Gar­den of the Gods, prop­er­ties threat­ened by lien

City Coun­cil re­jected a set­tle­ment dur­ing ex­ec­u­tive ses­sion Tues­day.

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Bil­lie Stan­ton An­leu

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.

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