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LA Coliseum audit finds misspent funds

April 12, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The audit by City Controller Wendy Greuel's office found $6- to $7 million in questionable practices, wasteful spending and fraudulent use of resources.

Two former Coliseum executives and the head of a rave company have been arrested on criminal charges in the corruption scandal. They include former Coliseum Commissioner Patrick Lynch and former Events Manager Todd DeStefano.

"The average rent for the four most prominent raves held at the Coliseum declined significantly, while those same events' gross ticket sales increased significantly," said Greuel.

There was no contract for $4.8 million in janitor and security services. They invested $870,000 in events that never happened, according to the audit; $75,000 in bonuses were paid to non-city employees. And there were $950,000 in untracked cash payments to the technical staff. One Coliseum employee received pay for working 25 hours in one day.

And over four years Lynch received the maximum bonus of $125,000 a year. The audit could find no basis for bonuses to Lynch or other employees.

"One of these events, Love Fest, was not charged any rent in 2010 and Electric Daisy Carnival 2010 was charged only $25,000 in rent and took in over $12.9 million in ticket sales," said Greuel.

No one from the Commission would go on camera but in a statement the Commission acknowledges that in the past insufficient oversight was applied to the former managers of the Coliseum. "The Commission accepts its responsibility and embraces its role in instituting change and preserving the Coliseum for years to come," said the statement.

Some of the changes are already underway, including eliminating cash payments and eliminating bonuses.


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