Opponents Of Q Deal Seek To Be Added To Lawsuit

A model of Quicken Loans Arena after the proposed renovation. [Matt Richmond / ideastream]

In the ongoing battle over the renovation of Quicken Loans Arena, the organizers of the petition drive to block Cleveland’s role in the project are asking to be added to a lawsuit in Ohio Supreme Court. 

The Cleveland law director filed the suit in early June. It attempts to force the clerk of city council to accept signatures seeking a referendum on the city’s role in the Q deal. The clerk initially rejected the petitions by saying a referendum would interfere with a contract the city has already signed with Cuyahoga County.

The petitioners’ lawyer, Subodh Chandra, says having a lawsuit between the city’s law director and the clerk of city council means the issue is being argued by two parties on the same side. Chandra points out that both the mayor and council president support the Q financing deal.

“Who gets to speak for the City of Cleveland? The voters by referendum, as established in the charter, or some officials who are trying to undermine democracy and the democratic process?" said Chandra.

In a press conference announcing the lawsuit, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said the reasoning for having the law director challenge the clerk of council is the court’s help is needed to weigh two arguments that he described as valid. 

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