When it Comes to Raves at the Coliseum, Was 'the fox guarding the henhouse'?
A member of the group responsible for the administration of affairs at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is in some pretty hot water after word surfaced he was concurrently working for a company that put on events at the venue. Now the L.A. County DA's office is taking a look at Todd DeStefano's timeclock to see if he was in violation of California's conflict of interest laws, according to KTLA.
DeStefano allegedly worked as a paid consultant for promoter Insomniac, Inc. at the same time he served on the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission. One event put on by Insomniac is the Electric Daisy Carnival, a rave-like event which came under tremendous scrutiny last year after a teen attendee died from injuries sustained at the event while she was under the influence of Ecstasy. DeStafano may have, in fact, been accorded "permission to work for Insomniac [...] for two months by Coliseum commission general manager Patrick Lynch."
Events promotion was a good fit for DeStefano, who left the Coliseum Commission in January to work in the field.
Despite a temporary moratorium on allowing raves or similar events to be held at the venue, the Commission resumed accepting events like the Electric Daisy Carnival at the Coliseum, with the support of their President, David Israel. Now, however, Israel has withdrawn his support for the Carnival, says the LA Times.
The investigation into DeStefano's dealings has had a ripple effect on local politics and business (which are not mutually exclusive in this case). "Commissioner Rick Caruso [called] Wednesday for the resignation of Commission General Manager Patrick Lynch." Said Caruso of DeStefano's alleged double duty: "We have now learned the fox was guarding the henhouse, since the staffer in charge of planning security was also secretly working for the rave organizer."
Moreover, the matter has "spilled into the race between Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks, who is a rave proponent, and his challenger on the March ballot."
In the meantime, if raves do continue at the Coliseum, the LA County Department of Public Health are going to make sure that the kids at least know how to take their drugs safely.