And The Fight Goes On

And here I thought Goldwater had folded their tent and moved on when Winnipeg got their team and Goldwater’s source of funding from hockey fans in Canada has stopped. From this morning’s Arizona Republic by Lisa Halverstadt.

Glendale and the Goldwater Institute have bickered over public records related to Phoenix Coyotes negotiations for more than two years, lobbing accusations at one another as the search for a team owner drags on.

Goldwater argues that Glendale may have withheld some documents while providing stacks of irrelevant ones. The Phoenix-based conservative watchdog group says Glendale residents have the right to know whether the deal was handled correctly. Glendale officials say that they have not withheld records and that the Goldwater group has taxed city resources and inserted itself into the city’s troubled search for a Coyotes buyer.

The judge had recommended the city release any documents the marketing department might have withheld and asked the city to speed its process to put together the document log. He also said Goldwater attorneys should be allowed to question Glendale staffers under oath about the city’s records processes instead of relying on a previous deposition with an attorney who was hired to assist the city.

Why would Goldwater get to question staffers under oath? Has the court appointed mediator determined that Glendale (City of Glendale) lied during this process or that they may have mistakenly withheld some documents? More from the article.

Goldwater contends that Glendale residents have a right to know whether documents are being withheld.

Glendale officials say no documents have been withheld. Its marketing department has only reviewed documents that were also released to the media and likely to be the subject of questions.

“Many times, the reason for the marketing department’s involvement is because once those documents are released, (that department) is the one speaking on behalf of the city or linking reporters up with others in the city,” said Julie Frisoni, who oversees the department.

“Only a city attorney can decide whether a document will be withheld,” Frisoni said.

Lastly, both sides make their closing points to the reporter.

Carrie Ann Sitren, a Goldwater attorney, said the group has usually been able to quickly settle records disputes with other cities. Glendale, however, may be withholding documents related to potential or former Coyotes deals and Goldwater has no way of knowing what has not been released, she said.

For that reason, the court battle continues long after the unraveling of the deal Goldwater had criticized.

“If wanting to know what the city is doing with public tax dollars is butting in, then I guess we are butting in, but as far as steering the course of the city’s business, we have no interest in doing that except to steer the city away from illegal conduct, from an illegal deal,” she said.

Glendale maintains that the watchdog group simply wants to make a name for itself and is expending city resources and dollars in the process.

“You should be cautious of buying into dishonesty that has arisen from Goldwater’s self-serving interpretations,” said Tindall, the city attorney. “Their accusations and suppositions are nonsense.”

Conclusion. No one is going to walk away a winner. Now I know what Commissioner Gary Bettman said that this situation got very complicated when it bought the team out of bankruptcy. Not only do potential buyers have to pass the league’s requirements and get approval from the board of governors, but you have to negotiate with the CoG, and you still have to go through or around Goldwater.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/glendale/articles/2012/01/26/20120126glendale-watchdog-legal-fight.html#ixzz1krcEhRs9

Tags: City Of Glendale Goldwater Institute Phoenix Coyotes

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