SAN JOSE (KCBS) — State Controller John Chiang found Thursday that San Jose’s Redevelopment Agency improperly transferred $148.1 million for projects that included land to be given for an Oakland A’s ballpark, but a city official said the ruling does not jeopardize the stadium deal.
Chiang said the funds were inappropriately transferred from RIDA—the redevelopment agency—in the form of property, cash and other assets before it was shut shown and must be returned.
City Attorney Rick Doyle disputed that finding and said the A’s ballpark plans remain on track and that the transfer was done in compliance with the law.
KCBS’ Mike Colgan:
“You may remember that yesterday the 49ers decision was rendered. It’s a very similar issue. Was the transfer proper? Yes, it was and we think the court would make a similar finding,” Doyle said.
Doyle was alluding to Wednesday’s ruling by Superior Court Judge Allen Summer that California finance officials, along educational and elected leaders, improperly tried to divert redevelopment funds to public schools and other local projects.
State Controller’s office spokesman Jacob Roper the situations are significantly different.
“In this case the city signed the third party agreements five months after the law passed, when they clearly knew that existing agreements had to be in place before the law had passed,” he said.
“They also signed the contracts while the Supreme Court was deliberating on the end of redevelopment and ultimately the Supreme Court upheld the law.”
A resolution will likely have to be made in court.
Meanwhile, A’s co-owner Lew Wolff told an audience of San Jose business leaders on Thursday that there were no new developments to bring the A’s south.
KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:
“If there’s anybody here that thinks there’s going to be a big announcement on that, you came to the wrong event,” he said.
Wolff, however, laid out a strong case that San Jose is a good fit for the green and gold citing the number of large companies and large population in the area.
“Nineteen cities that are smaller than San Jose are the home of Major League Baseball teams,” he said.
His goal, he said, remains to move the A’s to the stadium in downtown San Jose that the team would pay for.
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