D.C. Corporation Counsel John Risher said yesterday he would not approve a memorandum outlining terms for a 40-year lease at RFK Stadium made Friday between the D.C. Armory Board and the group that wants to buy the San Francisco Giarts and move them here.
Emil Bernard, a New York investor seeking toput the deal together, needed the signed agreement to take before an unidentified Chicago bank to get preliminary approval for a loan to cover the team's $11 million purchase price.
The meeting was scheduled yesterday, but postponed, said Richard Tinkham, Bernard's attorney.
Tinkham's option to buy 50 per cent of the Giants for $5.5 million from Phoenix businessman Bud Herseth expires Sunday. Risher said he told Tinkham yesterday that it would be impossible to complete an acceptable agreement by then.
Risher, as the city's chief legal officer, has to approve all contracts made by the Armory Board, said he disagreed with Tinkham and the Armory Board that a firm agreement had been reached and that all Risher had to do was approve the legality of the wording.
"I didn't find the document I read today to be an acceptable agrement," Risher said. "Neither side has stated definitively what is in it. As far as I'm concerned right now, the parties have agreed to agree to agree.
There is considerable amount of work which remains to be done before I can approve it."
Risher said that included economic terms that Tinkham accused him of trying to renegotiate.
Last night, Risher said he told Bernard and Al Favour, Herseth's attorney, that if Tinkham can get an extension of the option, Risher will try to work out an acceptable memorandum.
Risher met with Bernard yesterday and when asked afterward if the economic terms had been settled, said, "Far from it. I don't understand the economics from the buyer's point of view."
He would not elaborate.
Risher also said that he needed copies of the buy-sell agreement between Herseth and co-owner Bob Lurie, the document by which Tinkham and Bernard insist they can buy the team once they get the financing.
Risher said he asked Bernard to identify his group, which Tinkham said includes some potential investors from the Washington area. Bernard refused, according to Risher.
"I don't understand why we don't know who his associates are," Risher said. "I've never heard of pro baseball approving any transaction without knowing the people involved."
Early last night, Cith Council Chairman Sterling Tucker issued a statement for himself and Mayor Walter E. Washington:
". . . We are making and continue to make every effort to work out an appropriate lease arrangement for any responsible person or group who demonstrates the financial capacity to bring baseball back to Washington, and I will continue to follow these and any other developments with that goal in mind."