Garden of the Gods, properties threatened by lien
City Council rejected a settlement during executive session Tuesday.
colorado springs» All of Colorado Springs’ city properties — from Garden of the Gods to the Martin Drake Power Plant — were being liened by a lawyer Thursday after the City Council rejected a mediated settlement during an executive session Tuesday.
The settlement had been reached after an excavating company won its federal case against the city and its utilities.
The Colorado Sunshine Law, which governs open meetings, strictly forbids governmental bodies from making any decision during executive sessions.
Council President Pro Tem Jill Gaebler denied that any decision was made in the closed session.
Attorney Hans Tuft, representing Chiddix Excavating, said a federal mediator advised him that the mediated settlement “for pennies on the dollar” had been rejected by the council Tuesday, freeing the plaintiff to pursue the more than $1.5 million damages originally awarded by a U.S. District Court jury.
“We’re sending out writs of garnishment, having federal marshals serve those to Chase Bank, Key Bank, US Bank. We’re filing a judgment to record in El Paso County and have liens against all properties,” Tuft said Thursday.
The Chiddix case arose after a utilities inspector revoked the license of Chiddix employee Robert Curtis to install utility lines in August 2013, further ordering that no Chiddix workers would be allowed to perform such installations.
So Chiddix was forced to abandon work it was doing on a housing development near Fort Carson.
But revocation procedures under City Code and utilities policy were not followed, the jury found.
Company owner Shane Chiddix claimed lost revenue, property taken without just compensation, deprivation of property in violation of due process, inverse condemnation, wrongful license revocation, defamation, intentional interference with contractual relationships and loss of business advantage or opportunity.
A jury heard the case Aug. 22-26 and awarded Chiddix $1.5 million damages, $149,364 in attorney’s fees, $14,127 in court costs, $5,685 in interest at 0.58 percent compounded annually until the debt is paid.