Some California Science Center board members expressed concerns over leasing of the Coliseum to USC to the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday and Thursday.
A Science Center board vote will determine if USC can have control of the Exposition Park parking lots. Though some board members wanted to quickly vote on the issue, others are wary after scandals related to management of the Coliseum and of possible ill effects to museum attendance.
Three members of the Coliseum Commission, two rave promoters and a contractor were indicted on corruption charges last year. USC got control of the Coliseum lease in May, but in July the Times and a public interest group sued the Coliseum Commission with allegations that it violated transparency laws by negotiating USC’s lease in secret and withholding certain stadium documents. The commission denied the allegations and the suit is pending.
Science Center Board Chairman Robert L. Stein told the Times that he would have opposed allowing the commission to run the stadium if he had known about the alleged corruption.
On the other hand, William Chadwick, who has sat on the museum and Coliseum boards for several years, said USC should get control of the parking lots and that the vote should be held without delay.
“In my view, a public hearing is unnecessary, inappropriate and of questionable legal validity,” Chadwick told the Times.
Science Center President Jeffery Rudolph said he had concerns over parking and USC’s use of the stadium for events other than football games, such as soccer games and concerts.
“We can’t function without parking,” Rudolph told the Times. “I’m talking about the ability to ensure there’s parking available for school buses for children coming to the Science Center … the African American Museum, the Natural History Museum and for families that come here.”
The temporary manager of the Coliseum disputed some of Rudolph’s claims to the Times.
A public hearing is scheduled for Oct. 3.