Arizona lawmaker withdraws investigation into Tempe’s election for Coyotes arena

By Kevin Reagan | 12 News Phoenix

TEMPE, Ariz. — A Republican lawmaker has withdrawn a request asking Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes to determine whether Tempe violated the state’s constitution in how it’s holding a special election to build a new entertainment complex for the Arizona Coyotes.

State Rep. Steve Montenegro, R-District 29, sent a letter Monday to the AG’s office requesting an investigation into the proposed Tempe Entertainment District, which is the subject of a special election on May 16.

Ballots for the election have already begun to be mailed out to Tempe’s voters.

Montenegro alleges that the process which Tempe took to hold its upcoming election may have been improper. The lawmaker has taken issue with how the project’s development agreement required the TED developers to petition for a referendum election.

“[T]he Arizona Constitution does not allow the City to directly refer measures to the ballot, but the development agreement with Bluebird appears to be an indirect and unconstitutional attempt to do so,” Montenegro wrote in his letter to the attorney general.

Montenegro additionally wants a review of how the special election is being funded.

But Montenegro sent another letter Tuesday, withdrawing his previous request for an investigation.

The lawmaker told Mayes that the City of Tempe had answered his questions about the special election.


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