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L.A. Port Reimburses City $20 Million for Services

May 14, 1996

Flying in the face of a state order, officials at the Los Angeles Port poured $20 million into city coffers last week to pay for municipal services performed on its property.

The payment is the second $20-million transfer made by port officials, who said a private analysis of their finances had found that the Harbor Commission owed the city a total of $80 million in old and current fees for such services as parks construction on port property and police and fire protection. The first payment was made after a controversial harbor panel vote last fall.

The state Lands Commission, which oversees trust property including the harbor, dismissed the private study and in November ordered port officials not to transfer additional money. The commission has sued the city and the harbor panel to recover the $20 million already paid. But Mayor Richard Riordan has said he would not refund the payment, and his office on Monday insisted the second transfer was legitimate.

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