Updated at 11:15 p.m. Aug. 19, 2015
Two months after he appealed for a city lawsuit against the NFL, no such legal action is pending.
But the fan and former mascot, Dan Jauregui of Ramona, said Tuesday that “we loyal Chargers fans are prepared to spearhead an initiative to request that the City of San Diego file a lawsuit against the NFL unless the league and the Chargers come back to the table and enter into serious good faith negotiating talks to keep the team in San Diego.”
On Wednesday, he told Times of San Diego that the drive would begin when the Chargers file a relocation application with the National Football League.
Jauregui said Mighty 1090 radio host Kaplan has “already agreed to assist us on the air if we go in this direction.”
Asked for comment, Kaplan said Wednesday afternoon: “I will do anything to help keep the Chargers in San Diego. I will always appreciate and support the fans’ efforts.”
Jauregui said he put the NFL “on notice” and formally submitted a demand letter to [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell and NFL chief legal officer Anastasia Danias.
As he did in late June, he called any Chargers move a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
“Carmen Policy made his pitch for the Chargers and Raiders to relocate to Carson on Monday at a luncheon hosted by the Los Angeles Sports Council,” Jauregui said in a statement.
“It was the same presentation he gave to NFL owners and commissioner Roger Goodell last week, as the former 49ers and Browns executive works as the front man for the Chargers and Raiders in their effort to build a shared $1.7 billion stadium in Carson.”
Jauregui predicted that experts hired by team owner Dean Spanos would lose in court and that a judge would impose an injunction as a result of “this proposed complaint.”
“We fans stand ready to act if the illegal behavior is not stopped,” he said. “Rest assured, we will not give up the Chargers without a fight!”
According to city rules, Jauregui and allies would have 180 days after a “notice of intention” is published to submit a petition calling for a vote.
Ten percent of San Diego’s registered voters would need to sign such a petition calling for a lawsuit against the NFL. As of July 31, San Diego had 592,856 voters — so 59,285 verified signatures would be needed.
He said he would seek help with the drive, and its costs, by “going public to the media and reach out to city business that have a high stake in the economic impact lost if the Chargers leave. We will also reach out to Charger fans, and local approved voters.”
But only 3 percent of city voter signatures would be needed if the City Council acted on behalf of the drive.
“Absolutely this will be done,” Jauregui said of seeking council backing of the initiative. “It would be organized strategically to bring a lot of fans in with me.”
He said he would present demands with “factual legal arguments for why the city is in a position to file an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. Maybe even flying the attorney Jim Quinn from New York and have him present our case.”
In June, Jauregui called on City Attorney Jan Goldsmith to sue the Chargers, saying: “It would be a disservice if our city attorney failed to do what is best for the City of San Diego and its fans, depriving us of the history and the legacies that we fans have enjoyed for over 54 years.”
Goldsmith’s office declined to sue. Tuesday night, Goldsmith spokesman Gerry Braun had no comment on the latest development.
As of Wednesday morning, the NFL had not responded to Jauregui’s letter.
“We hope to have a response or otherwise this would look bad for the NFL as no response is obviously a guilty verdict.” he said.
Jauregui says the City Attorney’s Office believes it can’t sue based on antitrust law.
“Our City Attorney Jan Goldsmith made a bold statement to Derek Togerson with NBC 7 San Diego that the Chargers have an ‘absolute waiver’ against any antitrust violations,” Jauregui said.
(In fact, the NBC 7 report doesn’t mention an “absolute waiver.” The Togerson story quotes the City Attorney’s Office as saying: “The City is not planning to file an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL and Chargers. In 2006, the City of San Diego agreed in an amended lease that the Chargers may relocate after the 2008 season outside of San Diego under certain conditions and further agreed to waive any claim the City might otherwise have based upon such a relocation.”)
But Jim Quinn of the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP reviewed the 2006 lease agreement and found the Chargers are not excluded from a lawsuit, Jauregui said.
“The simple answer to why the city is not barred from filing an antitrust complaint against the Chargers and the NFL is that the document they apparently signed back in 2006 does not prevent them from suing now in 2015 because under the law (including U.S. Supreme Court precedent) a party cannot waive future unknown antitrust claims because it is against public policy,” he said.
“Otherwise an antitrust victim would be powerless to sue about something they couldn’t know about in the future. You can only waive or release past claims.”
Jauregui said Goldsmith can seek an injunction for abuse of monopoly power with respect to the NFL’s efforts to artificially control the location of its NFL team owners and failure to negotiate in good faith with the City of San Diego.
“This is the key argument that the city can argue in a complaint,” he said, adding: Why Jan Goldsmith would make such a bold statement without consulting with an antitrust expert attorney is beyond me.
“Would you consult with a patent attorney if you got a DUI? Absolutely not! Not to take anything away from Jan Goldsmith I just think he’s simply misinformed.”
The following letter was dated Aug. 18, 2015, and also was addressed to the attention of Anastasia Danias, NFL chief litigation officer.
Dear Commissioner Goodell:
My name is Dan Jauregui and I am a devoted die-hard San Diego Chargers fan who has come to be known over the years as the “Boltman.” Me and other loyal Chargers fans are prepared to spearhead an initiative to force the City to file a lawsuit against the NFL unless the League and the Chargers enter into serious talks to keep the team in San Diego.
The Mayor, City Council, Board of Supervisors and City Attorney have worked hard to produce a plan to approve and construct a new stadium on a short timetable. The San Diego Chargers are a key part of our community. Not only do the Chargers provide entertainment and civic pride, but they generate lots of jobs and revenue for the City and County of San Diego. That will be lost if the Chargers leave from San Diego County.
NFL policy requires a team to negotiate in good faith before a franchise can relocate. The League and the Chargers have failed to do that and reject every effort to keep the team in San Diego. At the same time, under the close watch of the League, the Chargers have been working on stadium plans in The City of Carson, Los Angeles County. Land has been bought, a signature drive for a finance plan stadium proposal is underway, and an NFL executive has been hired as a consultant for a new stadium.
The NFL has a long track record of violating the antitrust laws, especially when it comes to controlling the location of teams. The City of San Diego is entitled to compete on a level playing field to keep the Chargers here and not be boycotted by the League.
Unless the NFL and the Chargers come to the table for meaningful, good-faith, negotiations on staying in San Diego County, we will launch an initiative to have the City retain a team of experienced sports antitrust lawyers starting with the law office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP to stop the move. This will be another legal black-eye for the League in a growing list of legal problems with the start of the 2015 season.
The loyal fans of the San Diego Chargers are actively monitoring the actions of the NFL and the Chargers and stand ready to act if the illegal behavior is not stopped. Rest assured, we will not give up the Chargers without a fight! We look forward to your response.
and the loyal Charger fans.