LOS ANGELES – A man is seeking $3.3 million for the city of Los Angeles from Michael Jackson's estate to cover the cost of the King of Pop's public memorial, court filings show.
Jose F. Vallejos filed a creditor's claim for the money on Wednesday, stating he is entitled to seek reimbursement as a taxpayer.
The estate declined to comment on the filing.
Los Angeles paid millions of dollars for police overtime and sanitation costs for the July memorial at Staples Center, which is owned by entertainment giant AEG Live. City leaders have wrangled for months over how to try to recoup some of the money from AEG Live, but no resolution has been reached.
There have been indications the city came out ahead after hosting the star-studded memorial broadcast around the world. A city report found the July 7 memorial was a $4 million boon for hotels, restaurants and other businesses.
Vallejos' petition claims the estate benefited from the use of public resources that amounted to an illegal gift of public funds. The filing states the money should be returned to the city treasury.
"This is about recouping money for the city," Vallejos' attorney, Jeff Grotke, said. His client, who is retired, wasn't looking to benefit personally and thinks there's principle involved, the lawyer said.
Grotke believes there is a strong case to recoup the costs against the estate since probate law generally allows for reimbursement of funeral expenses.
The administrators of Jackson's estate will have to decide on the merits of paying claims.
Already, several of Jackson's former collaborators, attorneys and those who sold the pop singer goods or services have sought reimbursement.