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Did ex-L.A. Coliseum manager get off easy? Share your thoughts

March 29, 2012 | 10:20 am

Los Angeles Coliseum
Talk back LAJust days after he was arrested on multiple corruption charges the former general manager of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum struck a deal with prosecutors that dropped all but one charge, allowing him to avoid a potentially lengthy prison sentence.

Times reporters Rong-Gong Lin II, Paul Pringle and Andrew Blankstein reported Wednesday that Patrick T. Lynch had faced up to 15 1/2 years behind bars after he was indicted along with five others on charges of bribery, embezzlement, conspiracy and conflict of interest at the Coliseum.

Instead, he will do no prison time, according to the report. Under the deal, he must repay $385,000 that he allegedly received from a Coliseum contractor as part of a kickback scheme and will be placed on three years’ probation. He is not compelled to testify against the other defendants who include former Coliseum events manager Todd DeStefano and rave promoters Pasquale Rotella and Reza Gerami.

The case grew out of Times reports on financial irregularities at the Coliseum and Sports Arena, which Lynch managed for 17 years until he resigned under pressure 13 months ago. The Times has been investigating the Coliseum since the drug-overdose death of a teenage girl who attended a rave there in 2010.

Some observers, including Loyola Law School professor Stanley Goldman, told The Times that the deal appeared highly favorable to Lynch.

"It's very rare that somebody is charged with 10 counts" and prosecutors reduce them to one, unless they are "expecting cooperation in exchange, the charges are more difficult to prove than anticipated or they simply overcharged it," Goldman told The Times.

What do you think? Did Lynch get off easy? Share your comments.


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-- Paloma Esquivel 

Photo: The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times