SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A judge has ruled in favor of the City of Sacramento in a lawsuit that alleged the mayor and staff defrauded the public in the new arena deal.
The lawsuit alleged, among other things, that the city’s use of unvalued benefits – like digital billboards and Downtown Plaza parking – in the downtown arena deal amounted to a “secret subsidy.”
In the ruling released Friday by Judge Timothy M. Frawley, the court ruled that there is no merit to the allegations.
“The evidence shows that the City’s goal in structuring the deal was to use items that currently have little or no value to the City, and use them as leverage to negotiate a better deal,” Judge Frawley wrote.
Later in the ruling, Judge Frawley added “These assets may have significant value in the hands of the Kings – time will tell – but the evidence shows they did not have significant value to the city.”
Mayor Kevin Johnson, the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Kings were quick to praise the ruling.
“With this final obstruction behind us, the path is clear for Sacramento to enter a new era of job creation, economic development, and above all, possibility,” Johnson said in a statement.
“We thank the court for their consideration and congratulate our partner, the City of Sacramento,” said Chris Granger, President of the Sacramento Kings
As of this publishing, the plaintiffs have not commented about the ruling.
The ruling is a “proposed statement of decision,” meaning the plaintiffs have 15 days to accept the ruling or ask for a higher court to rule.