Coliseum Board Official Today Faces Fifth Day On The StandPublished June 9, 2003
The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum board's point man during '95 negotiations to bring the Raiders back to Oakland, Ed DeSilva, insisted Friday "he did not play a major role in the deal," according to Paul Rosynsky of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE. In his fourth day on the witness stand in the Raiders' $1.1B fraud lawsuit, DeSilva "continued to describe himself as a selfless volunteer who was trying to promote civic pride" by bringing an NFL team to Oakland. But that portrayal was "challenged by Raiders attorney Roger Dreyer, who tried to show jurors DeSilva" was "intricately involved" in the deal. Attorneys defending DeSilva and the Coliseum board are arguing that marketing mistakes during the summer of '95 were made by the Oakland Football Marketing Association, which they say is separate from the Coliseum board. During one Coliseum board meeting, DeSilva described the two organizations as one, but said on the stand, "I regret that I said they are one." Also, in initial interviews with attorneys, DeSilva said that Coliseum board member Dennis Cuneo "gave a presentation on the status of regular-season ticket sales during" an August 7, 1995 meeting with Raiders Owner Al Davis. But in testimony last week, DeSilva said that the presentation "did not occur Aug. 7, when the lease was signed." DeSilva said that the presentation was "done on an easel set up in front of Davis." When asked about the easel again in court, DeSilva "became visibly irritated," and said, "I've gone through this many times and have given different testimony at different times about that damn easel." Referring to documents tracking the progress of PSL sales, Dreyer showed the number of PSLs reported sold by an October meeting "was actually less than the number Coliseum board members said they told Davis were sold in August." DeSilva is scheduled to continue testifying today (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 6/7).
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