Suit against Fayette County Park District awaits judge’s ruling

By Ashley Bunton -

A caterer who said he felt bullied out of the clubhouse at The Greens by the Fayette County Park District (FCPD) is asking for actual and projected lost revenue, however the case could be thrown out of court.

Jason Gilmore, of Washington Court House, filed a complaint in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas July 3 because he said the FCPD terminated an agreement without cause.

Gilmore had been awarded a contract from the FCPD to run the food service business at The Greens, a public golf course in Washington Court House. According to court records, FCPD entered into a one-year agreement with Gilmore May 3. The contract granted Gilmore the exclusive right to the sale of food and beverages and said that Gilmore would receive 75 percent of gross sales.

The FCPD scheduled an event for July 3 and planned to serve beverages and food.

Court records state the FCPD notified Gilmore that they would not allow him access to its restaurant facility, or to sell food and beverages at the event, or any other time. Gilmore stated it violated the terms of the agreement the FCPD entered into with him. At the time of the filing, Gilmore asked for a temporary restraining order and injunction to prevent the FCPD from going forward with the event.

The FCPD moved forward with the event, Freedom Festival on The Greens, and posted on its Facebook site July 4 that they were happy with the results.

The FCPD’s June 7 meeting minutes state a motion was made by board members, Angela Tackett and David Kiger, to provide a written five-day notice of default to the current tenant of the food and beverage services, Jason Gilmore. The five-day notice was to be followed by a 10-day letter with intent to terminate if items were not addressed, the record states, and the motion passed unanimously.

A motion was made by board members Kiger and Dan Stahl to proceed with a freedom festival at The Greens July 3 and to authorize board member Tackett to enter into contracts for: Reagonomics $3,200, tent rental $200, Ron Smith (DJ) $250, security services, and other reasonable expenses as necessary, the record states, and the motion passed unanimously.

Gilmore argues in his complaint that under the contract with the FCPD, he would receive 75 percent of what the FCPD made at the festival. In addition to the lost revenue from the Freedom Festival on The Greens, Gilmore is asking for projected lost revenue from the year-long agreement amounting to $250,000, court records state.

Tackett told the Record-Herald in an email this week that the FCPD made $400 from the festival. As for the nature of the case, Fayette County Prosecutor Jess Weade, representing the FCPD, has advised members of the FCPD board to not discuss the case with media.

Weade said in an email Wednesday that a lot of discovery needs to be done and he will wait to see how Judge Rocky Coss rules on the pending motions and go from there. Weade made a motion to dismiss Gilmore’s complaint Aug. 3 for failing to properly serve the attorney (Weade) and the defendants (the park board) named in the case.

For the alleged lack of due process, Gilmore’s complaint could get thrown out of court.

Gilmore’s filings list individuals as defendants (Fayette County Park District commissioner’s board of David Kiger, Angela Tackett, Bob Pitakos, Dan Stahl, David Lewis, and the commissioners of Fayette County: Jack DeWeese, Tony Anderson, Dan Dean), but there’s no record in the court files that the individuals have been served by certified mail.

Gilmore said in a recent interview that he is his own attorney for the case.

Gilmore filed an amended complaint and response to the dismissal Sept. 1. Gilmore’s last day to make a filing is Sept. 22.

By Ashley Bunton

Reach Ashley by calling her at (740) 313-0355 or by searching for @ashbunton

Reach Ashley by calling her at (740) 313-0355 or by searching for @ashbunton