EM 4/14/05 letter to Croghan


MOPR Notes:  On VP letterhead, 3P, from 4/18/05 BOA pkt, posted 8/21/05.  It certainly seems that EM, knowing that the C/A for #8 Arnold Dr is rotting in ct only in order to continue challenging the TAKING of #8 Arnold Dr, should have included that info in this letter.  >  Ref ODocs, EM 2/14/05 ltr to Rahmeier/StPaul Fire & Marine.


Question:  Is the purpose behind this letter related to insurance? 



Mr Michael Croghan, CPA, Croghan & Croghan, PC

11007 Manchester Rd, Kirkwood, MO  63122

Re:  Pending & Threatened Litigation for FY 2004


Dear Sir:  The City VP has no pending or threatened litigation as of the FY ending 6/30/04, & continuing to date except as follows:


Weitzel Construction Co v. Daniel Adams, et al.  Cause No.  04CC-002306, pending in StL Cnty, MO.  Cause was dismissed, with prejudice, by Plf on 3/31/05, following a settlemt agreemt approved & executed by the City.  No monies were paid in consideration of the settlemt agreemt by the City.  The subject matter of the suit involved side & front setbacks for R1 zoning districts. 


Thomas P Pillow v. City VP.  Claim of racial discrimination against the City VP relating to the termination of employmt of prior City Clerk.  Complaint originally filed before MO Human Rights Cmsn (MHRC) & US Equal Employmt Opp Cmsn (EEOC) in 6/03.  Mgmt has & continues to vigorously deny the allegations.  EEOC & MHRC issued Right to Sue letters on 9/30/04, & the case is now pending in the Circuit Ct of StLCnty, MO, Cause No.  04CC-005576 D CX, filed 12/28/04.  The matter was referred to the City's liability carrier, St Paul Property & Liability Ins Co, who has accepted the defense, under a limited reservation of rights relating primarily to punitive damages & has hired the law firm of Buckley & Buckley, LLC.  The City Atty is actively participating for Def.  The issues have been joined by answer & the case is pending discovery & a trial assignmt.


Other than policy deductibles of $10K, which has or will be billed by the carrier, & discounting the unlikely event of a punitive damages verdict against the City, I believe the case has a high likelihood of resulting in a favorable outcome to the City.


Helton v. City VP, et al.  Claim by former mayoral sec'y that she was terminated for exercising First Amendmt rights.  Matter was referred to St Paul Insurance Co & suit was filed in Circuit Ct of StL Cnty, MO, on 12/10/04, & was subsequently removed by Defs Michel & City to Fed Dist Ct on 1/4/05.  It is pending in the Eastern Dist, US Dist Ct as Cause No.  405CV00013 DJS.  The insurance co has assigned the defense of VP to Buckley & Buckley, LLC, & the defense of Mayor Daniel Michel to Burroughs, Hepler, Broom, MacDonald, Hebrank & True, PC, under a limited reservation of rights primarily as to punitive damages.  The City Atty is actively participating in the case on behalf of Def & has demanded that St Paul Insurance settle the case within the policy limits.  The case has been ordered to mediation after 5/30/05, with completion of same by 7/30/05.


Discounting the unlikely award of punitive damages, I do not believe an award will be made that has a direct impact on the City as the allegations are within insurance coverages, other than the deductible of $10K, which has or will be billed to the City by the carrier.


I am unaware of any other claims or assessmts during the reporting period & continuing to date, other than a claim of Barbara Bechtel against VP, filed before the MHRC on 9/29/00.  On 4/25/02, the MHRC found probable cause to credit the allegations of a denial of access under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) & conciliation was requested.  That offer was rejected by the City & on 8/23/02, MHRC referred the matter to the Chairperson to determine whether or not a PBH should be scheduled.  As of this date, MHRC is awaiting review by the MO Atty General, their counsel, as to whether a hrg is recommended.


Mgmt continues to aggressively deny the allegations in the Bechtel complaint against the City & feels her assertions have no merit or likelihood of success.


City VP v. Maureen Morris.  The City is the condemning authy for the VP Levee Project in a pending condemnation case in StL Cnty Circuit Ct, Cause No. 03CC-1173.  The condemnee has filed exceptions to a cmsnrs' award of $75K & has requested a jury assess the amt of damages she is entitled to.  The condemnee has testified, by deposition, that the fair market value of the house is $203,480, at the time of the taking in 8/03.  The City's appraiser will testify the house is worth less than $70K at the time of the taking.  Amts paid, if ordered by a Ct, are fully creditable as a local share of the federally-funded VP Levee Project.  Funding for the local share has come from funds derived from the TIF Dist which was auth'd in 1988.


The case should be tried in mid-2005.  The City expects a verdict range less than the C/A.  Please contact me if further info is necessary.  Sincerely yours, ((signed)) Eric M Martin, City Atty, EMM:ss