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L.A. Coliseum Commission Association Fined For Alcohol Sales Violations During Rave

Paresh Dave |
November 10, 2011 | 8:48 p.m. PST


The nonprofit arm of the L.A. Coliseum Commission last month was fined $6,000 for allowing alcohol to be sold in the parking lot, among other violations, during a rave in June 2010, state authorities said.

The commission's interim general manager also halted recently what may have been a repeated mishandling of the alcohol license by former commission General Manager Patrick Lynch in regards to an annual summer event held by a nonprofit associated with the wife of Commissioner Bernard Parks.

The actions are among those taken in recent months to clean up a mess allegedly left by Lynch and some of his former lieutenants. The agency, jointly overseen by the city and county of Los Angeles and the state, remains under investigation by the District Attorney's Office and City Controller Wendy Greuel.

The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control alleged in December that the L.A. Coliseum Commission Association "exceeded its licensed privileges" during the two-day Electric Daisy Carnival. The commission wasn't supposed to allow beer-only sales lines, people to leave with open containers or the selling of alcohol in the parking lot or outside of the venues' immediate perimeters, the board's complaint stated.

An amended complaint filed in May removed allegations that the Sports Arena had allowed the sale of alcohol to at least a couple of minors.

Rather than accept a pair of 10-day suspensions of its license or challenge the charges, the commission essentially pleaded no contest and chose to pay two $3,000 fines.

Lynch had allowed a nonprofit group, the Regalettes, to use the commission's alcohol license in 2009 and 2010 for an event in the Exposition Park Rose Garden. The group raises money to fund college scholarships and help other charities.

Realizing that the commission could face another round of violations for tying its license to an event far outside the Coliseum and Sports Arena perimeters, interim General Manager John Sandbrook blocked its use this August.

Nonprofit entities holding fundraisers where alcohol is served are to apply for their own one-day licenses, said John Carr, spokesman for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The commission's legal counsel reported the previous mishandling to the District Attorney's Office. And Parks, whose wife Bobbie helps lead the Regalettes, asked that the commission self-report the issue to the beverage control department as well, his chief of staff Bernard Parks Jr. said. No report had been filed as of Monday, according to Carr.

He said between 2,500 and 3,000 of the state's 82,000 businesses with alcohol licenses are disciplined each year. The fines for a first offense range from $750 to $3,000. Another 30,000 one-day licenses are issued annually.

The commission still faces many questions in the coming months, including how much longer it will exist. The commission next month is expected to announce a modified lease with the University of Southern California. The university could end up with day-to-day control of the Coliseum and the adjacent L.A. Sports Arena.

LA Coliseum- Lic 325630- Reg 11074183

LA Sports Arena- Lic 324738- Reg 11074184

Like reporter Paresh Dave on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ or send him an e-mail.

Note: The article was edited on Nov. 15 to reflect that the commission's counsel not general manager reported the issue to the district attorney's office.

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