When the triangle lawsuit was going on, Fairhope’s insurance company, sued the city saying that the city’s bad decisions led to the lawsuit and they were not going to cover the legal expenses.
This is a simplification of two long stories.
The attorney for the city on the Triangle lawsuit was Cain O’Rear. He came to a council meeting and turned to the audience, held his right hand high, and promised the city would not have to spend a dime on attorney fees, Fairhope paid his firm 3 million dollars and we lost the lawsuit and had to pay 8.25 million for the property, as a legal settlement. Councilman Burrell denied this for years and claimed it was a voluntary purchase for a park, an outright lie.
Approximately 12 years ago I was negotiating a settlement between the triangle owners and the city council. I think that figure was about 600,000 dollars. The council and Mayor Cant refused to negotiate. It ended up costing 11.25 million, not counting Interest and lost opportunity.
The Breland case is a mirror image, this case goes back over 12 years ago. Cant stopped the project, without cause then changed zoning rules after the fact. When Wilson became Mayor she wanted to see if it could be settled. The council refused and insisted it fall into a black hole of litigation. About 3 years ago I negotiated with Mr Breland and he said if Fairhope would just let him proceed, HE WOULD PAY LEGAL FEES, Give 40 acres in perpetuity, for a park or conservation easement, which would be fantastic for the community and he would comply with all necessary conditions.
This council refused to negotiate, so now the insurance company is saying the lawsuit was arbitrary and co precious. The court agreed and now Fairhope, win, lose or draw has to pay attorney costs. These fees could be well over a million dollars.
Here is the kicker because our council was so bull headed, Fairhope is in a much worst situation, If the Supreme Court rules in Breland’s favor, that could be any day, Breland will have a legitimate claim for damages that could result in many millions of dollars.
Both the Triangle and the Breland case are the results of good ole boys circumventing the law at citizens expense. Councilman Robinson property is next to the Breland property, he does not want to see ANY development in HIS backyard. Burrell is the real problem, he is not a good business man and is a horrible negotiator. He has allowed this case to fester to a point that it is going to cost Fairhope Millions.
Every time Mayor Wilson would try and bring it to the table the council would pounce on her and refused to listen to anyone. 11.25 for the Triangle and now millions more on the Breland lawsuit. Add in the recreation property for 2.65 million and the half million dollars clock, full family insurance and another half dozen issues and it is abundantly clear this council has cost taxpayers millions.
Make no mistake both the issues are owned by City Councils, past and present.
The Breland case is squarely on this CATALYST council’s head. Jack Burrell is costing citizens millions.