Appeals court rules against Arizona attorney general over ASU hotel deal
PHOENIX — The Arizona Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a judge’s ruling against state Attorney General Mark Brnovich in a lawsuit challenging a deal between Arizona State University and hotel developers.
Tax Court Judge Christopher Whitten had ruled that the Attorney General’s Office didn’t have legal authority to file the original lawsuit and expanded it later after a one-year statute of limitation had expired.
Building the hotel on university land would make it exempt from property taxes, and Brnovich argued the deal was an unconstitutional gift to developers.
The regents said the transaction wasn’t one-sided because it benefited the university by providing rental payments and a needed conference center and hotel.
The Court of Appeals’ decision also upheld Whitten’s separate ruling that ordered Brnovich’s office to reimburse the Board of Regents for attorney fees and other legal costs.