Judge rules in favor of ABOR, against attorney general

Legality of Omni Hotel deal settled by tax court judge Wednesday

A judge ruled in favor of the Arizona Board of Regents on Wednesday in a civil lawsuit filed against them by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich over whether the Regents were utilizing University land properly.

The lawsuit was filed in January when Brnovich asserted the Regents were allowing preferred companies to benefit by opening stores on tax-exempt University property.

The suit particularly referred to the Omni Hotel deal in Tempe.

The attorney general amended his lawsuit in April to say that ABOR was violating Arizona’s gift clause, which states no state entity shall give a loan or credit to any individual or corporation. 

Most of the claims from the attorney general were dismissed in July by Judge Christopher Whitten, but the judge allowed the suit to go through based only on the gift clause argument.

On Wednesday, Judge Whitten ruled that according to the one-year statute of limitations for the clause, Brnovich did not file the lawsuit within the proper amount of time.

The University said in a press release that it is "pleased that the Court has ruled in favor of ABOR and ASU" and "ASU is committed to transparency and welcomes inquiry from anyone at any time, including the Attorney General, about our projects. At no time did he bother to inquire."

The press release also stated that "ASU will continue to find entrepreneurial ways to meet its assignment, which is to build a world-class public research university while providing access to higher education at the lowest possible cost to every Arizona resident who wants it."


"Mark Brnovich" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.

Reach the reporter at sstewa21@asu.edu and follow @savvystew on Twitter. 

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