Free Press Quotes LaFaive on Arena Deal

Possible conflict of interest in new Red Wings venue

Michael LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative at the Mackinac Center, was recently quoted in a Detroit Free Press article regarding a possible conflict of interest.

The article explores the possibility of “a ‘revolving door’ between the public and private sectors” in the construction of the new Red Wings arena in Detroit. Recently, the developers of the arena hired the consulting firm started by George Jackson, who was a lead negotiator for the city on the arena deal when he served as a Detroit economic development chief.

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LaFaive told the newspaper that hiring the former negotiator’s consulting firm could give the appearance of a conflict.

"Everything is probably perfectly aboveboard," LaFaive said, "but the City of Detroit needs to be very careful about the perception that it creates when people they worked closely with — their own employees or otherwise — then go on to effectively work for the very institution against whom they once bargained on the city’s behalf.”

Read the full article at the Detroit Free Press.

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