Rave company CEO Pasquale Rotella to surrender in Coliseum case
Pasquale Rotella, chief executive of rave company Insomniac Inc., is in court Friday morning to voluntarily surrender to authorities in connection to expected charges in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum corruption scandal.
Two former Coliseum managers and an executive of another rave company were arrested on Thursday in connection to alleged malfeasance. All four are expected to appear in court. It was unclear whether they would be arraigned, or if the matter was a hearing to set bail.
On Thursday morning, authorities arrested Patrick Lynch, the former longtime general manager of the Coliseum and the companion Sports Arena, at his home in Torrance. Todd DeStefano, former events manager at the Coliseum, was arrested at a friend's home in Venice. Authorities also arrested Reza Gerami, chief executive of the rave promotion company Go Ventures, at his home in Malibu. They are being held at Los Angeles County Jail.
Rotella was out of town on Thursday and had not been arrested.
"Mr. Rotella moved mountains to return from a pre-planned business trip in Florida to appear in court voluntarily," his attorney, Gary Jay Kaufman, said Friday morning. "Mr. Rotella is going to vigorously defend himself and clear his good name. All defendants are presumed innocent. In this case, Mr. Rotella is not only presumed innocent. He is actually innocent."
Kaufman has suggested that the district attorney's actions are "clearly politically motivated and publicity driven."
The Coliseum and Insomniac came under scrutiny following the overdose death of a 15-year-old girl following a June 2010 rave concert.
In the ensuing months, citing state records and interviews, The Times reported that firms owned by DeStefano, the events manager, had been paid at least $2.2 million from two rave producers -- Insomniac and Go Ventures -- and a number of other companies that did business with the stadium, all while he helped regulate them in his government job in an arrangement that Lynch approved, despite state laws that generally prohibit such side dealings.
The district attorney's office has not disclosed the nature of the allegations against those arrested.
The Coliseum has become mired in charges of conflicts of interest, spending irregularities and loose accounting that have eroded its fiscal foundation and all but bankrupted one of the nation's most-storied public landmarks.
-- Andrew Blankstein, Paul Pringle and Rong-Gong Lin II
Photo: Insomniac Inc. chief executive Pasquale Rotella at the Electric Daisy Carnival in 2010, which was held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Credit: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images