Blues ownership files court order, comptroller says she is being sued for doing her job
Posted August 16
St. Louis, MO — St. Louis City Comptroller Darlene Green said she is being sued for doing her job: protecting the credit of the city.
"As Chief Fiscal Officer of the City of St. Louis, the Comptroller is charged with protecting the city's credit rating, and is given broad authority to pursue strategies to do so," Green's office said in a statement.
Green's is refusing to sign off on a $64 million public financing ordinance for renovations for the Scottrade Center, where the St. Louis Blues play. Under this bill, the city would issue bonds.
The ordinance was passed by the Board of Aldermen 15-12 back in February.
The St. Louis Blues ownership group, Kiel Center Partners filed a writ of mandamus, which is an order for a government official to properly fulfill their official duties.
On Aug. 11, Comptroller Green's office issued a statement saying the transaction of issue bonds would incur debt to the city's general fund, and negatively impact the city's credit.
"The city faces a credit crisis, having been downgraded twice in less than six months by Moody's Credit Rating Agency," the statement said.
In her office's statement, it said Comptroller Green made it clear to the Blues ownership that she would work with them to find alternative financial strategies. Her office echoed the same sentiment in her statement released on Wednesday.
"One [financial strategy] that would not draw upon the city's general fund and take money away from essential city service or harm the city's credit," the statement said.
On Friday, three aldermen filed a lawsuit against the Blues ownership, Kiel Center Partners, to block the funding. The suit claims that state law prevents the city from funding private businesses.
"There are several ways the Kiel Center Partners could have chosen to fund the renovations they want," Comptroller Green's Office said in the Aug. 16 statement. "And yet they chose to pursue this strategy-taking from St. Louis's 300,000 residents-instead of pursuing a more equitable strategy."