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Michael Jackson estate, AEG, to repay Los Angeles for tribute costs

By Alan Duke, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • AEG, Jackson estate to pay LA $1.3 million
  • AEG CEO says company was not obligated
  • LA mayor praises AEG, estate's 'good corporate citizenship'

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Michael Jackson's estate and the company that produced the pop star's memorial service will pay $1.3 million to the Los Angeles to cover city expenses for last summer's tribute.

Los Angeles officials criticized the estate and AEG last year for not helping the cash-strapped government pay what the city estimated was $1.3 million paid for putting extra police on the streets, trash pickup, sanitation and traffic control.

The payments, which will include $1 million cash to the city's general fund, "will now allow us to finally put this issue behind us," AEG president Timothy Leiweke said.

The Los Angeles Police Foundation will get $210,000 in cash and equipment donations. The foundation was already given $90,000 raised through the sale of luxury suites inside the Staples Center event.

"It was important to us that all parties agreed that this was not an obligation but a choice we believed was important to make at a time when thousands of city employees are being reduced," Leiweke said.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa praised AEG and the Jackson estate for "good corporate citizenship."

It was not immediately clear how much of the cash will come from the Jackson estate, which has worked closely with AEG since Jackson's death nearly a year ago.

Jackson's comeback concerts in London were being promoted and produced by AEG, which also controls the Staples Center, where the tribute was held.

The Jackson estate made a minimum of $80 million through a series of contracts involving AEG and Sony for the "This Is It" documentary that used rehearsal video shot by AEG.

 
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