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Head Of L.A. Memorial Coliseum Resigns After Rave Scandal

Laura J. Nelson |
February 15, 2011 | 4:02 p.m. PST

Senior Staff Reporter

L.A. Coliseum (Creative Commons).
L.A. Coliseum (Creative Commons).

The general manager of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena resigned Tuesday afternoon, following a disclosure that he allowed one of his top assistants to consult for the producers of a highly-criticized rave at the venue.

Patrick Lynch - who has managed the stadium and the adjacent L.A. Sports Arena since 1994 - sent a resignation e-mail today to the nine members of the Coliseum Commission just before the council planned to meet and decide his employment future, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Former events manager Todd DeStefano helped plan and oversee security and emergency services for the 2010 Electric Daisy Carnival. The Times reported that Lynch allowed DeStefano to draw a paycheck from Insomniac Events, the company that produced the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC).

After the Times reported DeStefano's ties to Insomniac, Commissioner Rick Caruso demanded that Lynch resign. The council set an emergency closed session meeting for Tuesday afternoon to discuss Lynch's employment.

After a 15-year-old girl died of an overdose at EDC and more than 120 people were taken to the hospital, mostly for drug intoxication, the LAPD called the rave's security arrangements inadequate.

DeStefano acknowledged his employment with Insomniac to the TImes, but would not say how much Insomniac paid him. 

Lynch cut DeStefano's salary by $60,000 and changed his title after he started working for Insomniac, but DeStefano continued to work for them to plan EDC 2010.  Lynch said he consulted the commission's attorney when DeStefano told him of his side job.

Lynch said commission and Insomniac team members worked together to plan the event. 

"We're all in it together," he told the Times last week. "I'm in the meetings, the other guys are in the meetings, we're all in the meetings. There's no hidden ball here."

When the Times asked Lynch if he represented both the commission and Insomniac, Lynch said, "I would assume so."

DeStefano fought to bring EDC back to the Coliseum for June 2011 and also employed a lobbyist to contact City Council members and officials, the Times reported.

Lynch and Caruso were not immediately available for comment.


To reach senior staff reporter Laura J. Nelson, click here. Or follow her on Twitter: @laura_nelson.



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