Bevin taps Louisville attorney Scott C. Cox to lead arena authority
Cox joins two other members on the board that oversees the finances of the KFC Yum! Center.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has appointed prominent defense attorney Scott C. Cox to the Louisville Arena Authority and named him chairman of the board that oversees the finances of the KFC Yum! Center.
Cox represents former University of Louisville director of basketball operations Andre McGee, a central figure in the sex scandal that led U of L to ban its men’s team from postseason play this year. Cox was appointed June 10, along with two other new members.
Last November, then-arena authority chairman Larry Hayes resigned after he joined the U of L board of trustees. The university has contracts with the authority as the main tenant of the building, and Hayes said at the time he wanted to avoid a perceived conflict of interest.
Cox has represented former U of L education dean Robert Felner, who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $2 million from the university and another school, and ex-basketball player Chris Jones, who was not indicted in a rape case last year. Cox said in an interview that his situation is different from that of Hayes and presents no conflict.
"All I have done in the past is represent some people who have worked in the past for U of L," he said.
The arena authority has brought in less money than originally forecast to make payments on the Yum! Center's construction bonds, but it has covered its debt with some cash to spare. However, those payments are set to rise in the coming years before peaking at $37 million in 2029.
Cox said the financial viability of the arena is "the most important thing that we need to focus on, and I'm excited about it."
Bevin also named to the board Jeffrey F. Spalding, who replaces Lesa Seibert, and Joe Reeves, who replaces Lee Kirkwood. Both of those members’ terms had expired.
Cox takes the place of Dan Ulmer, who had served on the board since its inception in 2006 under former Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher and ex-Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson. The 15-member arena authority is appointed by the governor and the mayor.
Larry Bond, chief of staff to former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, had been the arena authority chairman until Cox’s appointment. Bond remains on the board, but he is no longer working as a liaison to the Louisville Metro Council for Mayor Greg Fischer, said Chris Poynter, a Fischer spokesman.
Cox, Reeves and Spalding all are residents of Louisville. Their terms expire in January 2020.
U of L’s basketball teams are the main tenants of the Yum! Center.
McGee is alleged to have organized parties for recruits and U of L players with former Louisville escort Katina Powell, who claims McGee provided more than $10,000 in payments.
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