Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made an appearance Wednesday at an event about union pensions, but never responded to NBCLA's interview requests about how he plans to pay $42,000 in ethics fines, punishment for taking free tickets to the Oscars, Lakers games and more.
But a legal defense fund reportedly has been set up to help pay the fine, and according to published reports, the Mayor's friend solicited donations.
The law allows for legal defense funds, but on his CityWatch website, commentator Jack Humphreville says legal doesn't make it right.
"We're gonna be paying for this, because some guy's gonna go out there and make a contribution, and he's gonna want a zoning change, or he wants to be able to put up billboards, or he wants to put an NFL stadium in town. We're gonna pay for this, one way or the other," according to Jack Humphreville, Publisher, The Recycled.
The fines were levied by the City Ethics Commission and the Fair Political Practices Commission, after the Mayor admitted he failed to report 34 events.
But any legal defense fund faces scrutiny too.
"Anybody can write a check. The problem, of course, is if the people writing checks want something from the city, that looks bad, but it will be disclosed. We will know who is writing him the check, and that is the most important thing in my mind," according to Robert Stern, Center for Governmental Studies.
But one voter approves of the how the Mayor is handling his business, for himself and the city.
"I think honestly he has good intentions. I think the way he's taking LA is a good way. It's just the right way for us," states Laura Ayala, of Boyle Heights.