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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

  • Pan

    You people have no idea what you are talking about and are just spewing ignorant, conservative garbage. I am a huge Devils fan, but if JVB agreed to help fund projects as a stipulation to have the arena built, he needs to hold up his end. Everyone is saying about how much the Devils have done for Newark, which is true, but the Booker is the only reason they got the deal done. Without him, the Devils would likely be o the brink of moving. Booker has done more for that city and is pulling it out of an era of crime and poverty; it’s all because of him. All JVb is doing at this point is squeezing money out of a city that needs it. A city that helped him out when he needed it.

  • Frank Newman

    Looks like the player got played. Cory Booker is an ass and if an agreement was signed pay up Booker. If it wasn’t for the arena and the Devils being there, Newark would just be another war zone. Its the one thing people go to Newark for.

  • Jay

    It seems to be that the Devils have done an awful lot for the city of Newark by just being there, I am a huge Devils fan and see how many of the fans come into Newark and bring money to the restaurants and shops but of course the Liberals always want MORE and want you to pay for MORE!!!

  • VY

    Hey, if the Devils want they can move the team to the new Nets arena in Brooklyn.

  • Jake


  • Vic

    Typical lib…they don’t like a ruling and they cry foul. Same thing that his buddy in DC is going to do after the ruling comes out of the Supreme Court.

  • Don

    Stay classy, Booker.

    Who’s the one trying to renege on a previous agreement, btw? Yeah, thought so.

  • Ron

    Sounds like the dummies in Newark need better Lawyers..

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