Glendale mayor claims state laws violated prior to Coyotes deal
The mayor of Glendale, Ariz., believes city council members violated the state's Open Meeting Law prior to approving an agreement to keep the Coyotes in Arizona.
Just when you thought you’d heard the last of the Arizona Coyotes ownership situation, new developments in the ongoing saga may have significant impact on the hockey club and its arena agreement with the City of Glendale.
According to Peter Corbett of the Arizona Republic, Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers has asked the state attorney general to investigate an undisclosed meeting between Glendale city council members and an attorney representing Coyotes ownership group IceArizona in June of 2013. That meeting allegedly took place just days before the council voted to approve an arena lease agreement with IceArizona and the deal ultimately ensured the Coyotes would stay in Glendale for the foreseeable future.
Weiers, who voted against the deal that kept the hockey team in Glendale, said he believes the meeting violated the Arizona's Open Meeting Law and revealed key information to the Coyotes about the city's negotiating position.
"I think it's a clear violation," he said. "That meeting is wrong on so many levels. It's like playing poker and showing your opponents all your cards."
Violations of the Open Meeting Law can rescind actions taken by elected officials, which could potentially void Glendale's deal with the team, which was then called the Phoenix Coyotes.
It is not completely clear if Weiers allegations have merit at this point. The other parties involved denied any wrong doing. However, an email obtained by the Arizona Republic very well could bring about an investigation, though. Details of the meeting were included in the email from council member Gary Sherwood to fellow councilman Manny Martinez.
If the attorney general investigates -- no investigation has been confirmed at this point -- and turns up a violation of the open meeting laws, then the Coyotes ownership group could be back to square one when it comes to negotiating a deal as the previous agreement would be voided, per state law. According to The Republic’s media attorney, the city council would have 30 days to ratify the Coyotes deal in an open meeting should the current deal be voided.
There’s a lot to be determined here and there may be no investigation at all. If there is, however, this could make things awfully interesting once again in Glendale, which has been one of the NHL’s most uncomfortable roller coaster rides of the last several years.
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