Soon after the City of Glendale council approved the deal to pay Greg Jamison to take the Jobing.com arena off their hands and start paying fees to Mr. Jamison, the Goldwater Institute threatened to sue to stop the deal from taking place. GWI was thwarted in their attempt to have a restraining order in place that would have prevented the vote from occurring in the first place.
72 hours later, GWI kept their word and filed a lawsuit to block the deal from taking place. On Tuesday, the parties involved will head back to court and the City of Glendale council will have to answer GWI’s claim and GwI will have to prove the CoG did not act in good faith when:
- More time was needed to find a 2nd prospective buyer so you can see if a better deal for Glendale can be found that just voting on the one deal that was before CoG in the terms of Mr. Jamison.
- Only 6 council members were there to approve the deal vs. 7 as the council bylaws state.
- Two documents were not made available prior to the meeting, thereby violating the open meeting law of the state Arizona.
The City of Glendale has responded that it has been three years since the team was put into bankruptcy by Jerry Moyes and there have been other suitors. The fact that no one has been able to come up with the money for the team, to cover losses until they start making a profit, and to meet the costs of running an arena for not just hockey but concerts and other events. CoG has paid $50 million to the owners of the Coyotes (NHL) the past two years to keep the team in Glendale.
The second bullet point is covered by the City of Glendale charter that allows for 6 members to vote on issues if it is an emergency meeting. If a council member was sick or out for an extended period of time, this allows for normal business to be conducted and not hold the City hostage should a member be absent. The items of business approved under emergency provisions have a 30 day wait period until they take affect. This is why GWI is in a rush to file their lawsuit. Time is against them.
The third item in the lawsuit is explained by the City attorney. He states the documents have not been created as yet, therefore they were not available to made public. Once they are/were created, they would not substantively change the council approved agreement with Mr. Jamison.
From the today’s Arizona Republic, “Legal experts say it’s unlikely the judge will invalidate the council vote unless Goldwater makes a strong case in court. The council is a legislative body, and courts give governmental entities wide discretion to make decisions, said David Derickson, a Phoenix-based defense attorney.”For me, as a former judge and a legal observer, I would think it would be very difficult for the court to interfere with a lawful process,” Derickson said.”
When you add it up, it appears that GWI has made their last attempt to block the deal. You look at their claims, and it is difficult to see how they can stop this deal from happening. And would it not be great to start the NHL Awards on Wednesday with GWI given a stunning defeat, the Coyotes sale set for approval to Mr. Jamison at the Board of Governors meeting, and Shane Doan winning the Messier Award for Leadership in Las Vegas.