Coliseum deal could go forward today

The California Science Center Board of Directors could vote at its meeting June 5 to approve the latest terms of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum lease agreement with USC.

If approved by the Board, the agreement would give USC full managing rights at the state historical landmark and guarantee the university 70 percent of the parking spaces in the Science Center’s deck on 25 event days per year (33 if the NFL uses the stadium temporarily). It would also extend USC’s lease from 2054, the expiration date agreed upon in a December 2012 plan, to 2111 — a 98-year deal.

But opponents of the deal spoke out at public forums this week, saying that the loss of parking would take both revenue and visitors away from the California African American Museum , the California Science Center and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. [Read more…]

L.A. Coliseum will soon be turned over to USC through 2054


Controller will launch audit of L.A. Coliseum

Allegations of conflict of interest, poor oversight and requests for questionable pay raises, has prompted L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel to call for a comprehensive audit of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The stadium, home to USC football, is jointly operated by the state, Los Angeles County and the city of Los Angeles.

A press release from Greuel’s office says “The audit assesses internal and management controls regarding financial decision making and reviews the Coliseum’s financial operations from 2009 to present.”

Greuel decided to start the audit after getting a request from an “office manager” to increase the salary of 20 of the department’s 32 employees, including a $25,000 pay hike for the Coliseum’s finance director.

“This request raises many red flags,” stated Greuel. “Given the allegations of conflicts of interest and misuse of public funds, I find it hard to believe that officials at the Coliseum think this would be an appropriate request. It begs for us to review the Coliseum’s books with greater scrutiny.”

According to the L.A. Times, Coliseum Commission President David Israel said he rescinded the $25,000 salary boost for finance director Ronald Lederkramer (who made about $195,000 last fiscal year), after Greuel raised questions about it last week.