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Atlanta Dan
07-17-2008, 08:39 AM
Not surprisngly, Flaherty was out of bounds when he wrote his threatening letter regarding restrictions on the sale of the franchise

Though Allegheny County Controller Mark Flaherty says the Steelers' lease for Heinz Field gives the city and county oversight of team ownership changes -- and could require a buyer outside the Rooney family to pay back more than $200 million in public stadium subsidies -- that does not seem to be what the lease agreement says in full.

In a letter to the Steelers' ownership and during a news conference yesterday, Flaherty pointed to a part of the 2000 lease agreement saying changes and transfers in team ownership are acceptable within the Rooney and McGinley families without getting consent by the Sports & Exhibition Authority.

Another part of the lease, which the controller did not address, speaks directly to outside ownership changes -- and says they are acceptable, with no input from the city-county agency either, as long as the sale conforms to NFL rules, and the SEA is notified once a sale is completed.

A section of the agreement titled "Ownership and Control" says "any change in the ownership of the capital stock of the Lessee [the Steelers] or any change in the ownership of the franchise will be made in accordance with the financial and ownership criteria and standards of the NFL ... The Lessee agrees that upon entering into any commitment to sell or transfer the franchise, the Lessee shall provide written notification to the Commonwealth and the Authority."

This no doubt is what prompted the letter:

Flaherty is close friends with Steelers business director Mark Hart and attended high school with Arthur Rooney III, Art Jr.'s son, among other family connections

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08199/897562-66.stm

Flaherty shook off a question that implied his letter-writing was political grandstanding.

"I'm just doing my job," he said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_578005.html

And doing it badly

If this guy cannot read a lease no wonder Allegheny County's finances are so screwed up.

This entire episode is becoming an embarassment to the Rooneys

Counselor
07-17-2008, 09:30 AM
This is a text book example of the idiocy of local politicians who are desperate to get their name in the paper and on TV.