The lawsuit LandCo filed against the U.S. Olympic Committee and the City of Colorado Springs was conceived well before any of the deadlines in the original agreement among the three partners had passed.
“(LandCo lawyer) Steve Long has been working on this for six months,” said Russ Rizzo of Linhart P.R., a Denver-based firm which represents LandCo Equity Partners and certain of its affiliates.
The agreement among LandCo, the city and the USOC, according to the complaint, called for the city to “purchase the USOC headquarters building on Nov. 14, 2008.”
The 21-page complaint alleges that the city, the city’s “public facilities authority” (PFA) and the USOC have breached their obligations under the agreement announced March 31, 2008.
However, when pressed about why LandCo would begin preparing a lawsuit prior to the deadlines, Rizzo backtracked.
“Six months may not be the exact period – you’d have to talk to Steve Long about that.”
Long, a lawyer with Denver firm Polsinelli Shughart P.C., signed LandCo’s complaint, as did two other attorneys, Reid Page and Page Crowther. Long, out of town this morning, could not be reached.*
The lawsuit depicts LandCo as the well-meaning victim of cynical maneuvering by the city and the USOC.
On page 15 of the complaint, the plaintiffs state that “LandCo can no longer stand by while the City and the USOC engage in this tragic and unsportsmanlike behavior.”
Calling for the court to blow the whistle on such allegedly unsportsmanlike conduct, LandCo “respectfully requests that the court enter judgment in its favor and against the defendants as follows:
1. Specific performance by the city, the PFA, Mayor (Lionel) Rivera, Mr. (Mike) Anderson, and the USOC of all their respective obligations under the implied and express joint venture agreement …
2. Ancillary compensation … for damages suffered by the defendant’s delay.
3. Compensatory damages against the city and the PFA.
4. A declaration (affirming the right of LandCo) to use the USA/5-Ring (Olympic) logo.
5. Compensatory damages against the USOC.
6. In the alternative, money damages against the city, the PFA and the USOC.
7. Attorney fees against the city and against all defendants.
8. Prejudgment and post-judgment interest as provided by law.
9. Costs, expenses and fees as provided by law.
10. Such other relief as the court deems just and appropriate.
Asked this morning whether LandCo’s suit would affect the ongoing criminal investigation targeting company CEO Ray Marshall, El Paso County District Attorney Dan May said. “Other than reading about it (the suit) in the newspapers, I have no direct knowledge of it, so I have no comment.”
* After this story was published on the Web, Steve Long told the Business Journal he had been working on the case for 60 days.