Home Finance News Cavs hire finance director as city readies subsidies for Gilbert’s project.

Cavs hire finance director as city readies subsidies for Gilbert’s project.

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Cavs hire finance director as city readies subsidies for Gilbert’s project.

The restructuring of downtown Cleveland, spearheaded by Mayor Justin Bibb, has taken an unexpected turn with the appointment of Cleveland’s Chief Finance Officer, Ahmed Abonamah, as the next CFO of the Cavaliers. This move has sparked concerns among City Hall observers and government watchdogs regarding the potential ethical implications, given Abonamah’s instrumental role in launching the revitalization efforts that may include tax subsidies for Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s riverfront project. Abonamah’s transition to the Cavs has raised eyebrows, especially since he played a key role in establishing a downtown taxing district that benefited Gilbert’s properties.

Despite consultations with Cleveland Law Director Mark Griffin to ensure compliance with Ohio ethics laws, the hiring of Abonamah by the Cavs still raises questions about conflicts of interest and the perception of impropriety. Abonamah maintains that his work for Gilbert’s Bedrock company, which is slated for city subsidies, remains separate from his responsibilities with the Cavs, particularly Rock Entertainment Group. With the Cavs now being an employer, Abonamah will face restrictions on communication with City Hall for the next 12 months, as mandated by Ohio law to maintain ethical standards. The need for transparency and accountability in public-private partnerships like this one highlights the importance of vigilant oversight from residents and watchdog organizations to ensure ethical behavior and decision-making in downtown Cleveland’s development.

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