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Report: Controller To Audit LA Coliseum Finances

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(credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

(credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The head of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission says he has canceled a $25,000 raise to the executive who oversaw the stadium’s finances after the city’s controller raised questions about it.

The Los Angeles Times reports that City Controller Wendy Greuel is expected to launch an audit Wednesday into the commission’s finances.

Her office recently released records showing that finance director Ronald Lederkramer received a 17 percent wage increase, boosting his salary from $145,000 to $170,000.

The records also show that the commission’s interim general manager approved raises for 20 other Coliseum employees, although most were increases of 5 percent or less.

Commission President David Israel said he didn’t know about the raises, and that they have been canceled pending a review of salaries by an outside consultant.

“It’s shocking, it’s ridiculous,” Commissioner Rick Caruso said. “It’s bad management. It’s everything that’s bad about the system and government.”

The stadium is jointly operated by the state and the city and county of Los Angeles.

Sandbrook told the Times the raises were part of his effort to reduce or cut out bonuses for staff members but that he should have waited until the review was complete. He apologized to the commission and staff for “my failure to communicate fully and properly.”

Questions have been raised about the Coliseum’s fiscal oversight after the Times reported earlier this year that former events manager Todd DeStefano cut deals with companies doing business at the taxpayer-owned venue and collected at least $1.8 million dollars from them. The newspaper also found that former general manager Patrick Lynch transferred to himself ownership of a Cadillac that the commission had bought, and that Lederkramer billed the Coliseum for most of the costs of his personally leased Jaguar.

DeStefano quit his job in January after state and county authorities began investigating him. Lynch’s attorney denies that his client did anything wrong.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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