New Rams Stadium Suit Calls for Open Records

     ST. LOUIS (CN) – In a new potential hurdle to keeping the Rams in St. Louis, a resident claims in court that pro-stadium interests have violated the Sunshine Law.
     Jeanette Mott Oxford filed the complaint Thursday in city court against the Regional Convention and Sports Complex, a body politic behind the Rams’ current home, Edward Jones Dome.
     The group hopes a new football stadium will woo the franchise away from a contemplated move to Los Angeles, and has sought to secure funding by extending the bonds used to build the Edward Jones Dome.
     Mott Oxford, a former state representative and social-welfare advocate, says she filed a written request nearly one month ago for documents related to the development of the stadium.
     “The RSA has refused to provide the records requested by Ms. Oxford, even though the stadium project has an estimated value of $1 billion dollars, and will use millions of dollars in government assistance,” the complaint states, abbreviating the defendant’s name.
     Though the RSA has described the documents in question as “closed” records, Mott Oxford says their release is “in the public interest.”
     Mott Oxford is represented in the case by John Ammann with the St. Louis University Legal Clinic.
     Theirs is third legal challenge to the proposed stadium.
     On June 2, six lawmakers filed a lawsuit in Cole County claiming Gov. Jay Nixon did not have the legal authority to use public funds for a stadium without a vote.
     The denial letter to Mott Oxford’s request came that same day, saying the requested records were part of pending litigation and therefore closed under state law.
     The Regional Convention and Sports Complex is a plaintiff in the other action, filed in St. Louis city court on April 10.
     That lawsuit for declaratory relief was prompted by claims from Ammann that the city could not spend taxpayer money on the stadium without a public vote.
     In it, the Regional Convention and Sports Complex asks a judge to find the law in question is overly vague and unconstitutional.
     Mott Oxford is one of three residents to have filed to intervene in that lawsuit, defending the law.
     Attempts to reach officials with the Regional Convention and Sports Complex were unsuccessful.

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