Los Angeles Police chief Charlie Beck talks to the media at Tuesday’s press conference at Dodger Stadium.
UPDATED at 4 p.m. Thursday:
Something’s not adding up to Tom Leykis.
The 54-year-old former FM-radio so-called shock jock announced on his website (linked here) back in early April that he wanted to pitch in $50,000 toward the reward money offered by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Dodgers that would be given to anyone whose information led to the capture of two suspects in the Dodger Stadium parking lot beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow on March 31.
But when the LAPD announced Tuesday that they were increasing the total reward from $100,000 to $200,000, and that it included money raised by the Dodgers ($125,000), the L.A. City Council ($50,000), Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich ($10,000), the Giants ($10,000) and American Medical Response ($5,000), Leykis didn’t see his part in it mentioned.
“If you do the math, there should be more than just $200,000,” Leykis said Thursday afternoon.
So he started to make some calls.
“I got a whole education on the process,” he said. “And it’s a very troublesome response.”
Enough so that he says if someone doesn’t figure out why he can’t make a donation — and he’s willing to put the $50,000 in an escrow account — he’s rescinding the offer as of 5 p.m. Friday.
“At first I thought it was just an oversight,” said Leykis, whose “Tom Leykis Show” aired nationally, based in L.A., from 1994 to 2009 and is scheduled to return next April. “Maybe (police chief Charlie) Beck wasn’t aware of it — even though it was in 1,300 newspapers. I was shocked to find that wasn’t the case.
“And I want to make it clear: I don’t want to rescind it. I don’t need the publicity. I haven’t had a radio show on the air in two years. I’ve lived in L.A. 23 years. I’ve always had a good relationship with the LAPD, especially in Hollywood where I live. I thought I was doing the right thing, but now I’m being treated with what sounds like distain.”
That could be from the fact that Leykis has created a very non-PC reputation during his radio career. Many say Leykis broadcast an overwhelming mysogynistic message that essentially instructed men how to have sex with women by spending the least amount of money and time on them.
Still, he says as a longtime L.A. resident who wants to help the LAPD nab two suspects in a crime that has tarnished the city’s and the Dodger’s image.
Leykis is a long-time Dodgers fan (linked here), enough to where we offered him a chance to chime in on the public ownership idea of the Dodgers in the wake of the McCourt mess last October.
He responded (linked here): “I would love to see such a movement for public ownership of the Dodgers succeed. Unfortunately, I do not believe that Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig will ever allow his fiefdom to be penetrated with public ownership no matter how good our argument as a community. So I guess that what I really hope for is that someone who loves L.A. as much as I do such as Eli Broad or David Geffen will do the right thing for our community and run our team, not as a silly example of vanity and excess, but in the way that good citizens of means do such good for our community. I would gladly do it if I had a billion dollars.”
When he offered the $50,000 contribution on April 5, after finding out that the Dodgers had offered $25,000 to match the $25,000 from the L.A. City Council, making it a $100,000 total, Leykis thought he was helping the cause. (linked here).
At the time, Leykis said he had talked to Tony Perez, the communications director for the office of L.A. City Councilman Ed Reyes (right), which was responsible for raising funds. Perez explained to him that there was “no mechanism” to accept public funds for police reward money.
“I said, ‘I understand that, but you have people offering rewards, such as the ambulance company, a billboard company, the Dodgers,’” said Leykis. “He made it sound like I would be included, and in six months, I’d be contacted to see if I wanted to renew the pledge if the suspects hadn’t been caught.
“When I called Mr. Perez back (Wednesday), he was belligerent with me. He said they couldn’t acknowledge rewards from private individuals.
“I said, ‘Then what are the Dodgers?’ He said, ‘They are an organization.’ I said, ‘No, they aren’t, they’re a limited liability company — an LLC — which is another name for Frank and Jamie McCourt. And from what I’ve been reading, they don’t have enough money to make payroll on May 31.
“What makes you think Frank McCourt can cough up $25,000?’ How is McCourt more likely to pay off a reward than I am? Enron was once an organization. Remember Lehman Brothers? If the Dodgers went bankrupt, you think a bankruptcy judge would make the Dodgers pay this reward? No.
“Obviously, I’m forcing the issue now. I’m doing it as a private citizen. I’m not a rabble-rouser. I’m not doing this in my company’s name. But if they don’t accept it, I’m rescinding it. Because, after all this, what’s the point?”
If Leykis’ $50,000 couldn’t be put toward the reward money, would it be better spent helping with the Bryan Stow medical fund that many have been supporting? Leykis agreed that would be a productive, but he has his reasons.
“If someone from the Stow family asked for help, of course I would,” said Leykis. “But in this case, I was taking it from the crime angle because I live in Hollywood — I can see the stadium from my house at night, and its nine miles away.
“I have a good friend, Detective Ralph Sanchez, the lead officer in the Hollywood Hills, who I’ve known a long time. I’ve always supported the LAPD, on and off the air. For me, this was a way to help the police, by upping the reward.
“I just believe there are forces afoot here preventing me from doing it.
“Is the reason because McCourt is now the LAPD’s newest partner? He has to hire all these LAPD officers who get the overtime to station around the stadium. Has he told them not to mention my reward because it’s embarassing to him? It seems that way.
“Why play politics with a reward? Is there a reason why his money is good, but mine isn’t? And why can’t the city help coordinate reward money? They collect money for earthquakes in Mexico. And an average person can’t get involved in offering reward money? Why not?”
Leykis said he has since spoken to an assistant at Beck’s office, as well as the city councilman representing his district, Tom LaBonge.
Attempts to contact Perez at Reyes’ office have not yet been successful.
The Dodgers declined comment.