L.A. Coliseum Manager Todd DeStefano Took Money Working For Electric Daisy Carnival Promoter Even As Raves Were on Thin Ice With His Bosses
We thought the review of plans for the next Electric Daisy Carnival megarave was a little too cozy at the Coliseum Commission last week. Police, fire and, yes, L.A. Coliseum officials fell over themselves to declare how safe and legit the ecstasy-fueled party would be.
Caesar Sebastian A dancer at Electric Daisy Carnival.
Turns out the Coliseum's lead event manager has been doing double duty as a promoter and, yes, event manager for the promoter of last year's Electric Daisy Carnival.
In fact, according to a Los Angeles Times inquiry into, Todd DeStefano, the publicly-owned Coliseum's assistant general manager, continued this double role even as EDC was under fire and on thin ice with the Coliseum Commission, which threatened to enact a rave moratorium following last year's EDC anarchy and the death of a 15-year-old ecstasy overdose victim who attended the party.
One of DeStefano's roles? Yeah, security and working with the LAPD.
One of the event's worst aspects? Security: Kids under 16, the party's limit, were let in, party-goers were injured as a crush of people headed to a field, there were more than 200 medical transports, most for ecstasy-related ailments, and there were more than 60 mostly drug-related arrests during the two-day rave, according to an account last year give by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
A police official said mobile security cameras promised by the Coliseum -- a facet of the event that would have been under DeStefano's management -- didn't materialize for last year's party.
Officials who work with companies that come before public entities to do business are at least supposed to report it on state forms, but the Times notes that DeStefano did not do so despite being warned that he should.
His role in coordinating EDC both inside and outside his Coliseum work -- he established a private events firm to handle his side business -- was key. According to a Coliseum Commission report (PDF) on the party:
"Todd DeStefano, Lead Event Manager of the Coliseum, led the planning and preparation process for EDC in conjunction with LAPD and LAFD. DeStefano has 14 years of experience in the event planning field and has been working at the Coliseum for 12 years. Starting in April 2010, DeStefano held weekly meetings wherein all events at the Coliseum were discussed, including EDC. The meetings were attended by individuals representing the County of Los Angeles, LAPD and LAFD."
The Times reports that in January incoming commission President David Israel was notified of DeStefano's dual roles. Israel said he wasn't comfortable with the situation and asked that DeStefano pick a job. He chose to resign from the commission and stay on with EDC's promoter, Insomniac Events.
The Times says that DeStefano made $93,000 in salary last year, including a $60,000 cut that was imposed after his dual employment was discovered.
Coliseum general manager Patrick Lynch told the paper he had been okay with the arrangement.
"We're all in it together," he tells the paper. "I'm in the meetings, the other guys are in the meetings, we're all in the meetings. There's no hidden ball here."