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Front Page FLASH:

City subpeonas Thompson & Bender records --
seeks T & B client links to last July's Town Center lawsuit.

Official Mayor Delfino statement issued as discovery process begins

By John F. Bailey

CityLine: March 23, 2001 -- City Hall

The City of White Plains released an official statement Friday from the Mayor's office as a result of receiving a Freedom of Information Act request for any subpeonas filed by the city involving Ian Behar, the man who filed a lawsuit against the city when the city approved the Tishman-Speyer Town Center project last July.

The statement has been issued as the "discovery" process is about to begin in the city's $150 million lawsuit against Mr. Behar for what they allege was a "sham lawsuit," filed by Mr. Behar last July.

The Mayor's statement, released to WPCNR reads:

The City contends in its lawsuit that Mr. Behar abused the legal process in order to destroy the City's movie theater project. In its complaint in the lawsuit, the City charges that IWL Associates and Behar sought to "delay and thereby defeat the White Plains Town Center project."

In pending litigation, the City's attorneys intend to fully explore the replationship between Ian Behar and key principals of G&S Investors. They will also explore whether Mr. Behar's motive in bringing the now dismissed lawsuit was to block the project for the benefit of G&S Investors and their Port Chester (The Waterfront) project.

At the time that Mr. Behar filed his lawsuit against the City, G&S Investors and White Plains were in a heated competition to secure a Loews movie theater to anchor their downtown revitalization efforts. Ultimately Loews chose White Plains over the G&S project, as confirmed by Loews Vice-President of Marketing, Marc Pascucci in June, 2000.

Less than one month later, Ian Behar suddenly filed a lawsuit to stop the White Plains project, claiming that his business would be hurt by the project.

In dismissing Behar's suit, New York Supreme Court Justice Peter Levitt found, as the City argued, that IWL had "not refuted allegations set forth in various affidavits, and supported by documentary evidence, that petitioner has never actually occupied said premises, or even attempted to operate what the lease describes as a "fashionable clothing store" or any other commercial or retail activity - therein".

City subpeonas documents from former G&S Investors public relations firm.

In a related development, WPCNR has learned that the City of White Plains has indeed filed a subpeona on the former public relations firm employed by G&S Investors to promote the G&S Waterfront project in Port Chester last spring.

The subpeona, according to the WPCNR source, demands Thompson & Bender "produce" documents in which G&S Investors or any principals of G&S Investors, a Thompson & Bender client, mention Ian Behar or IWL Associates. Thompson & Bender was supposed to deliver such documents May 19.

WPCNR efforts to contact Mr. Edward P. Dunphy, City of White Plains Corporation Counsel, to confirm this subpeona and whether Thompson & Bender had complied with the subpoena have been unsuccessful.




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