Sunday, April 18, 2010
Paul Okeson Fights to Give Away Taxpayer Money to Billionaire Simons; Time to Show Okeson the Door
Following Paul Okeson's departure from Chief of Staff to Mayor Ballard, he went to city contractor Keystone Construction and was also appointed to the CIB, where he currently heads up the Pacer negotiations.
I have gone back and forth between thinking Okeson is either completely incompetent or is intentionally disingenuous when it comes to negotiations with the Pacers.
First, Okeson reportedly has never even checked out the Pacers' finances. He is simply willing to accept it on faith that the team has been losing money, even though the Pacers won't allow an audit of their books.
Second, Okeson continues to misrepresent the Pacers contract. The contract does not say the Pacers can pick up and leave after 10 years. It says the contract can be terminated if the team is losing money, the Simons are selling the team and the team is moving out of state. The 10 year termination provision has not even been triggered.
Third, Okeson apparently is telling reporters that there is an offset in the contract, namely that the Pacers would be entitled to reimbursement for losses that would offset the penalty. The only thing is, nobody can find that provision in the contract. Okeson, who is not an attorney, is either making it up or is blissfully ignorant.
As I have discussed in these pages, the penalties are enormous. The penalties for terminating the contract after 10 years would be over $150 million dollars. Yet Okeson wants to ignore that fact.
I'm not sure why the CIB and the City is even negotiating with the Pacers. But if they are going to negotiate, they need a better negotiator than Paul Okeson. Whether Okeson in his public comments is completely incompetent or being disingenuous, it is clear that he doesn't care one whit about Indianapolis taxpayers. He needs to go.