No, it’s not Kei Igawa and Jonathan Albaladejo fighting over who is the best Brian Cashman pick-up to ever grace a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre uniform. It’s LuzerneCounty going after LackawannaCounty over…well…money. The story via the Times Leader:
Luzerne County Commissioners voted this afternoon to sue LackawannaCounty and the Multi-Purpose Stadium Authority of Lackawanna County over agreements involving the Triple-A baseball franchise occupied by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
LackawannaCounty officials approved 2007 franchise agreements that allow a sale of the franchise without input from LuzerneCounty, even though each county owns a share of the franchise stock and paid $1 million to buy the franchise in 1986.
Talk of a potential franchise sale to the Yankees has been surfacing as an option to fund millions in repairs at the Lackawanna County Multi-Purpose Stadium, where the team plays.
LuzerneCounty commissioners also voted this afternoon to hire Reed Smith LLC to file the lawsuit.
A franchise is a claim to a minor league team. LuzerneCounty commissioners have said the county owns half of the franchise and that it can’t be sold without their OK.
The county had prepared a lawsuit in 2007, but former countyCommissioner Greg Skrepenak had abruptly canceled the filing of the lawsuit without explanation.
The statute of limitations to challenge the 2007 agreements may expire this September, which is why Luzerne County Commissioners could not wait until their next regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 15 to initiate a lawsuit.
According to the 1986 franchise purchase agreement, franchise sale proceeds must be split equally between the two counties, after reimbursing the Lackawanna County Multi-Purpose Stadium Authority $345,000 for its cost to bring the franchise here.
Scranton attorney John McGee has been pushing for a legal challenge over the 2007 agreements, saying the region will lose its claim on a Triple-A team if the franchise is sold. McGee was instrumental in bringing the franchise to the area in the 1980s.