Page last updated at 08:37 GMT, Sunday, 12 July 2009 09:37 UK

LA 'ripped off' over Jackson gig

The hearse carrying Michael Jackson's coffin
Roads were closed off to allow the hearse to reach the event

Los Angeles city council officials have called for a review on who should foot the $1.4m (£864,000) bill for Michael Jackson's memorial gig.

Councilman Dennis Zine claims taxpayers, who have been asked to make donations, "are getting ripped off".

He has asked for a report on policing and traffic control costs for last week's service at the Staples Center, which was attended by 17,000 fans.

Councilman Zine says promoter AEG Live or the Jackson family should pay.

But AEG president Tim Leiweke said that AEG did pay for the memorial itself.

However, security around the event resulted in high costs to Los Angeles at a time when the city is in debt for half of a billion dollars.

Roads were closed to allow the hearse carrying Jackson's body to travel the 10 miles from the Forest Lawn cemetery to the venue.

And the memorial, watched on TV by more than 31 million people in the US and millions more around the world, required the deployment of thousands of police officers and emergency services.

Donations collapse

At a meeting on Thursday, Zine asked whether the event's promoters or producers might provide "reimbursement to the city to replenish the public safety and other critical funds".

Michael Jackson's memorial
Millions watched the memorial gig

Last week, the mayor's office revealed around $17, 000 (£10, 400) had been donated to a website collecting cash before it collapsed.

Meanwhile, Michael Jackson's sister Latoya has told Sunday newspapers she believes the singer was "murdered" for his money, claiming money and jewels have since gone missing.

She told UK newspaper, the News of the World: "We don't think just one person was involved in the murder. It was a conspiracy to get Michael's money."

Michael Jackson's father Joe Jackson has also said he suspects "foul play" in the death of his pop star son.



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