It appears Mitchell Englander threw himself an early goodbye party.
The day after the Los Angeles City councilman threw what must have been a lavish fundraiser — tickets went for $800 a pop — he announced his plans to step down, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
The event, held Wednesday night at San Antonio Winery, raised money for his officeholder account, which covers job expenses. The next day, he said he would leave at the end of the year to join Oak View Group, a sports and entertainment firm, as its new executive vice president of government affairs, according to the Times.
His spokesman Colin Sweeney said the event was planned before the councilman was offered the new job. Any money left over at the end of the year, after community events and expenses, will go to charity, he said.
However, Englander sent letters to donors on Friday explaining that he’ll honor requests for refunds.
“Recently, I was presented with an amazing opportunity in the private sector to work with some of the most brilliant and well-respected leaders in their industry,” Englander told CBS2 News in a statement. “While I didn’t seek this out, sometimes tremendous opportunities find you.”
Council members can raise up to $104,000 per fiscal year for expense funds, according to the Times. Each donor can give a maximum of $800. Englander isn’t required to release how much he raised or who donated until next year.
Englander, a Republican who is serving his second term, has dipped into the account to pay for trips abroad, staff dinners and charitable donations, according to the Times.
Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher