ONN – Former Coliseum JPA Director Scott McKibben Leading Indoor Football League Oakland Effort
Scott McKibben, the same man who was wrongly forced to retire from his post as Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority Executive Director over the RingCentral Naming Rights Deal is leading the charge to bring the Indoor Football League to Oakland.
Scott McKibben is working in the employment of Roi Choi, the owner of two Indoor Football League teams and working on a third one: The Oakland one, with McKibben reportedly as team president and former Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks player Marshawn Lynch as co-owner with Choi.
McKibben set this up months ago and now Marshawn Lynch is involved. This proves that Scott is helping to keep sports in Oakland. Far more than can be said for any other effort to date.
Allowed To Get RingCentral Naming Rights Deal By Coliseum JPA, Then Accused Of Self-Dealing By Same JPA
In the mismanaged weirdness that is the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority (Coliseum JPA), Mr. McKibben says he was allowed to go after a naming rights deal by the Coliseum JPA, yet the person who serves as the Coliseum JPA lawyer then turned around an accused him of self-dealing.
This is where the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area media gets it wrong. McKibben’s official title was “consultant” and not “employee” – he was paid as such by the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda.
Arguably, the media, which has no interest in what the law really says around California Government Code Section 1090, has allowed itself to be spun by the same City of Oakland lawyers who made the mistake of not looking at Scott’s contract or invoices. The Section reads, in relevant part, “Members of the Legislature, state, county, district, judicial district, and city officers or employees shall not be financially interested in any contract made by them in their official capacity, or by any body or board of which they are members.”
A California court stated the concept of “conflict of interest” with respect to this away: “The evil to be thwarted by section 1090 is easily identified: If a public official is pulled in one direction by his financial interest and in another direction by his official duties, his judgment cannot and should not be trusted, even if he attempts impartiality.” (Carson Redevelopment Agency v. Padilla (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 1323, 1330.)
If you know that case, then you can see that Scott was not in a position of impartiality in the case of the Coliseum JPA, nor was anything in his consulting contract such that he was given a structure prohibiting him from taking on the role of a naming rights consultant.
Since the Coliseum JPA Board gave him the go-ahead to do the deal, to then turn around and accuse him of violating Section 1090 is completely baseless. Even if you argue that Scott’s case fits Hub City Solid Waste Services, Inc. v. City of Compton (2010) 186 Cal.App.4th 1114, where that court found that the term “public official” included “independent contractors whose official capacities carry the potential to exert considerable influence over the contracting decisions of a public agency,” how then do you explain Scott’s being allowed to find a naming rights partner and secure RingCentral by the same Coliseum JPA Board?
There’s no legal example in written Section 1090 history that perfectly encompasses Scott’s position such that one can blame him for “double dealing” when the Coliseum JPA Board was aware of it. The Coliseum JPA Board gave him the go-ahead to, in point of fact, step outside Section 1090.
Indeed, it’s far more likely that Scott McKibben should be exonorated from any claims of criminal wrong-doing by People v. Christiansen (2013) 216Cal.App.4th 1181, 157 Cal.Rptr.3d 451, where the court had declined to apply criminal sanctions in a case involving a school district employee who had a separate consulting business, relying on the common law definition of “employee” to hold that criminal liability should not be imposed on a party, who is acting as a consultant and who may have been unaware of the application of 1090 to a person in their position. Not only was Scott not aware of Section 1090, but the Oakland Coliseum JPA Board didn’t think of it, and allowed him to secure RingCentral.
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