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Goldwater Institute v. City of Glendale (public records in Coyotes negotiations case)

November 11, 2014
QUICK STATUS
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Briefing complete on motions for Iafrate file and Jamison deal/contempt. City filed new motion for in camera review.

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Await hearing date(s) on Iafrate file and Jamison deal/contempt. Respond to in camera motion.

Hockey in the Phoenix desert has proved to be less than profitable. So it wasn’t surprising when the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team filed for bankruptcy in 2009. What was surprising was the lengths the City of Glendale would go to to keep potential team buyers from moving the Coyotes to colder – and more profitable – climes.

The Goldwater Institute began requesting documents related to potential buyers who were promising to keep the team in Arizona. Over the years, the city has frequently refused to turn over public documents, claiming that negotiations are confidential. A judge ordered Glendale to turn the records over to the Goldwater Institute, and if there were any records the City felt could harm its negotiations with a potential owner of the Coyotes, to turn those records over to the judge for an in-camera inspection. The City turned over some documents at first then many months went by without Glendale turning over any other records, even though it indicated to the Goldwater Institute that it had more documents.

What has emerged is that the City of Glendale intends to offer some form of taxpayer subsidy to a new owner of the Phoenix Coyotes as an incentive to keep the hockey team in Glendale. This is a potential violation of the Arizona Constitution’s Gift Clause and puts taxpayers on the hook for city debt. And this after Glendale’s credit rating was recently downgraded.

The Goldwater Institute will continue to enforce public records laws and the judges rulings in court as necessary to make sure taxpayers are not kept in the dark and have an opportunity to analyze and comment on the City’s proposed course of action before they are committed to a deal.

Case Documents

Copy of Public Records Request to City of Glendale (6/23/2009)Glendale’s Response to Public Records Request (6/24/2009)Complaint (6/26/2009)Motion on Glendale’s Public Notice Requirements (6/30/2009)Response to City’s Brief on Order to Show Cause (7/16/2009)Redacted Public Records Released by GlendaleJudge Burke’s Ruling (7/21/2009)Public Records Released by Glendale, Second Disclosure (7/24/2009)Response to Glendale’s Motion to Delay (7/27/2009)Judge Burke’s Second Ruling (7/31/2009)Public Records Released by Glendale, Third Disclosure

Public Records Released by Glendale, Fourth Disclosure (8/20/2009)Reply on Contempt (2/3/2010)Supplemental Evidence on Contempt (2/8/2010)Contempt Application (2/20/2010)

Public Records–City Parking Analysis (TLHocking) [11/22/2010]

Glendale Parking Agreement (1/25/2011)Combined Motions (10/25/2011)Special Master Report No. 1 (12/22/2011)Ruling by Superior Court of AZ, Maricopa County (4/24/2012)Motion for Temporary Restraining Order (6/8/2012)Transcript from the June 8 Hearing (6/8/2012)Complaint (6/13/2012)Motion for Contempt (6/13/2012)Motion for Contempt, Exhibits (6/13/2012)

 

 

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