By Tony Lopez

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — For the first time since the revelation of Chris Hansen’s hidden effort to derail a new Sacramento Kings arena, we’re hearing from Mayor Kevin Johnson.

From city hall, since day 1, Johnson has been the voice of the effort to keep the Kings, but he’s kept silent on this latest development until Wednesday.

He was surprised, but not sidetracked.

“You can’t dwell on it. You just gotta move on.”

That’s Johnson’s take on the revelation that it was former rival Chris Hansen who dug into his deep pockets for one last attempt to derail Sacramento’s efforts to build a new arena.

When it didn’t swing in his favor, it turns out Hansen swung open his checkbook. He gave $100,000 to a local anti-arena group, to the surprise of Johnson.

“I didn’t have any idea. I think early on the Maloofs came out and said they weren’t behind it, so that was kind of relieving. I was relieved to hear that they weren’t. And when we all found out it was Chris Hansen, you know, I was surprised.”

There’s that word again—surprised.

Here’s another one—apology. Hansen gave one for trying to hijack the process, calling it a mistake he regrets. And Johnson accepts.

“I think his statement was sufficient for me,” he said. “So we’ll accept that and move on and build a new building.”

The mayor also said he wouldn’t mind having Hansen at the opening game at the new arena.

“I’d ask him if he wants to come to opening game. We’d be glad to have him.”

The mayor also said he hopes to avoid using eminent domain to wrestle away the Macy’s Men’s store building to make way for the new arena. But the city is ready to use it if the need should arise.

More than likely, something will be worked out behind closed doors.


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