, he needs someplace hot to entertain his interns, after all, it’s not like he has the OVAL OFFICE at his disposal.

  14. Denis says:

    Ok, so has anyone been arrested? this is obviously bulls@#it

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