AZ Supreme Court allows AG Mark Brnovich to pursue lawsuit against Board of Regents

By Greg Hahne
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2022 - 3:32pm
Updated: Wednesday, April 6, 2022 - 3:33pm

ASU Omni Hotel construction
Tim Agne/KJZZ
Construction at University Drive and Mill Avenue in Tempe, future site of the Omni Hotel and Conference Center at ASU, in February 2021.

The Arizona Supreme Court will allow Attorney General Mark Brnovich to challenge a deal that he says illegally gives away taxpayer dollars to benefit a private company. Brnovich can now make arguments before a trial judge.

Brnovich sued the board, saying it violated the constitution by providing a tax exemption to build a hotel on Arizona State University land. 

The Supreme Court did not find a deal between Omni Hotels and the Arizona Board of Regents illegal, however. 

Lower courts tossed the suit, saying he waited too long to file. But Justice John Lopez said there is a statute that gives Brnovich five years to file suits to recover illegally paid public money. 

The board will pay about $50 million to build a conference center and parking garage. But board chair Lyndel Manson says Omni will pay $120 million in rent over 60 years.