New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declined to directly comment on if he will potentially block the sale of the New York Mets to billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen.
As explained by the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), an agreement in the team's lease allows the city to block the sale to someone convicted of a felony or linked with organized crime. While Cohen was never convicted, SAC Capital Partners, his former company, pleaded guilty in an insider trading case in 2014.
"When we're in the middle of a legal review, which again is our fiduciary responsibility as a city to do this, it's not appropriate to be commenting on the people involved,'' de Blasio told reporters on Thursday.
"It's our land,'' he added. "There is a legal requirement that if there's an ownership change it has to be evaluated. Our law department is doing that evaluation based on the law.''
Cohen currently owns 8% of the Mets and is expected to assume 95% ownership of the club after paying a record $2.42 billion for the franchise. The Wilpon and Katz families will retain 5% of the Mets per the proposed transaction.
MLB's ownership committee reviewed and approved the sale earlier this month. League owners are expected to approve the deal before Friday ends.