CLOVERDALE -- The announcement made Tuesday by Town Council President Don Sublett was that Cloverdale won one of its lawsuits.
Attorney Mindy Jackman handled the suit for Cloverdale. She was the one who notified Sublett about the findings. The suit in question was an alleged breech of contract by Simon Equipment in Iowa.
The lawsuit was originally filed in Dubuque, Iowa, on Oct. 27, 2005, in regard to breach of contract after the town council had voted to accept a bid from Simon Fire Equipment and Repair to purchase the fire truck.
The lawsuit stated that on or about April 2005, the town began a bidding process to purchase one fire truck from Simon Fire. A resolution was signed by all five council members on April 12. Four of the members voted to buy a fire truck. Sublett was absent from the meeting.
On June 8, 2005, the town council conducted a special meeting and, according to the lawsuit, accepted a bid from Simon Fire to furnish the fire truck. At the meeting, then board member Judy Whitaker motioned to accept the bid, subject to favorable financing, with Sublett giving the second. The motion passed, 3-1-1, with Whitaker, Sublett and John Davis voting yes. Dennis Padgett voted "no" while Glen Vickroy abstained.
At the time, the town was informed by its financial advisor, Krohn and Associates, that there was favorable financing, setting up a public meeting on July 19 to vote on a bond issue for financing.
However, financing of the bond issue for the fire truck was voted down, 3-2, with Padgett, Sublett and Vickroy voting no at the special session. The truck was never purchased.
The charges said that former council member Davis told Simon Equipment that the proposal to purchase a fire truck from them had been accepted when in fact, it had not.
When Simon Equipment received the news that the town was not buying the fire truck, they filed suit against Cloverdale. Initially, they filed in Iowa and it was dismissed by a Federal Magistrate.
The Attorney for Simon then filed the lawsuit in Putnam County. There was a bench trial with the verdict going in Cloverdale's favor. Then the case was appealed. Recently the Appellate Court sent the case back to trial court in Putnam County.
Judge Matt Headley heard the case. In a nine-page order, he found in favor of Cloverdale stating that there was no breach of contract and the town acted in good faith.
Presently, Cloverdale Town Attorney Alan Yackey believes that a further appeal will be filed after the recent judgment.
During the meeting, the board figured that they only have three pending lawsuits against the town. Two of them are suits by former board members and one is in regards to the former police chief.
Yackey believes that at least one of the former board suits is essentially, "dead in the water," though it has not been settled to date.