Metro official apologizes for spending $135K without permission - WSMV News 4

Metro official apologizes for spending $135K on stadium without permission

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Artist's rendering of the proposed soccer stadium. (WSMV) Artist's rendering of the proposed soccer stadium. (WSMV)
Rich Riebeling (File) Rich Riebeling (File)

An admission and an apology.

That’s the fallout after the News 4 I-Team investigation last week into spending for the proposed Major League Soccer stadium at the Nashville Fairgrounds.

The project hasn’t gotten approval from the Metro Council yet.

PREVIOUS STORIES: I-Team: Sports Authority unaware its money was spent on soccer stadium design | I-Team: For-profit company gets free office space in publicly-owned convention center

The I-Team found the Rich Riebeling, the city’s chief operating officer, authorized hiring architects and planners to get started.

Riebeling sent Metro Council members a letter on Monday admitting spending $135,000 without permission. That money was taken from the arena budget.

The Nashville Sports Authority didn’t know that until told by News 4’s Nancy Amons.

RELATED DOCUMENT: COO Rich Riebeling letter to Metro Council

Riebeling has apologized and said he won’t spend any more money on the soccer stadium without prior approval.

“When you get to our age, you know better. You don’t do that,” said Councilman Steve Glover. “When you’ve been in government as long as he and I have been, you don’t do that.”

Glover said he’s going to ask the Metro Council to reverse its vote to issue bonds for the MLS stadium project.

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