Watchdogs Say AZ City Throwing Money at Bankrupt NHL Team

     PHOENIX (CN) – The Goldwater Institute wants the city of Glendale to hand over its records of negotiations with potential new owners of the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team. The watchdog group claims the city offered $15 million to $20 million in concessions to potential owners of the bankrupt team, and has refused an open records request.

     According to the complaint in Maricopa County Court, City Manager Ed Beasley “discussed a possible $20 million annual subsidy with Coyotes representative Earl Scudder.”
     The city also proposed eliminating a $2.70 per ticket parking fee – allowing the Coyotes to keep that money, about $2.5 million a season – and whacking the Coyotes’ rent, saving the team $512,496 a year – and all those subsidies involve taxpayer money, the lawsuit states.
     The institute says it submitted a public records request for all documents on negotiations and asked that the city clerk “consider the request ‘ongoing'” and send new records as they came up.
     The city refused, stating that “any responsive documents would be considered confidential in light of the pending bankruptcy and current negotiations,” according to the complaint.
     The institute requested a further explanation for the city’s refusal, and the city responded that the request “is not for ‘narrow and clear categories of public records.'”
     City Clerk Pam Hanna is also named as a defendant. The Goldwater Institute is represented by its house counsel, Clint Bolick and Carrie A. Sitren.

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