Criminal charges have been filed against former Coliseum Authority executive director Scott McKibben, as Alameda County prosecutors allege that he violated California conflict-of-interest laws by seeking a fee for helping to negotiate RingCentral Coliseum naming rights.
Earlier this year, the Coliseum Authority board approved a naming-rights deal to rebrand Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum–home to the Oakland A’s and NFL’s Raiders–as RingCentral Coliseum, reflecting the agreement with the Belmont-based cloud communications provider. In charges filed last week, prosecutors allege that McKibben committed a felony by having a financial interest in a contract made by him in his official capacity. Additionally, he has been charged with a misdemeanor in what prosecutors view as violation of a state code that prevents public officials from making, participating, or influencing a government decision in which they knowingly have or have reason to know that they have a financial interest.
At issue is whether McKibben, who served in his position with the Coliseum Authority from 2015 until resigning in August, violated state laws by requesting a $50,000 consultant fee from RingCentral. McKibben has acknowledged that he requested the fee, but contended that his position allowed him to seek outside work and that naming-rights negotiations were not part of his role with the authority. McKibben is to appear in court on January 10. More from The Mercury News:
After the board approved the deal, RingCentral asked McKibben to send invoices. Three invoices obtained by this newspaper show McKibben sent two — on June 17 and June 20 — on Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority letterhead and signed them. A third, emailed five days later and also signed by McKibben, only listed his name and home address in Pleasanton.
Once Alameda County Counsel and the Oakland City Attorney’s Office became aware of the invoices, they notified RingCentral of the conflict of interest and the fee was not paid, [District Attorney Inspector Thomas P.] Cleary wrote.
McKibben resigned Aug. 9. A week later, members of County Counsel and the City Attorney’s Office contacted the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, which opened an investigation.
McKibben admitted to requesting a $50,000 fee but “stated he believed that in his position as an Executive Director he was a consultant and could seek outside work,” Cleary wrote. “McKibben considered the naming rights negotiations outside his role as Executive Director and viewed the fee as proper, below market rate and not interfering with his negotiations on behalf of the” Coliseum stadium authority.
The naming-rights agreement approved by Coliseum Authority calls for RingCentral to pay $1 million annually for three years, with an option for a fourth year. McKibben was recently named the president of the Oakland Panthers, an Indoor Football League team that will debut at Oakland Arena in March.