Jump to content

State opens meeting law probe of Glendale

Guest sarsippius

Recommended Posts


State opens meeting law probe of Glendale

By Paul Giblin The Republic | azcentral.com Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:16 PM

The State Attorney General’s Office has launched an investigation into possible violations of Arizona’s Open Meeting Law by the Glendale City Council.

The investigation focuses on a series of private back-to-back meetings at Glendale City Hall among council members, National Hockey League executives and the prospective buyers of the Phoenix Coyotes franchise on May 28.

The Attorney General’s Office launched the investigation in response to several complaints, according to a July 2 letter by Assistant Attorney General Christopher Munns to interim City Manager Dick Bowers.

“The complaints allege that the council violated the Open Meetings Law by conducting sequential meetings of council members in a number less than a quorum in order to discuss official town business without needing to comply with the requirements of the law,” Munns states in the letter.

Munns asked Bowers to provide additional information about the serial meetings by July 26.

The Arizona Republic, which wrote about the potential violation last month, obtained Munns’ letter through a public records request.

Attorney general spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham declined to specify how many people filed complaints about the matter.

“It’s an ongoing investigation, so we won’t be making any comments about it,” she said.

In general, Open Meeting Law investigations take one to six months to complete, Grisham said.

If violations are found, penalties could include fines of as much as $500 per person, assessment of the state’s attorney fees and removal from public office, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

Six of the council’s seven members participated in the serial meetings, but in groups of one, two and three, which maneuvered around the Open Meeting Law by avoiding a four-member quorum.

The meetings set into motion negotiations that resulted in the council approving a 15-year, $225 million contract with the prospective Coyotes owners to operate Jobing.com Arena, where the team has played since 2003.

The council approved the contract on a 4-3 vote on the day the Attorney General’s Office opened the investigation.

Munns’ letter notes that no agendas were posted for the serial meetings, nor were minutes from the meetings made available for the public.

Councilwoman Norma Alvarez was invited to one meeting, but declined to attend. Later, she criticized her colleagues.

Glendale interim City Attorney Nick DiPiazza said he interviewed the council members who participated in the meetings and is preparing a response to the Attorney General’s Office.

“I don’t believe any meetings were conducted within the meaning of a meeting under the Arizona Open Meeting Law,” he told The Republic. “The meetings were — as described by council members — meet and greet. They were introductions and I don’t believe any business was conducted and I don’t believe any violations of the law were intended or occurred.”

Mayor Jerry Weiers previously told The Republic that the prospective Coyotes buyers outlined their financial requirements in broad terms during the private meeting he attended.

Glendale resident Ken Sturgis, who said he filed a complaint, believes the private meetings amounted to far more than introductory sessions.

“It’s hard to believe that this kind of contract that was put together and presented later wasn’t talked about. I find that very hard to believe,” he said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hmmm. So just when the Yotes are set to have a stable home in Arizona, there is a group trying to remove them? wow. What do they want an empty arena with no extra income for Glendale?

shhhhh..... is what I say.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...