The city contends the golf-course operator was aware he would have to pay taxes on the course.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- The city is asking a Trumbull County Common Pleas judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the man who it is trying to evict as operator of the municipal golf course.
The law department filed a motion to dismiss the suit and a motion asking the court to remove Tony Joy Jr. from operating Avalon South Golf Course. The city also filed a brief responding to Joy's lawsuit.
Judge Andrew Logan will set a hearing date.
According to the motion to dismiss, the city states that if Joy suffered any financial hardship or was injured in any way, it was the direct result of his own conduct.
Law director Greg Hicks said Joy has missed rental payments and is defaulting on property taxes and a $425,000 loan.
Joy, who has operated the course since the 1980s, is seeking an injunction to halt the eviction.
He sued the city in February, saying he was told by officials that he would be credited for the improvement he made to the facility and that in 1988 the city's safety-service director told him he would not have to pay taxes.
The city contends Joy was aware that he would have to pay taxes on the facility and he was not forced to build new facilities at the course.
The city's response further notes that even if the safety service director made such claims to Joy, he was without the authority to do so and Joy assumed the risk of the golf course becoming taxable.
According to the city, Joy owes $142,821.69 in rent plus back taxes.
The FBI is looking at operations at Avalon as part of an ongoing investigation into city projects and departments.
Agents have been at the golf course in recent months and have also confiscated records from the city that deal with the course.