Coyotes vs. Jason Rose, a Dog-Eat-Dog Story

In a story that practically writes the jokes for us, the taxpayer-subsidized Prince of Polo (and campaign PR consultant to Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane), Jason Rose, is suing the taxpayer-subsidized dogs of professional hockey for not sharing enough taxpayer scraps. From AZCentral this morning:

Coyotes owner sued over deal

Caitlin McGlade, The Republic | azcentral.com 10:41 p.m. MST June 3, 2014

A Scottsdale public relations firm has sued the owner of the Phoenix Coyotes, arguing that the team stiffed them on nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

A Scottsdale public relations firm says the team owes nearly a quarter of a million dollars. IceArizona hired Rose+Moser+Allyn Public & Online Relations to help defeat a 2013 referendum attempt. The agreement required IceArizona to pay the firm, which is owned by the public relations firm, about $250,000 if the referendum initiative was defeated, according to the filing with the Maricopa County Superior Court. A spokesman for the Coyotes called the lawsuit a “quarter-million-dollar scheme,” asserting that the agreement to sponsor the was an investment that would continue only if the Coyotes benefited from the sponsorship.

A Scottsdale public relations firm has sued the owner of the Phoenix Coyotes, arguing that the team stiffed them on nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

The Coyotes owner, IceArizona, had hired the firm, Rose+Moser+Allyn Public & Online Relations, to help the team defeat a referendum attempt in 2013 that could have pushed the Coyotes out of Glendale.

But the public relations firm claims IceArizona reneged on the deal, which included the sponsoring of the Scottsdale Polo Championships for five years, according to the lawsuit.

The agreement required IceArizona to pay the Polo Tournament, which is owned by the public relations firm, about $250,000 if the referendum attempt was defeated, according to the filing with the Maricopa County Superior Court.

IceArizona purchased the Coyotes last summer in a controversial $225 million deal with Glendale. The ownership group hired the public relations firm to help fight a petition to put the deal up for a public vote.

The firm expected a $25,000 base fee and, if successful, sponsorship for the Polo Tournament and two front-row hockey tickets for eight games per season over the next five years, according to the filing.

Rose received the base fee and a 2013 sponsorship, but Coyotes general counsel Craig Tindall wrote in an April e-mail that the team would not sponsor the event this year, saying that it did not appear the event would benefit the team.

And a few months earlier, Attorney Grant Woods, representing the Coyotes, wrote that the team might not sponsor the Polo Tournament through 2017, according to the filing.

Tindall had also told Jason Rose, the firm’s president, that “this issue is by any measure not the highest priority in an organization that has much larger business matters to attend to,” according to the court filing.

A spokesman on this issue for the Coyotes called the lawsuit a “quarter-million-dollar scheme,” asserting that the agreement to sponsor the Polo Tournament was an investment that would continue only if the Coyotes benefited from the sponsorship. The team didn’t receive the expected additional sales from its $25,000 sponsorship in 2013, said spokesman David Leibowitz.

Court filings include an e-mail from Rose with the deal points, as well as an e-mail from Woods, saying “We are a go,” though he added sponsorship of the Polo Tournament depended on the event maintaining the “high level as it has been recently.”

“This lawsuit brought by Rose is the very definition of frivolous harassment litigation,” Leibowitz said.

He said Rose did not have a signed contract documenting the agreement.

Joseph Villasenor, a consultant who worked with the Coyotes during the negotiation, said the parties agreed to Rose’s points in conversation and text messages.

The Coyotes made a number of agreements to battle the referendum without signed documentation, including his own compensation, he said.

Villasenor, who was charged with paying Rose, said checks for the base fee bounced because IceArizona President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc did not wire him money on time.

Rose asserts in the suit IceArizona has lost millions of dollars. If the team loses $50 million after five years, it can leave Glendale.

Leibowitz said he didn’t know if the Coyotes were losing money but dismissed Rose, saying he was trying to “cloud the issue.”

The ordeal could get uglier.

Leibowitz said the Coyotes would fight Rose’s allegations “at every level,” including exploring whether Rose helped instigate the referendum effort.

Rose’s attorney Loren Ungar called the assertion false, and pointed out a Coyotes representative approached Rose for the work.

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5 Comments

  1. Like the dog eat dog lead,

    It warms my heart to see one tax payer blood sucking lawyers go after another tax payer blood sucking lawyer.

  2. Rumor has it that the Rose e-mail was From: Jason Rose…. To: Jason Rose – that will prove the law suit to be frivolous. The city’s spinster may be caught at his own game of tricking the public.

  3. oops – meant Spin-meister. I’m the spinster but Rose is the Spin meister. Be watching for more truth telling about the spin meister to come in the Scottsdale Republic soon……

    I’m still fuming about the Rose “opinion” last week in the Repugnant.

  4. Polo? I’ve lived in Scottsdale 27 years and can honestly say I have never heard anyone discuss the joys of polo. It’s one of those “Who gives a s–t?” items.

    Rose needs to get busy on more important items like his bridge over McDowell Road folly.

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