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WARREN City will answer lawsuit over links



Published: Wed, April 10, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The man who has run the city-owned course since the 1980s has sued for breach of contract.

By DENISE DICK

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- The city's law director expects to file an answer, counter-claim and cross-complaint in the next few days to a lawsuit filed against the city by the man who ran Avalon South Golf Course.

Until then, Greg Hicks has declined to discuss the status of the case with members of council's finance committee.

Tony Joy Jr., who ran the municipal course, has a lawsuit pending against the city, alleging breach of contract.

Eviction process: The city is trying to evict him for missing rental payments and defaulting on property taxes and a $425,000 loan.

He is seeking an injunction to halt the eviction.

Joy has operated the course since the 1980s.

Hicks said he's spoken with attorneys representing Joy. The city's response to the suit, motions, cross-complaint and counter-claim is to be filed within days, he said.

Hicks' comments at a finance committee meeting Tuesday were in response to a letter to the administration and other council members from Doc Pugh, D-6th, and Robert Holmes III, D-4th.

Their letter asks for an update on the case.

One suggestion in the letter is that the city ask the court to appoint an attorney or accountant until the litigation is complete and a court order issued.

The attorney or accountant would monitor golf course finances, open a special account for proceeds and be the sole person authorized to ensure all bills and obligations are paid.

Once the city's response and other motions have been filed with the court, Hicks said he could discuss them with council committee members.

He said he could meet in executive session with members of the committee appointed to review the administration's suggestions on the course's future after the city's response has been filed.

To review strategy: The executive session would enable Hicks to review the city's strategy with committee members -- something he doesn't want to do in a public forum.

The committee appointed in February includes Brendan J. Keating, D-5th, chairman; Gary Fonce, D-at large, and Pugh.

The meeting is tentatively set for early next week.

The FBI is looking at operations at Avalon as part of its ongoing investigation into city projects and departments.




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