Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Vs. Raiders

Thursday, February 22nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A state judge has dismissed a suit filed by a former political candidate who claimed the Oakland Raiders defrauded taxpayers of at least $63.9 million — the amount of a loan given to the team when it returned from Los Angeles in 1995.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge James Richman tossed out the suit Wednesday, saying Joe Debro missed the filing deadline. Richman did not rule on the merits of the suit.

The judge said Debro, a unsuccessful candidate last year for the county Board of Supervisors, should have filed the suit before August 1998 — more than a year before he filed it — to comply with a three-year statute of limitations.

Debro, who said he plans an appeal, claimed the loan — which included $10 million for a new training facility in Alameda — actually was a payoff to persuade the team to return to Oakland.

The Raiders and civic leaders repeatedly have denied it was a payoff. But they acknowledge it was a non-recourse loan, meaning taxpayers cannot force the team to pay back the money.