L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel will announce that she's launching an audit of the L.A. Coliseum today following reports of double dipping by a venue official who worked for a rave promoters, a taxpayer-owned car allegedly taken by a former general manager, and planned raises in the midst of all the controversy.
Whew. The Los Angeles Times reported late last night that even after the double-dipping scandal and resignation of GM Patrick Lynch, the car guy, a $25,000-year-raise was planned for Coliseum finance director Ronald Lederkramer. That was shelved, as were 5 percent raises for other employees.
Now Greuel wants a piece of this little shop of horrors:
City News Service says she's planning to launch an audit of the Coliseum, which answers jointly to the state, county and city.
Deputy Controller Shannon Murphy:
The audit falls on the heels of recent media reports regarding potential conflicts of interest and misuse of car allowances among Coliseum employees.
New Commission President David Israel said he put a stop to the raises. He's also the guy who said he wouldn't support the return of Electric Daisy Carnival, the annual June rave that set off the controversy.
EDC, a two-day party that attracted about 160,000 people, raised the eyebrows of leaders such as L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa after a 15-year-old girl who had attended the party died days later of an ecstasy overdose. Police complained about the crowds and said they made 60 drug-related arrests. More than 200 medical emergencies were reported.
The promoter, Insomniac Events, waged a lobbying and media campaign to stay at the Coliseum, but after the controversy involving the venue's events manager erupted, it decided to head to Las Vegas for last month's party.
That manager, Todd DeStefano, took $1.8 million from entities doing business with the publicly run Coliseum, including rave promoters such as Insomniac and Go Ventures, the Times reported.
That hasn't stopped Insonmiac from letting it be known that it wants to come back to its hometown venue. The promoter commissioned a report claiming the two-day event had a $42 million economic impact on the community and was responsible for thousands of jobs.
Las Vegas tourism officials are so pleased with the party that they are talking about helping to expand it to a week-long slate of DJ-driven shindigs not unlike Miami's famed Winter Music Conference.
But if the Times keeps finding alleged improprieties at the Coliseum — and if Greuel finds anything amiss — that comeback is probably going to continue to face hurdles.
In any case, this is sure a long way from the days when some Coliseum officials bent over backwards to make a case for raves.
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