Lawsuit over public documents request for GCU deal wraps up in c - Tucson News Now

Lawsuit over public documents request for GCU deal wraps up in court

Posted: Updated:
  • Most ReadMost ReadMore>>

  • Union Pacific working to get train cars back on track near Picacho Peak

    Union Pacific working to get train cars back on track near Picacho Peak

    Union Pacific working to get train cars back on track near Picacho Peak

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:16:43 GMT
    Crews are still working to clear the tracks after an overnight derailment in Pinal County. There were no injuries reported and nothing hazardous was on the train cars. Authorities say the track could be cleared up of cars by noon.
    Crews are still working to clear the tracks after an overnight derailment in Pinal County. There were no injuries reported and nothing hazardous was on the train cars. Authorities say the track could be cleared up of cars by noon.
  • Flash Flood Watch through Thursday; get a breakdown of the threat

    Flash Flood Watch through Thursday; get a breakdown of the threat

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 4:46 PM EDT2014-09-16 20:46:09 GMT
    Source: Jack SumanSource: Jack Suman
    There are some things that are certain with the coming rain. You WILL get rain at some point over the next three days. There WILL be flooding in some areas of Southeast Arizona. There WILL be rain records broken. 
    There are some things that are certain with the coming rain. You WILL get rain at some point over the next three days. There WILL be flooding in some areas of Southeast Arizona. There WILL be rain records broken. 
  • Marana, Oro Valley, Golder Ranch Fire offering sandbags to residents

    Marana, Oro Valley, Golder Ranch Fire offering sandbags to residents

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:41:08 GMT
    The Towns of Oro Valley and Marana, as well as Golder Ranch Fire District are offering free sandbags to residents who need to protect their homes. According Oro Valley and Marana officials, a limited number of sandbags are available to residents of both towns; residents within the Golder Ranch Fire District service area are also eligible. 
    The Towns of Oro Valley and Marana, as well as Golder Ranch Fire District are offering free sandbags to residents who need to protect their homes. According Oro Valley and Marana officials, a limited number of sandbags are available to residents of both towns; residents within the Golder Ranch Fire District service area are also eligible. 
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A lawsuit over a public documents request to find out more about the deal to sell the El Rio Golf Course on the west side to Grand Canyon University has wrapped up in Pima County Superior Court.

The judge heard closing arguments in the case on Tuesday morning.  The case was filed by Cecilia Cruz with the El Rio Coalition 2, a group of neighborhood residents who wanted to know more about the talks between city leaders and Grand Canyon University officials, to build a campus on the golf course put under private management.

Residents said they had been promised the land would be used as green space for the community, and were surprised to hear about the talks to build a university on the golf grounds.

Although Grand Canyon University backed off due to the public backlash and opted to build a campus in Mesa instead, residents have continued to fight for answers.

The group filed a public records request last May, but said the city had not released all the documents they asked for.

Bill Risner, a trial lawyer hired by the group said this lawsuit had implications for all Tucson residents, because it showed a lack of transparency in city government.

"As a taxpaying citizen I say the city is mis-managed. What their lawyer is saying is they planned this multi-million dollar deal and they don't have more records?  The city is saying they kept no notes, no written agendas, no calender notes.  So what? They just meet in halls and come up with these deals?" questioned Risner.

Cecilia Cruz said she was tired of the delay tactics and wanted to see the public documents.

"I've lost the trust in city government, yes," said Cruz.

Residents wanted to know who came up with the idea to talk to Grand Canyon University about a deal to build a campus on the golf course?  They wanted to know which officials and elected leaders were involved in the talks, and what information they presented to the University to entice them to Tucson.

"How did it all come together?" asked Cruz.

Risner said all they were asking for was transparency. 

"We want an open process and we want to find out what's going on.  We don't want to have insiders pulling strings and making deals," said Risner.

Tucson News Now reached out to city officials for a comment and got this statement from City Attorney Mike Rankin's office:

"Out of respect for the court process, I will not comment on this still-pending case, other than to say we have presented our position and arguments to the court, and will await the judge's decision."

Residents said the judge was expected to issue a ruling within the next couple weeks.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow