Rose Bowl Tickets Under Scrutiny

Pasadena, Calif., leaders are under the microscope after a newspaper investigation revealed tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of free  football and concert tickets were distributed to city officials last year.  

in Pasadena, Calif.

The Los Angeles Times report prompted at least one citizen to file a complaint with the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission alleging the gifts amount to a conflict of interest.

The exact dollar value of the tickets wasn’t known, as ticket-disclosure forms reviewed by the paper report ticket price ranges only, but was estimated between $42,000 and $157,000. It’s not against the law in Pasadena to accept freebies for a number of reasons, such as cultivating business interest in the city. City Manager Michael Beck said the majority of the tickets officials get are distributed to community members, other city employees and people with whom the city wants to build business or civic relationships.

But Lonee Hamilton, a Pasadena resident who is president of a homeowner’s association near the Rose Bowl, filed the FPPC complaint citing a conflict of interest.

“My councilwoman voted to have Jay Z and Beyonce come to Pasadena, and then she gets 12 tickets to the concert? To me that is just a problem,” she said.

Tickets used by city officials included those for six UCLA football games, a soccer game and concerts featuring Jay Z, Rihanna, Beyonce, Eminem and . A spokesman for the FPPC would not comment on whether the agency intends to launch its own investigation.