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L.A. Coliseum Commission to consider firing top officials

September 7, 2011 |  1:16 pm

Los Angeles city councilman Bernard C. Parks talks at a City Hall meeting last October. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

The beleaguered Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission could hear a call Wednesday to fire its top leaders because of a growing financial scandal over the private business dealings of stadium managers.

City Councilman Bernard C. Parks called Saturday for the dismissal of the Coliseum's top two officials after a report in The Times that, citing records and interviews, said the Coliseum’s technology manager directed stadium business to a firm he founded. 

In an email to other commissioners, Parks, whose district includes the Coliseum, said the panel should fire interim General Manager John Sandbrook and Finance Director Ronald Lederkramer as well as the technology manager, Leopold Caudillo Jr. Another Coliseum employee, David Shea, named in state records as an agent of the private firm, should also be ousted, Parks said.

Commissioners are also expected to discuss the future of USC’s lease agreement with the Coliseum. Because the financially struggling Coliseum is not likely to keep its promise to make $60 million in sorely needed renovations to the 88-year-old stadium, USC is expected to seek a “master lease” that would give the private university near-total control of the publicly owned stadium.

The USC-Coliseum negotiations have become an issue in trying to bring an NFL team to downtown Los Angeles. Anschutz Entertainment Group’s Tim Leiweke, the point man for the downtown football stadium, said last month that the Coliseum would be in play as a temporary home for a relocated NFL team only if it was USC -- not the Coliseum Commission -- that cut the deal.

Leiweke has said “there is no way economically we are the engine that drives a renovation” at the Coliseum. USC in the past has said it is willing to pay for renovations to the Coliseum if it receives a master lease.

The Coliseum Commission meets at 1:30 p.m. at the hearing room near Gate 33A, on the eastern end of the Coliseum.


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-- Rong-Gong Lin II and Paul Pringle

Photo: Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard C. Parks speaking at a City Hall meeting last October. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times