So a week ago, Chris Hansen had some dirty laundry that was about to become public. What do you do in this situation? Maybe he should've sought advice from the best crisis management expert on the planet. I'm talking about this man, of course! He's written this book on damage control, and if you don't have time to read it, you could've at least watched this short video.
Seriously though, Hansen had multiple opportunities to come clean before: assuming that he's telling the truth about how he got involved in all this (and quite frankly, there's very little reason for anyone to believe a word he says at this point...but for the sake of argument, let's just give him the benefit of the doubt), he could've gone public with what has happened and given a genuine apology:
1) before the NBA made its decision to keep the Kings in Sacramento, if indeed he got involved when things "got competitive" as he had said;
Now to be fair, doing so would probably hurt his chance of getting a team, so I don't actually blame him for not coming lean so early here.
2) after the NBA made its decision, and before news broke that someone funded STOP and other anti-arena efforts through Loeb & Loeb;
The fact that Hansen didn't do so seems to indicate that he was absolutely hoping that the Kings arena deal would fail, and was working actively against the arena efforts in Sacramento.
3) after news broke that the $80K came from someone through the law firm associated with the Maloofs, but before we all found out who was behind the funding;
This was probably Hansen's last chance to salvage anything from what was going to happen. (I can't help but think that someone following Lehane's advice would have come clean at this point.) Maybe he thought that he could've gotten away with it. If that were the case, he obviously miscalculated, just as he had miscalculated the strength of Sacramento's efforts to keep the team, and the lack of desire for the NBA to uproot the Kings from Sacramento.
The bottom line is that Hansen never chose to go public with this information, and he didn't apologize until after everyone found out he was behind the $. He got his hands caught in the cookie jar, and now he will have to deal with the consequences. I sincerely hope that the Seattle will still get an expansion team in the future, but I can't see how this man could ever be the face of an NBA franchise.