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Booker Calls Devils Owner Vanderbeek 'Hustler, Liar' After Arbitration Ruling

NEWARK, NJ (CBSNewYork /AP) - Newark Mayor Cory Booker had some harsh words for the owner of the New Jersey Devils Wednesday following an arbitration ruling in a long-running dispute over the hockey team's lease at the Prudential Center arena.

WCBS 880's Levon Putney On The Story


Arbitrators ruled Tuesday that the city must pay the team $2.7 million per year in parking revenue under an agreement signed in 2005.

In a separate ruling the panel said the city will have to pay the Devils and owner Jeff Vanderbeek $600,000.

Those two awards are more than the team owes the city in back rent.

"And that takes care of all the claims to date," said Keith Kinard, head of the Newark Housing Authority, the Prudential Center's landlord.

In a news conference in front of the arena Wednesday, Booker had strong words for Vanderbeek. The mayor said the Devils owner broke numerous promises to pay for improvements in Newark as part of the arena deal, WCBS 880's Levon Putney reported.

"What Jeff Vanderbeek has proven after five years of trying of trying to work with him [is] that he is a highfalutin, high-class huckster and hustler," Booker said. "He came into the city with a mouthful of promises, but a pocket full of lies."

"I am outraged," Booker added, and said he is not sure of what legal avenues the city has. He also accused Vanderbeek of reneging on a promise to build a community recreation center.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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