Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Pat Lynch, the convicted ex-manager of the L.A. Coliseum, are pointing the finger at each other over a pair of Super Bowl tickets that Yaroslavsky obtained for a constituent in 2004.
Lynch, who was caught up in a massive corruption scandal at the Coliseum, contends that he received the tickets from the L.A. Sports and Entertainment Commission — a private booster group — and gave them to Yaroslavsky for free, believing they were for his own use.
Yaroslavsky, however, maintains that he was led to believe that the Commission had paid face value for the tickets, and so he reimbursed Lynch $750 in cash. If correct, that would mean the money went missing.
But Tony Capozzola, Lynch's attorney, denied that Lynch had ever received the money.
“Pat did not get tickets free from anybody and put $750 in his pocket,” Capozzola said. “It's ridiculous to assume that.”
Yaroslavsky did not go to the game. Instead, he got the tickets on behalf of a constituent who asked his office for help in obtaining them. Yaroslavsky's spokesman, Joel Bellman, declined to identify the constituent. Bellman said the constituent had tried to get the tickets through other means, but had been unsuccessful. Yaroslavsky agreed to help out, and Lynch was able to come through, he said.
“Zev paid cash to Pat,” said Bellman, saying the money had originally come from the constituent.
Capozzola, however, maintains that Yaroslavsky is lying because, “He doesn't want to admit that he got them for a friend for free.”
Bellman said there is no record of the transaction, which would prove the matter either way.
Lynch resigned from the Coliseum almost two years ago, shortly after admitting that his right-hand man, Todd DeStefano, was working for rave promoters at the same time he worked for the Coliseum — a clear conflict. DeStefano has been charged with 23 counts of bribery and embezzlement. Lynch, meanwhile, pleaded to a single conflict of interest count related to a financial relationship with a Coliseum contractor.
An audit of the Coliseum's finances faulted the commissioners, including Yaroslavsky, for failing to exercise sufficient financial oversight.