ST. LOUIS (AP) _ A St. Louis judge has held off issuing a ruling on a lawsuit against the city regarding a public vote on funding for a new football stadium, giving attorneys time to submit written arguments.
St. Louis Circuit Judge Thomas Frawley held a hearing Friday but declined to hear arguments in the suit brought by the Edward Jones Domes authority, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1BPvNV3) reported.
Frawley scheduled the next hearing for June 25, giving St. Louis city counselors a week to file arguments defending the ordinance requiring a vote. Attorneys for the public board that runs the Edward Jones Dome where the Rams play then will have a week to respond.
Frawley did not indicate when he would rule.
The public board that runs the Edward Jones Dome where the Rams play argues in the April lawsuit that a 2002 ordinance requiring a public vote before tax dollars are used on a new stadium is “overly broad, vague and ambiguous.”
The board wants the court to rule that law doesn’t apply, conflicts with Missouri statutes or is unconstitutional.
During Friday’s court session, a Saint Louis University law professor and legal clinic supervisor, John Ammann, asked Frawley to let three city residents intervene in the suit. Ammann has expressed concerns that city counselors would not adequately defend the city ordinance, with Mayor Francis Slay a supporter of the proposed $985 million riverfront stadium.
Frawley deferred allowing the residents to be part of the case until he had a chance to first hear the other attorneys.
One of the residents, former state Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford, said the city has many unfulfilled needs for homeless services, public safety, affordable childcare and housing, “and yet millionaires and billionaires ask us to subsidize their professional sports projects.”
“A case might be made to win my vote,” she said. “But I need to hear about it.”
St. Louis City Counselor Winston Calvert said after Friday’s hearing that although he opposed the intervention, he welcomed Ammann’s help in the case and has sent her a letter asking for it.
“We wanted to make sure we left no stone unturned,” Calvert said.