SEC Probes Wash. Arena Financing

The Securities and Exchange Commission formalized its investigation of a 2008 financing deal for the 5,000-capacity Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, Wash., and wants to interview an unidentified city official regarding its handling.

Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz says the interview is tentatively scheduled for mid-March. The investigation began informally in December, when the SEC first took testimony from a city staffer. 

The Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center Public Facilities District in 2011 defaulted on nearly $42 million in debt, tied to the 2008 construction of the publicly owned Town Toyota Center.

The investigation began Dec. 9, 2011, when the city received a letter from the SEC requesting documents related to the issuance of the 2008 Bond Anticipation Notes issued by the Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center Public Facilities District.

A law firm was hired by the city to assist in collecting and reviewing some 13,000 pages of documents and nearly 150 gigabytes of email and network data, according to the Wenatchee World.

The Public Facilities District completed a new bond offering in September, after a successful vote in April. All bondholders of the 2008 Bond Anticipation Notes have been paid with interest, according to the paper.

The SEC document demand cost Wenatchee $800,000 in 2012, and those costs continue to rise, Kuntz told the World.