A municipal judge dismissed misdemeanor charges against Sacramento developer and sports promoter Gregg Lukenbill and four others Friday in the controversial “Ballpark Five” election case.
The men were indicted by a grand jury on April 3 for allegedly violating state election laws when Lukenbill encouraged a Marin County company to donate $12,500 to a campaign against a ballot proposal calling for the construction of a downtown baseball-only stadium in San Francisco.
The proposal, which lost by fewer than 2,000 votes in last November’s election, was seen as the city’s last chance to prevent the National League champion Giants from moving to Santa Clara.
Judge Phillip Moscone ruled that there was not enough evidence in the case and dismissed the charges. Asst. District Attorney George Beckwith said the city would appeal the decision.
After the ballot issue’s narrow defeat, San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos accused Lukenbill of illegally trying to conceal the sources of the donation because the promoter wanted to lure the Giants to Sacramento.