Goldwater Institute wins partial victory in suit vs. Glendale

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PHOENIX (AP) -- The conservative Goldwater Institute has won a partial victory in its lawsuit seeking access to records of the city of Glendale's negotiations with potential buyers of the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes.

Superior Court Judge Edward Burke ruled yesterday that the city must turn over records immediately, except those that reflect "negotiating strategy, bargaining chips and other information which should remain confidential."

Once any tentative agreement is placed on the city council agenda or is otherwise made public, all "correspondence, drafts, e-mails," and other records of the negotiations must be provided regarding any concessions or incentives provided by Glendale.

Glendale is in negotiations with Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, whose investment partners have made an initial offer to buy the Coyotes.

But Reinsdorf wants a new lease from Glendale to use Arena.

The City of Glendale issued the following statement:

Glendale is very pleased with the court's decision. The court agreed with Glendale "that disclosing the records of negotiations with prospective bidders for the Team would have an important and harmful effect on the City and the application process in the Bankruptcy Court. The proceedings in the Bankruptcy Court strongly suggest that compelled disclosure of negotiations now could have a chilling effect on and unduly influence the bidding process."

The court granted Glendale the protection that the City requested and has allowed and has exempted for disclosure:

the City's negotiating strategy, bargaining chips and other information which should remain confidential;

notes kept by negotiators;

records pertaining to potential bidders who have not submitted an actual bid;

proprietary financial information relating to bidders;

records of alternatives under consideration for use in subsequent rounds of bidding;

records that indicate how far the City is willing to go in granting incentives or concessions;

records under seal in Bankruptcy Court;

any records subject to attorney client privilege;

The city has already made disclosure to the media and to Goldwater of records relating to the sale of the Coyotes that do not expose negotiating strategies and that do not negatively impact the bidding process. The City will continue to disclose documents subject to the court's decision.

We are pleased that the City can continue to negotiate vigorously to achieve the best results for Glendale and the taxpayers.