SACRAMENTO, Calif. (FOX 40 News) — Investor Chris Hansen, who was trying to buy the Sacramento Kings and move the NBA team to Seattle, and two of his associates will pay a joint $50,000 penalty for their involvement in anti-arena efforts for the Kings in California.
California’s Fair Political Practices Commission has reached an agreement on fines with Hansen and the top official and treasurer of his political action committee, Citizens for a Vote in Government.
The campaign watchdog sued to reveal the backers of a signature-gathering effort for a petition that could derail plans for a new Kings NBA arena in downtown Sacramento.
Those backers had not made proper election filings with the state as required by the Political Reform Act of 1974.
That litigation revealed Hansen as the major donor behind a petition drive.
The drive supports the ballot initiative, but is not tied to STOP – Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork.
STOP wants the voting public to have a say in city money partially funding a project like a Kings arena.
In FPPC documents tied to the organization’s latest enforcement agenda, Hansen says he didn’t know $80,000 of his money had been used on signature-gatherers until a complaint was filed with the FPPC on Aug. 10. He said he made a financial arrangement with the Los Angeles law firm of Loeb & Loeb to make the donation before the NBA’s May decision to keep the Kings in Sacramento.
Loeb & Loeb is the law firm for the Maloofs, the former owners of the Kings who at one time planned to sell the team to Hansen.
The Hansen money sent to the firm was supposed to be used for research into what might enable him to move the Kings to Seattle.
In FPPC documents, Hansen said his money — it was to amount to $100,000 total — was only supposed to go political if it was applied to a broad-based effort with many donors that was independent of STOP.
The Loeb & Loeb law firm has confirmed Hansen’s version of what happened.
Hansen released a statement Monday in which he again apologized for “the mistakes I clearly made” and added, “I would again just like to reiterate my commitment to stay out of Sacramento’s Arena efforts “