Written by William Hekman
Former City Attorney Mike Aguirre and Chief Deputy City Attorney Maria Severson have filed a lawsuit against the NFL over the relocation process of the Chargers move from San Diego to Los Angeles. The league, the NFL, and the city of San Diego are all listed as defendants in the lawsuit.
The suit was filed in San Diego Superior Court and says that the Chargers took taxpayer money despite the ongoing dispute of relocation, Chargers owner Dean Spanos had “already made up his mind to move the team to Los Angeles” by 2006. This is backed up by former NFL official Jim Steeg who said that Spanos had already decided to move, “it just took him 10 years to do it.” Steeg served as the Chargers Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President from 2004 to 2010.Back in 1997, Spanos had promised to keep the Chargers in San Diego despite a number of financial issues, but in 2017 Spanos decided to relocate the team. The lawsuit alleges that the Chargers violated the league’s relocation policy by not negotiating in good faith.
The Chargers have been mired in issues since their move to Los Angeles. Many were shocked by the move and so far, they have failed to make an impact in their new home. Just last week, Dean Spanos was sued by two of his nephews, Dimitri and Lex Economou. The two say that Spanos has been changing their trust which has cost them a lot of money. The trust owns 36% of the team and some of the trust is funded by stadium revenue. The nephews claim that Dean told the family that the move would generate more wealth, as they would be sharing a home with the Rams in a $5 billion new stadium. However, after the move, Spanos moved money from the trust which cut off Dimitri and Lex. An attorney for Dean Spanos said, “We will address these meritless claims at the appropriate time, in the appropriate forum”. The nephews have also requested that Dean be removed as a co-trustee and are seeking monetary damages to be rewarded.
Aguirre said in an interview with CBS 8 that the suit is similar and was inspired by St. Louis suing the Rams over their move to Los Angeles. In that lawsuit, St. Louis was able to show that the Rams did not act in good faith with local officials which violates NFL policy and were awarded a $790 million settlement.
Photo Cred: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images