Democrats billed taxpayers $40,000 for events

Feb 24, 2015 4:20 PM by News Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California taxpayers were billed $40,000 to subsidize staff and security attendance at swearing-in celebrations for the state's two Democratic legislative leaders.

Organizers of Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon's event at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles claim no taxpayer money was used to hold the event.

But a review by The Associated Press finds charges of more than $25,000 for legislative staff and security to accompany him to the party.

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins also spent $15,000 to fly staff between Sacramento and San Diego for her swearing-in celebrations.

De Leon says the number of elected officials required added security. He says staff also participated in a policy retreat while there and donors paid for the actual party.

Atkins' office said costs were minimized.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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