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Judge denies Goldwater Institute's temporary restraining order

A Superior Court Judge has denied Goldwater Institute's temporary restraining order against Glendale City Council's decision on arena deal.

The council has moved forward with a 10:30 a.m. Friday vote.

Judge Katherine Cooper ruled that the Maricopa County Superior Court does not have the authority to block the Council from voting on the $325 million deal, expected to pass by a 4-3 vote.

But Goldwater's not done.

Attorneys for the conservative think tank are expected to file another challenge on Monday, claiming the city has brokered a backroom deal.

"We absolutely will challenge this vote," said Carrie Ann Sitren, an attorney representing Goldwater.

In court, Sitren argued that Glendale has ignored their public-records request in failing to produce key financial documents in a timely manner.

Among the concealed reports are management-performance standards and the annual budget for Arena, Sitren said.

"We are concerned the deal violates the Arizona Constitution's gift clause which regulates tax subsidies for private businesses," Sitren said.

While Judge Cooper didn't grant the restraining order, Goldwater was pleased with her comments in court.

"If the city had complied with orders in the first place, (Judge Cooper) would not have said what she said today," Sitren said.

"She was very clear that the city was in contempt of court, violated court orders and if the deal is approved it will be struck down."

Goldwater President Darcy Olsen released a statement after the court proceedings:

"This morning, Judge Cooper denied the Goldwater Institute's motion for temporary restraining on the grounds that felt the court lacked the authority to block the vote. Simultaneously, she issued a strong warning to the City of Glendale about the implications of moving forward today, affirming the Goldwater Institute's contention that the city has committed 'clear violations' both of court orders and open meeting laws.

"She emphasized the court would be receptive to considering holding the city in contempt if the council moves forward with the vote, stating that sanctions would be in order. We hope the council will heed the judge's warning, comply with the law, and give the public sufficient time to review the council's proposed action."

About the Author

I'm a morning reporter covering stories for Arizona's Morning News with Ned and Connie.

Originally from Minneapolis/St. Paul, I came to Arizona in March of 2011 from Columbus, Ohio, where I previously covered politics and Ohio State football (pretty much the only two things in the Buckeye State's capital city).

I first visited Phoenix in January 2010, when Ohio State played Texas in the Fiesta Bowl (a heartbreaker). Seventy degrees and a room at the Camelback Inn in the middle of winter? I can live with that (no one told me about August).

My most memorable stories since arriving in the Valley have been Gabrielle Giffords' return to Tucson and resignation and the Supreme Court hearings on S.B. 1070 in Washington, but being on the anchor desk during the massive dust storm that swept through Phoenix last July was probably the biggest rush.

I primarily enjoy political and financial stories but if you ask me, the best thing about being a reporter is the daily interaction you have with people. One of my favorite parts of the job is covering something different and meeting someone new every day. It's incredibly rewarding to hear that one of your stories touched someone in the community.

Gayle Bass and I also co-host Arizona's Morning News Weekend, 6-8 a.m. Saturdays.


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