Rio Nuevo board meets following FBI investigationPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- For the first time since the FBI seized 10 years of Rio Nuevo records, the revamped Rio Nuevo board, with four new members, met at the Tucson Convention Center.
They jumped head first into a long list of problems.
It was a first day of school of sorts for four new Rio Nuevo board members. One by one they introduced themselves.
And one in particular, wasn't afraid to speak up from the get go.
"That's what I'm interested in for the transparency for the public. I've just listened to that about how we got to this point. And I have to shake my head to be honest with you," said Jonathan Paton from the Rio Nuevo Board.
Jonathan Paton, Jeff Hill, Jannie Cox and Tim Bathen, join the board at a controversial time.
Just days ago, Rio Nuevo's records were seized by the FBI.
"We need to make sure we get to the bottom of this so that the taxpayer is ultimately protected," said Paton.
"Anytime you have a law enforcement agency take records of a public body there's cause for concern that something is wrong and rotten in Denmark," said Jeff Hill of the Rio Nuevo Board.
The shadow of an FBI investigation looms large over this new board, but it’s far from the only challenge on their plate.
"FBI investigation, what we just heard about the Fox, it's an interesting way for my first day to go, to hear all about that," said Paton.
Board members were briefed on the board's relationship with the Fox Theatre by the chairman of the Fox Foundation.
The theatre struggles to make money as is and owes the district $4 million from a past deal with the City of Tucson.
"There's just no ability to pay that kind of money or a sum of that magnitude, now or ever," said Fletcher McCusker from the Fox Tucson Theatre.
With the money nowhere in sight, Paton says he wants answers.
"I want to know what the heck was going through the city's mind years ago when they made this decision in first place," said Paton.
It's just one of several deals the district and the city now have to deal with All while they attempt to work together to move forward.
"I don’t know what the solution is at the moment," said Paton.
Paton and the new board members have their work cut out for them as they get up to speed in the coming weeks.
Both the board and the city have pledged to cooperate in any investigation the Attorney General's office and FBI wish to pursue.