LOS ANGELES (AP) — The person who helped plan security at a Los Angeles rave where a teen overdosed and later died was also a paid consultant for the company that produced the event.
Todd DeStefano, the assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission, began working for event producer Insomniac Inc. two months before the event at the venue, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Police and hospital officials said drug use was rampant and security was inadequate during the rave in June 2010. About 120 people were taken to the hospital over two days.
State law generally forbids managers from participating in decisions that affect a company in which they or their immediate family members have a financial stake. Violations can result in civil or criminal penalties.
KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports the commission’s general manager Patrick Lynch signed off on the arrangement, but Lynch has been slow to comment on the allegations.
DeStefano told the Times that he was employed by both the commission and the company, but didn’t say how much Insomniac paid him. He did not file a financial disclosure required by the state to declare outside income.
“There was no conflict of interest,” he said.
Lynch said the commission and Insomniac representatives worked as a “team” to plan the rave, and DeStefano couldn’t influence the agency’s oversight of the company.
“We’re all in it together,” he said. “I’m in the meetings, the other guys are in the meetings, we’re all in the meetings. There’s no hidden ball here.”
Lynch said he reduced DeStefano’s salary and changed his title after he started working for Insomniac. According to the city controller’s office DeStefano earned about $93,000 annually, after the pay cut.
Lynch assumed that DeStefano represented both the commission and Insomniac in meetings, some of which might have been closed-door commission meetings where its relationship with Insomniac was discussed in private.
He recently informed Commissioner David Israel of the situation and was told that DeStefano should choose between the company and the agency.
DeStefano left the commission in January to pursue events promotion full-time.
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