EDITORIAL: After 18 months, it's time for resolution to York City Ice Arena investigation
- The York City Ice Arena probe has been going on for a year and a half.
- A York County District Attorney's Office spokesman says the probe continues.
- The probe has postponed the city's hunt for new management of the facility.
Nearly nine decades ago, the Empire State Building was built in one year and 45 days.
That’s right, during the middle of the Great Depression, a skyscraper soaring more than 100 stories took just 410 days to construct, using tools and machinery that would be considered antiques today.
It was a true testament to what can be accomplished when there is a true commitment to finishing the task.
So, why in the name of Herbert Hoover are we bringing up something that happened in the 1930s?
Well, we’re simply using it as a point of reference.
Probe drags on: Last week, by comparison, a criminal investigation involving the York City Ice Arena came up on the 1½-year mark, and officials still refuse to reveal details about the probe.
The investigation into alleged misconduct at the city-owned arena — which has been operated by the York Revolution since 2014 — began in 2017 with the York City Police, but it has since been taken over by county detectives in the York County District Attorney's Office.
Neither agency has commented on the case. A York County District Attorney's Office spokesman would only confirm Tuesday, Feb. 5, that county detectives are still investigating the matter.
We know that there are allegations of employee misconduct and that the timeline of the investigation coincided with the termination of the rink's longtime general manager.
Beyond that, we know precious little.
Not acceptable: To be blunt, that’s no longer acceptable.
The case has dragged on way too long and there’s been way too much secrecy surrounding the investigation. And who knows how much money has been spent.
The investigation is a cloud hanging over the city, the arena and the Revolution, and it's time to clear the air. Either everything is fine, or it's not. We deserve to know either way.
Postponing hunt for new management: Meanwhile, the city's request for bids to manage the facility has been delayed.
The Revs' four-year contract to manage the arena was supposed to end in September 2018, but a one-year extension clause in the deal was triggered because the city failed to give the required 90 days' notice of its intent to seek new bids.
A request seeking new management in anticipation of the contract's end was released in June 2018, but the bid was pulled less than a month after it was published because it lacked clarity, according to a city official.
If the city had stuck with the initial request, which was filed more than three months before the Revs' contract was to end, the clause wouldn't have taken effect, according to the official.
Revs still want to manage arena: The Revs will now retain management until July, and Revs’ President Eric Menzer has said the franchise plans to make a bid once the request for proposals is released.
The arena investigation needs to be wrapped up well before then. City residents and city officials need to know the investigation’s findings so they can make informed decisions about whether or not the Revs deserve to maintain management of the arena.
Other possible bidders would also likely want to know the probe’s outcome before submitting proposals. The arena's customers and tenants probably are more than a little interested, too.
It seems 18 months is more than enough time for the investigators.
It’s time for a resolution.