Arizona Attorney General Suit Against State's Public Universities Continues With Limitations

By Mariana Dale
Published: Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 8:39am
Updated: Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 9:18am
Matthew Casey/KJZZ
Mark Brnovich

A lawsuit claiming an Arizona State University real estate deal is illegal will proceed after the latest ruling from an Arizona Superior Court judge.

The judge rejected several of the state Attorney General’s original claims but allowed the claim that the Arizona Board of Regents may have violated the state's gift clause to continue.

"In terms of the result, it's pretty clear this case is going to move on to the next phase, and we're very happy about that," said Beau Roysden, division chief of the appeals and constitutional litigation division.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich called the ruling "a significant step towards transparency and accountability" in a press release.

The Arizona Board of Regents was also happy with the judge’s ruling.

Regent Ron Shoopman said it reinforces that the state’s universities can use their real estate holdings for students' benefits.

"We are not trying to do anything other than optimize the resources," Shoopman said. "We have to make sure that we deliver the lowest-cost, highest-value education possible to the people of Arizona."

The Arizona Republic reported the lawsuit has cost the state’s universities almost $760,000.

The lawsuit continues with a phone conference on July 10.

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