Patrick Soluri and Jeffrey Anderson have filed a lawsuit against the city of Sacramento for not complying with the California Public Records Act, Government Code section 6250. The city of Sacramento had ten days to respond to both Soluri and Anderson for their request of communication records between Sacramento city officials and the investors that are in pursuit of purchasing the Sacramento Kings from the current owners, the Maloof Brothers.
The plaintiffs suspect the presence of specific documentary evidence which will confirm their allegations. In the public disclosure request they state:
"It is our understanding that the investor group informed you and the Mayor that the Kings franchise was not worth the $525 million being offered by the Seattle investor group, and the investor group demanded compensation from the City in order to make up the difference between their estimated value of $400 million and the required $525 million to acquire the Kings. This secret compensation would be conveyed vis-à-vis three "sweeteners" to the investor group that are not included in the publicly-disclosed Arena subsidy in the amount of $258 million. These three "sweeteners," include the conveyance of parking facilities, billboard leases and intentionally understated fair market value of the City-owned real estate."
Michael McCann, sports attorney for Sports Illustrated states via Twitter, "appeal of denied public records request is not in & of itself a big deal (I know from partaking in that process)-but, "If" there is subsidy that the NBA was not told about or should have been public - that would not reflect well with NBA execs." McCann continues, "My guess is NBA would have demanded that any terms that should have been public were in fact made public."
McCann finished out saying that if there is truly a large omission on behalf of the Kevin Johnson Administration then the NBA Board of Governors would side with Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer in the purchase of the Kings. The NBA likes full disclosure in processes like this. Undisclosed sources of financing would be a serious black eye on the City of Sacramento.
It will be interesting to see how the City of Sacramento and the NBA handle this. Will the documents be turned over in advance of the NBA Board of Governors vote on relocation and sale currently scheduled for the week of May 15th.
Click here to download the full documentation of the Soluri-Johnson lawsuit.