- The Washington Times - Monday, December 10, 2001

BALTIMORE (AP) The Maryland attorney general's office is investigating whether the Ravens were improperly reimbursed for expenses in connection with the team's 1996 move to Baltimore.
An audit of the Maryland Stadium Authority by the Department of Legislative Services questions whether $36.1 million of the team's expenses were eligible for reimbursement as "moving related."
The claimed expenses included rent and contributions made toward the construction of PSINet Stadium.
If all the expenses are found to be ineligible, the team would owe the state $13.8 million or the difference between expenses permitted by state law and the money made from permanent seat licenses.
The Ravens have sold $65.6 million worth of the licenses, one-time fees charged most season-ticket buyers at an average cost of $1,100.
Under the team's deal with the state, seat license proceeds were to cover only the cost of team owner Art Modell's relocation of the franchise from Cleveland. Any excess was to revert to the stadium authority, which built and maintained the $500 million, twin-stadium Camden Yards complex.
In their Oct. 31 report, the legislative auditors also found problems in stadium authority accounting in areas unrelated to the Ravens, including the sale of Memorial Stadium memorabilia.
The report goes to the General Assembly's Joint Audit Committee. It is unrelated to the arbitration case brought against the stadium authority by the Orioles.
A panel of arbitrators ruled in July that the authority failed to collect at least $10 million due from the Ravens for stadium construction. The Ravens and stadium authority dispute that finding.
The authority's executive director, Richard W. Slosson, said the auditor's report was a routine review, and he would abide by its recommendations. "We don't think we have anything to hide," he said.
At the auditors' suggestion, he asked the attorney general's office to issue an opinion on the Ravens' payments. The opinion is expected in about a month.
"We believe they are going to say the same thing we did, that these were all allowable deductions," Mr. Slosson said.
Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne said he would wait until the results of the attorney general's review before commenting on the report.

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