LOS ANGELES (CBS) – The president of the embattled Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission announced his resignation from the panel Wednesday.
David Israel reportedly said in a letter to Governor Jerry Brown that he had completed his intended goal of finalizing a deal to transfer day-to-day operation of the stadium to the University of Southern California.
Israel led the commission for 16 months amid a financial-abuse scandal that led to the indictments of six people, including three former Coliseum managers.
An audit released by City Controller Wendy Greuel in April found that the commission had approved $870,000 in payments from 2003-09 for soccer games at the stadium that never took place and made $950,000 worth of cash payments to staff outside of the Coliseum’s regular payroll system.
Israel said in the letter that he had “long desired to step down,” but had been waiting until the lease with USC was approved, which the commission passed on an 8-1 vote in May.
USC committed to investing more than $70 million into the stadium, replacing seats, fixing the locker rooms and making other necessary renovations. USC’s football team plays its home games at the stadium.
Under the agreement, the commission will continue to oversee the Coliseum and adjacent Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, but USC will control day-to-day operations, including scheduling of events and possible naming rights negotiations.
Built in 1923, the Coliseum is the only venue to have hosted the Olympic Games twice — in 1932 and 1984.
The land on which the Coliseum and Sports Arena sit is leased from the state under a 100-year agreement that expires in 2054.
A spokesman for Brown confirmed that the governor had received the letter.
(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)