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Coliseum panel overturns ban on raves

In a surprise move, L.A. Memorial Coliseum Commission members Wednesday overturned a moratorium on raves put in place after the drug overdose death of a 15-year-old girl who had attended an event held at the public facility earlier this year.

The move was sharply criticized by Rick Caruso, appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve on the joint city, county and state commission.

"I strongly disagree with the action of the commission," Caruso said, adding that he did not attend the meeting because he was at a family event and that it was his understanding that no action would be taken on the rave moratorium. "I think it's underhanded. It's not a legal issue. It's morally wrong."

Coliseum General Manager Pat Lynch said commissioners acted after receiving an update Wednesday about raves held Aug. 21 and Oct. 23 at the site at Exposition Park. Both events were scheduled before the moratorium was put in place June 30, within 24 hours of the teenager's death.

Lynch said commissioners were satisfied with measures that included hiring doctors and nurses to work at the rave site, enforcing a minimum age limit of 18, and ending events at 2 a.m.

Deputy Chief Pat Gannon of the Los Angeles Police Department said Wednesday that he remained deeply concerned about drug use at the events.

The rave moratorium was extended by the commission in July amid intense public scrutiny and in front of a standing-room-only crowd.

Earlier this week, Los Angeles police were investigating how a college freshman who had been partying two nights at a nearby electronic music festival suffered critical injuries after falling six stories from his USC dorm room. The festival was held at the Shrine Auditorium during the Halloween weekend. The Shrine Auditorium is not managed by the Coliseum commission.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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