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LOS ANGELES-Three Convention Center audits released by the City Controller here indicate that LA Convention Center officials may have given away $5.8 million more in discounts to visiting trade shows than the city code allows, and that the facility’s staff must do a better job of tracking expensive equipment in order to prevent theft.

The findings, released by City Controller Laura Chick, come at a time when city leaders and convention center officials are stepping up efforts to woo more lucrative trade shows and other events to boost the sagging local economy. Chick adds the center’s staff also uses poor accounting practices that tend to overinflate the center’s revenue.

“The convention center has great potential as an economic engine and has brought much to Los Angeles, but past performance has not been optimal,” Chick says in a statement provided to GlobeSt.com and other media outlets. Chick also says the convention center has done a poor job of collecting its unpaid debts, and is owed as much as $1 million that it may never be able to collect.

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