OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The former executive director of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority has reportedly accepted a plea deal on charges he violated conflict-of-interest laws by seeking a fee while negotiating the naming rights of the stadium.
Scott McKibben pleaded no contest to misdemeanor conflict of interest Tuesday, avoiding a trial and possible jail time, Bay Area News Group reported. Alameda County prosecutors had filed one felony and one misdemeanor count against McKibben last November; the felony count was tossed out in exchange for the plea.
McKibben will serve three years probation under the deal, take an ethics course, and pay a fine to the stadium authority, an amount that has not yet been determined.
Prosecutors said McKibben sought a $50,000 payment for helping negotiate a settlement for the Coliseum naming rights with RingCentral, a Belmont-based firm that provides business phone services.
The Coliseum Authority’s board voted unanimously in May of 2019 to approve an agreement calling the stadium the Ring Central Coliseum in a deal that called for the company to pay $1 million a year for the three years and gave it the option to renew the deal for a fourth year.
Two months later, the District Attorney’s Office began investigating McKibben after the Alameda County Counsel and the Oakland City Attorney’s Office became aware of possible violations of government codes and contacted the DA’s office.
McKibben was charged with conflict of interest violations and he resigned from his post in August 2019. The Coliseum Authority rescinded the naming rights deal with RingCentral in January.
RingCentral did not pay McKibben the fee after prosecutors notified them of the potential conflict of interest.
McKibben’s lawyer Michael Rains said in January his client didn’t think he was doing anything improper in seeking a fee to negotiate the deal, saying McKibben “was upfront from the beginning” in telling RingCentral and the Coliseum authority that he was negotiating as an independent contractor and not as a member of the Coliseum Authority.
Rains said McKibben hasn’t previously been in trouble with the law except for a speeding ticket and being charged criminally “has been a shock and an embarrassment to him.”
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