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SAN DIEGO-Officials for the city and the Padres have ended talks that could have averted a construction shutdown at the site of a proposed downtown ballpark.

Team and city officials this week discussed the possibility of a third round of interim public financing, as well as an increased private investment of the project by Padres owner John Moores. But ultimately, the two sides have agreed the project is likely to remain on hold until the US Attorney’s Office concludes its investigation into whether councilwoman Valerie Stallings had an improper financial association with Moores.

Work on the $400-million project is scheduled to stop Monday when the second round of interim construction funding expires. Mayor Susan Golding says the investigation will delay, not doom, the widely anticipated redevelopment project.

But the team has rebuffed Golding’s suggestion to move the project forward with private funds, saying it doesn’t comply with the previously signed agreement between the city and the team, Padres spokesman Charles Steinberg says. “We continue to believe that it is prudent though painful to suspend construction activities on the ballpark until there is certainty that the city can meet its financial obligation of $225 million in ballpark construction costs,” Steinberg says, quoting from a statement released by the team late Tuesday.

The uncertainties connected with a grand jury investigation into the financial dealings of Stallings and Moores has made potential investors wary and is chilling attempts to float bonds and land a permanent financing package for the project.

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