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February 29, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Arena Advisory Panel member cites conflict

Just hours before the first meeting to review financing for the proposed new arena in Sodo, one of the co-chairs has asked to serve in an advisory capacity rather than as a member of the panel. Maud Daudon, president and CEO of Seattle Northwest Securities, said she was concerned she might have a conflict of interest because her firm provides financial advice to the City of Seattle and King County on capital project financing.

“I’ve requested a change of status on the panel that I be made an adviser to the panel and not a member of the panel,” Daudon said. She said Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine have accepted her request.

Daudon, a former deputy mayor under Paul Schell, said she wanted to make it “super and abundantly clear” that her firm has a fiduciary responsibility to the city and county to provide independent financial advice.

Daudon was named co-chair to the Arena Advisory Panel, along with former City Councilwoman Jan Drago and former SuperSonics coach Lenny Wilkens. Daudon was viewed as having the most financial expertise among panel members having previously served as chief financial officer for the Port of Seattle, where she oversaw financing of the Sea-Tac terminal expansion, among other projects.

The Advisory Panel is scheduled to meet tonight from 5 p.m. to 7 :30 p.m. in the Bertha Knight Landes room at Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue. The meeting is open to the public.

McGinn and Constantine appointed the advisory panel and asked its 10 members to review the proposal announced two weeks ago week by San Francisco hedge fund manager Chris Hansen to contribute $290 million of private money toward a $490 million state-of-the-art arena for professional basketball and hockey. Under the proposal, the public contribution would be capped at $200 million, likely in construction bonds, to be repaid through taxes and rents generated by the arena.

Comments | More in Government, Sports | Topics: arena, basketball, Chris Hansen

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