The New Jersey Devils' top executive took issue Friday with Newark Mayor Cory Booker's recent harsh criticism of him, particularly accusations that the National Hockey League team reneged on a promise to construct a community center as part of its deal to build the Prudential Center arena five years ago.
Booker ripped chairman and managing partner Jeff Vanderbeek on Wednesday in a news conference in front of the arena, a day after arbitrators ruled in favor of the Devils in a long-running dispute with the city over arena parking revenue. Booker indicated that the city's attorneys were considering legal recourse.
Among other colorful descriptions, Booker called Vanderbeek a ''Grade-A huckster'' who came to Newark with ''a mouthful of promises and pocketful of lies.''
One of the unfulfilled promises, Booker said, was that the Devils would build a community center next to the arena in downtown Newark, the state's largest city.