Rick Caruso Resigns from Coliseum Commission

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    File Photo: Rick Caruso appears at the House Ear Institute Benefit on May 9, 2006, in Los Angeles.

    Developer Rick Caruso is parting ways with the scandal-plagued Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission amid concerns over his relationship with USC, according to his resignation letter.

    Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard C. Parks, who is also on the commission, had pressed the panel to exclude Caruso from the USC talks, the Los Angeles Times reported. Parks, whose council district includes the Coliseum, opposes a "master lease" for USC, saying the private school should not have such authority over the publicly owned stadium.

    "And while I feel the concerns to be unwarranted, I do not want them to become a distraction and believe it is time for me to end my service on the Commission," Caruso wrote in a resignation letter (PDF) dated Sept. 28.

    Caruso serves as a trustee for USC, whose football team is the Coliseum's main tenant.

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    Last year, Caruso fought against the commission to re-impose a moratorium on raves, enacted after a 15-year-old girl died from complications of Ecstasy intoxication. The developer was also vocal in calling for the resignation of former General Manager Patrick Lynch because of alleged financial improprieties.

    Earlier this month, Caruso recused himself from lease negotiations with USC.

    In his resignation letter, Caruso also called for the phasing out of the commission and replacing it with a single entity, able to "provide better, more efficient, and more transparent management of this valuable public asset."

    Caruso's resignation is effective upon a replacement appointment from Gov. Jerry Brown.

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