Supervisor Ally Miller Questions Accelerate Diagnostics Lease Agreement With Pima County

Supervisor Miller explained her opposition to the County’s renewal of a lease agreement with Accelerate Diagnostics. She noted that the figures provided by County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry are “a moving target,” meaning that they have changed over the years. As you can see, in memos created in 2019, Mr. Huckelberry claims the County has spent between $1.6 and $1,698,500. Yet, in 2016, Mr. Huckleberry claim that the County had spent at least $1, 874,372 and possibly as much as $2 million. During the August 6, 2019 Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Miller stated:

“Mr. Huckleberry sent a memorandum for Accelerate Diagnostics. In your memorandum, you finalize it that they initially – back in – when they first came into Pima County, I think in 2013. You talk about the County’s initial investment into Accelerate Diagnostics and you have a dollar amount of $1.6 million. In your memorandum, it is roughly a little over $1.6 million. And I went back to your January 21, 2016 memorandum and you stated, “The County provided the space, as well as the capital tenant improvements costing $1,874,372 for Accelerate Diagnostics. Hence, the County invested nearly $2 million in this startup company.” So the first problem I have is this number is a moving target. Number two, I get it, they paid the rent, but that doesn’t matter. This $1.8 million should be paid back by the company. They have been occupying the space that was originally supposed to be an incubator for businesses and when I was first elected to this Board in 2013, I was told it would be there for three years, move out, and then we would incubate the next company that comes in. And that didn’t happen. And then this lease goes to market value rent, but the problem I go to is 1) the number has changed, and then 2) the taxpayers should be reimbursed for this money. This is a violation of the Gift Clause. We have a Gift Clause in our Constitution that we are not supposed to use County money funds, or our credit for any businesses, or any private entity and here in this case we are doing that. So, as a result of that, I am not going to support this item.”

Background documents for August 6 Board of Supervisors meeting. Memo provided by County Administrator Huckelberry. [Click on image to enlarge]

 

Post-Board meeting memo from County Administrator Huckelberry. [Click on image to enlarge]

 

Memo by County Administrator Huckelberry in 2016, in which he claims the County has spent nearly $2 million on behalf of a private company. [Click on image to enlarge]