There's another legal challenge facing the proposal to build an Entertainment and Sports Complex at the Downtown Plaza
Lawyers for STOP, Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork, released information from a deposition of Sacramento City Council member Kevin McCarty on Thursday afternoon.
McCarty told STOP lawyers he believes the City is gifting millions of dollars to the Sacramento Kings owners in exchange for over paying for the team.
In the deposition McCarty also said:
I personally believe that, you know, the facts are what they are, that there was a number of elements in the term sheet that have value, in my view, that are worth, you know, tens of millions of dollars that were not properly accounted for in the overall package put forth to the public.
STOP has claimed before that the City undervalued land, parking and billboard assets in order to close the arena deal with the Kings' ownership group. With McCarty's deposition, this is the first time STOP's claims have been on the record.
Attorneys for STOP argue that the alleged secret deals between the City and the Kings' ownership group are a gift of public funds, which makes the arena term sheet null and void.
"I think Councilman McCarty called it a second subsidy, then that constitutes a gift of illegal funds for private benefit," STOP attorney Patrick Soluri said. "And we believe that part of the term sheet is unlawful and we believe that a court would strike that arrangement."
City spokesperson Maurice Chaney responded:
We do not comment on pending litigation. We respect and wish to protect the integrity of the judicial process and look forward to the next hearing on this matter on March 21.
Two weeks ago, the Sacramento City Clerk's Office rejected STOP's initiative to put the use of public funds to build the arena on the July ballot. City Clerk Shirley Concolino said in the Jan. 24 statement, "Due to technical issues identified in the submitted petition, I find the petition noncompliant with significant provisions of the California Elections Code and the Sacramento City Charter, and therefore insufficient to move forward."
STOP was expected to file a lawsuit in Sacramento civil court to challenge the decision.