War of words continues between Rio Nuevo board and Tucson council

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Rio Nuevo board attacks the city council in a statement released Thursday.

The letter calls out Tucson's City Council for being dishonest in comments about the board and the dispute over the Tucson Convention Center.

Thursday's letter from Rio Nuevo has a strong simple message: Most, if not everything, the city is saying about the board is false.

"It is inaccurate 100, percent," said Jodi Bain from the Rio Nuevo Board.

The strong letter comes just one day after the city pledged to talk to the board again.

The latest effort to resolve the $47 million potential lawsuit hanging over its head.

"We vote unanimously to appoint a mediator.  Less than 24 hours later, they take that olive branch and break it in half," said Councilman Steve Kozachik.

Whatever good faith was left between the two groups seems to be gone. Thursday's news release calls out Councilman Steve Kozachik by name, accusing him of playing nasty politics.

"Why he's jumping in and trying to be a crusader for the city council is absolutely mind boggling," said Alberto Moore from the Rio Nuevo Board.  "He's supposed to be working on our side because we were all critical of how they were managing the whole community."

"I'll tell Albert why I'm so ticked off about this.  Because I did run for office because of Rio Nuevo wasting taxpayer money, and they're still wasting taxpayer money," said Kozachik.

Rio Nuevo board members say the city is blocking progress, by not handing over documents they've requested time and time again.

"We've tried to ask for cooperation.  They don't seem to want to cooperate," said Moore.

"They have been disingenuous and two faced.  They're not telling the truth," said Kozachik.

Kozachik admits the city mismanaged Rio Nuevo ten years ago.  He says it's why he ran for office, but now times are different and he says the city can prove it.

"I want to fill the room with boxes that we have provided them and let them come down and deny it after that," said Kozachik.

In the meantime, the Tucson Convention Center awaits badly needed repairs.

"The city, unfortunately, would rather just sweep this under the rug and then we can all be friends.  That's not the way it's going to work," said Moore.

For now, how the situation will be resolved is still up in the air.

The Rio Nuevo board plans to meet again in November.