Judge asks district attorney to investigate MLS over potential Crew move to Austin

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Trevor Ruszkowski
Officials in San Antonio are not happy about the possible Columbus move to the Texas capital, feeling they've been misled by the league

A judge in San Antonio has asked his county's district attorney to investigate Major League Soccer regarding the league encouraging the city to spend $18 million on renovating its soccer stadium in 2015. 

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff sent a strongly worded letter to MLS on Monday, expressing concern that the league may have encouraged Bexar County to spend the money despite already being aware of the Columbus Crew's desire to move to Austin.

According to Wolff, MLS could have violated the law in 2015 when the league encouraged Bexar County to purchase Toyota Field and submit a bid for expansion, because the league already knew at the time that Crew owner Anthony Precourt wanted to move his franchise to Austin. 

Precourt purchased the Crew in 2013 and had obtained a legal right to eventually move the club to Austin at the time – which Wolff contends the league must have known about. 

"If these reports are accurate, this presents a clear conflict of interest," Wolff wrote to Garber. "Had Bexar County officials been aware of such a right, we would not have invested in Toyota Field."

Wolff claims in his letter that MLS told Bexar County that the league would not establish franchises in both Austin and San Antonio. 

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In a statement, MLS responded to Wolff's claim, insisting that the league never intended to mislead San Antonio.

Wolff has demanded that MLS provide an updated timeline of events, and instructed Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood to investigate the matter further. 

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