Coliseum to receive $180,000 payment from event promoters in plea bargain

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission will receive $180,000 in payment after two concert promoters who had been accused of bribery entered separate plea deals, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Pasquale Rotella and Reza Gerami had been implicated in a bribery case involving the Coliseum’s former assistant general manager, Todd DeStefano, in 2012. In August of this year, the charge was dropped after prosecutors acknowledged that they had mishandled evidence in the case, and Rotella instead pled no contest to a misdemeanor charge of conflict of interest, according to the Los Angeles Times.

DeStefano was sentenced to six months in jail in September for his role in a corruption scandal that implicated entertainment companies who organized raves at the publicly owned venue, and was ordered to pay $500,000 directly to the Coliseum.

Insomniac Events’ Rotella and Go Ventures’ Gerami agreed to pay $150,000 and $30,000 to the Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector, respectively. The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted that this money would be used to pay the Coliseum Commission for its losses in the bribery case.

The president of the Commission, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, emphasized the need for Rotella and Gerami to pay.

“Fairness and equality mandate that all of the restitution paid by the criminal defendants in this case be returned to the Commission, which is the clear victim of the alleged crimes,” Ridley-Thomas said in a statement. “The shame brought to the Coliseum Commission by the rampant criminal acts of former employees and vendors cannot be overstated. The Coliseum Commission is determined to bring all unlawful actors to justice and make them pay every stolen dollar back to the public.”

Rotella and Gerami have also been placed on probation. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles County prosecutors had contended that rave companies put public health and safety at risk, and exploiting millions of taxpayer dollars.

Correction: A previous version of this article contained errors. The story incorrectly stated that the The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors ordered Rotella and Gerami to pay the Coliseum Commission $180,000 in restitution for their role in bribing the Coliseum’s former general manager. Rotella and Gerami agreed to pay $180,000 to the county as part of a plea deal on a separate charge of misdemeanor conflict of interest, and felony bribery charges against them were dropped in August. The Board of Supervisors then voted that these funds would go the Coliseum Commission. The Daily Trojan regrets the errors.