Anaheim Mayor Fred Hunter’s election committee has filed an amended campaign statement reporting previously undisclosed concert tickets received from a developer hoping to build a sports arena in Anaheim.
However, Hunter on Tuesday reversed his statement of last week that the $1,485 worth of tickets to an Eydie Gorme and Steve Lawrence concert were intended as a contribution to his campaign.
“What we received was a bill, and we paid it,” Hunter said Tuesday. He attributed the reporting lapse to a clerical error at the Pacific Amphitheatre, claiming that his committee never received an invoice. “Friday the bill arrived; we paid it and reported it,” he said.
The Times disclosed the unreported tickets last week.
Campaign Raised $20,000
The Hunter campaign received 60 tickets to the August concert at the Pacific Amphitheatre. Hunter’s election committee chartered a bus to the concert and invited guests. From that event, the campaign raised $20,000 for his successful mayoral bid, according to campaign statements.
The amphitheater is owned by the Nederlander Organization and Neil Papiano, two principals of an investors’ group seeking to build a $50-million sports arena in Anaheim that may house a professional basketball team.
The investors, which include Ogden Foods, are called the Papiano Group. They were selected by the city from four investor groups last June to prepare a proposal to build the arena. A month after the concert, Hunter voted with a unanimous City Council to grant the Papiano Group exclusive negotiating rights for the arena.
According to campaign disclosure laws, Hunter was required to report all of his 1988 contributions and expenses by Jan. 31. An intentional failure to report is a misdemeanor, election officials said last week. Hunter has denied any wrongdoing or unethical behavior.
The Anaheim City Council on Tuesday approved a 30-day negotiating extension with the Papiano Group. Mayor Pro Tem Miriam Kaywood cast the only dissenting vote, citing concerns over the previously undisclosed concert tickets to Hunter.
The Papiano Group previously has received two extensions on its exclusive contract with the city to put together a proposal for the 20,000-seat arena. Jim Ruth, assistant city manager, said last week that the Papiano Group was not responsible for the latest delay. Talks between the city and owners of two proposed arena sites have not yet been completed, he said.
The two sites under consideration are a 15-acre, county-owned lot beside Anaheim Stadium and a nearby 12-acre parcel owned by the Community Bank and a realty firm.