DA and FPPC launch investigations into Coliseum official's employment with rave company
Local and state authorities will investigate whether laws were broken when a top official for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission helped plan and oversee security and emergency services for a huge rave while also working as a paid consultant for the company producing the event.
The Times reported Wednesday that Todd DeStefano, who was the commission's longtime assistant general manager for events, went to work for the rave producer about two months before last June's Electric Daisy Carnival, which was marred by numerous drug overdoses and the death of a 15-year-old girl.
A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said Wednesday that authorities there would investigate the circumstances surrounding DeStefano's double employment. DeStefano quit the commission's staff in January.
Roman Porter, executive director of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, said his agency also “has initiated an investigation into Mr. DeStefano based on the issues raised in the L.A. Times article.”
Porter said the probe would examine whether DeStefano broke laws by failing to disclose income from an outside source and engaging in a conflict of interest. In addition, Porter said, the inquiry will determine whether DeStefano violated “revolving door” statutes that require government employees to wait at least one year after leaving their jobs before lobbying their former agencies.
Meanwhile, in an interview Wednesday, Coliseum Commissioner Rick Caruso called for the resignation of Patrick Lynch, the commission general manager who gave DeStefano permission to work for the company, Insomniac Inc.
"The Coliseum Commission was lied to by our staff about how the security for the raves was planned," Caruso said. "We have now learned the fox was guarding the hen house, since the staffer in charge of planning security was also secretly working for the rave organizer."
Telephone calls Wednesday to DeStefano and Lynch for comment were not immediately returned.
-- Andrew Blankstein, Rong-Gong Lin II and Paul Pringle