To The Editor

To the Editor,

An article written by reporters Paul Pringle and Rong-Gong Lin in Thursday’s Times erroneously asserted that I used my position as a Coliseum Commissioner to “score” football tickets on the “public dime.”

As Ron Lin was told by both stadium officials and me, two tickets to an NFL game were billed to the Coliseum without my knowledge. The purchase –not a gift– should not have been expensed to the Coliseum. As the original official letter from the Interim Chief Executive Officer stated (September 12, 2011), I was never informed that an expense report had been submitted, and I never previously received an invoice for the expense.

Instead of sober reporting that would have informed readers rather than inflaming their suspicions, Pringle and Lin employed a mix of innuendo and hyperbole to write a slanted story borne of their cynical concoction.

The story strongly implies wrongdoing, and that the matter came to light only because of a Times records request in August. Wrong again. The expense was actually found by a financial staffer in July, before the Times made its records request.  I wonder why the Times tried to steal credit for someone else’s work.

Granted, there are genuine concerns with regard to the past management of the Coliseum, but this isn’t one of them. The Times unearthed nothing. The Coliseum found an invoice that had never been forwarded to me and when it was, I paid it. That’s not very sensational, but it’s the truth.

Sincerely,

Mark Ridley-Thomas,
Supervisor