When the Coliseum Joint Powers Authority, the governing board that oversees operations of the Oakland Coliseum complex, was seeking out the tech firm RingCentral about becoming the stadium’s new naming rights partner, JPA Executive Director Scott McKibben illegally asked the company’s representatives for a $50,000 fee to negotiate a deal, prosecutors charged Nov. 27 in a filing with the Alameda County Superior Court.
McKibben, a former East Bay newspaper executive, resigned from the JPA last August amid an investigation by the Alameda County District Attorney’s office and the JPA’s Board of Commissioners.
An inspector for the DA’s office alleges McKibben committed a charge of felony conflict of interest. State law bars public officials from negotiating public contract when they have a vested interest in the final outcome. McKibben is also charged with a misdemeanor for using his position at the JPA to influence a decision that would financially enrich him.
The JPA Board of Commissioners, which is made up of elected officials from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, Oakland City Council, and their appointees, were not aware of McKibben’s alleged actions, the inspector concluded.
McKibben sent three invoices to RingCentral following the JPA board’s approval of the naming-rights contract last May to the Belmont-based cloud communications provider. Two were sent to the Coliseum, but a third was to McKibben’s home address.
McKibben told the inspector that he requested the $50,000 fee, but believed he was acting as a consultant for RingCentral, and outside his role as JPA executive director. RingCentral never paid the fee upon the JPA learning of McKibben’s alleged wrongdoing.
The stadium has since been rechristened as the RingCentral Coliseum, but the JPA is seeking to renegotiate the naming-right deal.