A former Los Angeles Ram official was warned to "keep his mouth shut" about the alleged scalping of tickets to the 1980 Super Bowl according to sources familiar with his testimony in a lawsuit in Los Angeles.
Harold Guiver, now an official of the New Orleans Saints, told Nfl Commissioner Pete Rozelle about the confrontation just after the Super Bowl, the sources said, but Rozelle did nothing to investigate it.Rozelle could not be reached for comment yesterday. Earlier he refused to say whether the league had investigated the allegations.
The Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise reported details yesterday from a deposition by Guiver filed in a suit over the attempt to move the Oakland Raiders to Los Angeles over the objections of the league owners. It had been reported earlier that Guiver was given 1,000 Super Bowl tickets by Ram owner Georgia Rosenbloom Frontiere and sold them for $100 apiece -- more than three times their face value.
In the latest twist, sources said that Guiver testified that Jack M. Catain Jr., a Los Angeles businessman who has been investigated for allegedly laundering organized crime money, told him on the eve of the Super Bowl to keep quiet about the black market in the game tickets.
Catain and Guiver met again a few days later in the apartment of Ram General Manager Don Klosterman to discuss a contract dispute between Guiver and Frontiere. The Riverside paper said Klosterman recalled no threats being made at that meeting.
Catain and Klosterman couldn't be reached for comment yesterday. Guiver's attorney, Tony Capozzola of Torrence, Calif., said in a phone interview that his client didn't want to comment about his deposition. But he said "the facts will clearly show that Mr. Guiver has not been involved in any illegal transaction, but in fact was proceeding in accordance with instructions received from his employer, the Los Angeles Rams."
Sources said Frontiere wanted the alleged scalping profits "camouflaged" by having Guiver pay her $48,000 from a loan her late husband Carroll Rosenbloom already had forgiven and $22,000 more for a Mercedes car Guiver was driving. Instead, he put the disputed $70,000 from the sale of the tickets in a bank account until the contract dispute was settled.
Frontiere said in a statement issued by Ram attorney Joseph Cotchett that she never had scalped a ticket. He did verify that the team honored Guiver's claim that he was due 1,000 tickets "as part of a severance and resignation of Mr. Guiver." Cotchett said the Ram management didn't know what happened to the tickets, but never accepted or expected any profit from their sale.
The depositions in the lawsuit have not been made public. But there has been a continuing series of leaks about the testimony in the case. The ticket-scalping allegations were raised by attorneys for Raider managing partner Al Davis Jr. in an attempt to show why the Rams and perhaps Rozelle would not want another team in Los Angeles.
The Rams now play in Anaheim, 35 miles from the city, and get the "host" city allotment of Super Bowl tickets when the game is played in the nearby Rose Bowl. If the Raiders came to town, Davis would control that block of tickets.