LA Supervisor Withdraws From Stadium Motion

A Los Angeles County supervisor withdrew a motion Tuesday opposing an environmental break for a downtown NFL stadium after the stadium developer’s lawyer questioned whether he had a conflict of interest in the matter.

The supervisors had been set to vote on Michael Antonovich’s motion against letting California lawmakers give the stadium protection from drawn-out lawsuits over its environmental review when a lawyer for Anschutz Entertainment Group said the board’s legal staff should first look at whether Antonovich should be allowed to vote on the motion, since his wife was in a financial dispute with an AEG affiliate in China.

Attorney James Sutton wrote a letter to the county’s lawyers saying that Christine Hu Antonovich is demanding that Shanghai-based AEG Business Management Consulting pay her money for introducing its executives to Chinese officials several years ago.

Antonovich withdrew the motion before the board voted. He told the Los Angeles Times he did not believe his wife’s dispute with the affiliate poses a conflict of interest.

“No, because this doesn’t deal with AEG. This deals with the subsidiary in China,” he said.

Hu Antonovich’s lawyer, Mason Yost, told the Times his client was demanding less than $200,000 from AEG’s affiliate in China. He asserted that the two entities are separate and that she never had anything to do with any company that has projects in Los Angeles.

Sutton said Hu Antonovich helped AEG executives meet Chinese officials in 2008 then demanded money for those introductions two years later. He said that although AEG doesn’t believe there was an agreement for payment, the company has been talking to her about a settlement to end the dispute.