Statement on arrest of former coliseum executives

In the wake of the arrests of two former L.A. Coliseum executives and a rave producer, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas reiterated his call for the dissolution of the commission.

“This is deeply troubling — the whole episode,” said Ridley-Thomas, who is also a commissioner.

[pullquote_right] “This is deeply troubling — the whole episode,” said Ridley-Thomas, who is also a commissioner.[/pullquote_right]Investigators from the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office arrested two former Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum executives Thursday, Patrick Lynch and Todd DeStefano, as well as Reza Gerami, the owner of the rave promotion company, Go Ventures. For the past two years, Lynch, the former general manager and DeStefano, the former events manager at the Coliseum, have been under investigation by various local, state, and federal authorities with regard to financial disclosures and management of the Coliseum. The nature of the charges was not disclosed, but the arrests of all three men were confirmed by Jane Robinson, spokeswoman for District Attorney Steve Cooley.

“As Coliseum commissioners, our duty is to fix the structural flaws that enable such disarray,” the Supervisor said. “It’s time to replace the Coliseum Commission with a management structure that will strengthen –not obscure– accountability.”

The managment of the Coliseum has been the target of public scrutiny as a result of questionable accounting practices exercised by the former Coliseum executives. The shake-up has resulted in several resignations and changes in leadership and even a proposal from the Univeristy of Southern California, the venue’s primary tenant, to take greater management control over the facility.