Councilman calls out lies from Coyotes owner... with proof.

Councilman calls out lies from Coyotes owner... with proof.

A Tempe city councilman has responded to comments made by Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo.

Jonathan Larivee

In spite of the fact that he has sold his team back to the National Hockey League and the hockey operations of that now former franchise are on their way to the state of Utah, Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo continues to create headaches for the league.

Meruelo was one half of perhaps the most embarrassing press conference in NHL history on Friday, a press conference that was filled with awkward moments, and one that may have irreparably damaged how the NHL is perceived in that market.

It wasn't just that the press conference as a whole was awkward and uncomfortable, nor was it just that Meruelo himself and his answers were awkward and left him looking uncomfortable in front of reporters, but it may have also been the fact that Meruelo was, according to at least one man, entirely dishonest when making his comments.

A Tempe city councilman by the name of Randy Keating has now come out and publicly challenged the claims by Meruelo, specifically as it pertains to the failed Tempe arena deal that has been much discussed in recent months. Here's what Meruelo had to say about that failed deal during his media availability:

"I spent 7 million dollars on this campaign," said Meruelo. "7 million dollars."

Keating has however challenged that claim, stating that Meruelo only spent a fraction of that money during the campaign:

"False," responded Keating on X. "Tempe Wins, the PAC set up for the yes campaign, only spent $1.1m according to the publicly available campaign finance report they submitted."

This would appear to be a case of one man's word against other, however Keating provided a link to where the publicly available campaign finance data can be located and he has since provided a screenshot of his findings as well.

As you can see from the document Keating shared, his claim of $1.1 million does appear to be accurate. When asked if the money could have been allocated elsewhere, Keating responded by stating that it would have been a campaign finance violation to not disclose it.

Meruelo has yet to respond to this challenge from Keating, but this certainly does not look good.