Wednesday, Nov. 07, 2012
UAM files suit against county, Auditor
Johnson targeted in legal action
Universal Asset Management has filed suit in the Cass County Circuit Court against Cass County and Auditor Ron Johnson in response to the countywide broadband issue.
The suit alleges that UAM has not been paid for approximately $200,000 of work performed for Cass County, and the County’s decision to terminate a contract with UAM for the implementation of broadband services, according to UAM owner Gary Lee.
The suit states that Cass County and UAM entered into the contract in March 2011, but problems arose after Johnson was elected.
Lee said, after his election, Johnson set about “breaking” the contract with UAM, which the County ultimately terminated in November 2011 because the Cass County Commissioners determined Johnson was not likely to ever certify further payments under the contract.
“It’s unfortunate we had to take this step, but many people worked very hard for the County on this project and all participants deserve to be treated fairly,” said Lee, in a press release statement. “We seek only a fair and equitable resolution of this matter. The broadband effort is a complicated and difficult project but it is achievable and should prove highly beneficial to all residents of the County either directly as users of the system or indirectly through enhanced revenues to the County.”
UAM is also seeking damages for false statements made by Johnson, and accusations that he shredded official documents related to the UAM contract.
“The information we have obtained in preparing this lawsuit is very troubling. This is not the conduct we expect of our elected officials,” said Steven E. Mauer, from Zerger & Mauer, LLP, law firm in Kansas City, who has been hired to represent UAM.
Johnson was not immediately available for comment late Tuesday afternoon, but did post the following on the “Cass County Missouri Auditor” Facebook page on Nov. 4:
“To (sic) bad the documents that are being talked about should Reside (sic) in the County clerks (sic) office,” Johnson said. “This lawsuit against the county and the auditors office (sic) is an attempt to discredit the truth. Also it is designed to Protect (sic) a person who has obstructed a federal investigations which he swore to before federal agents. In closing on Friday I have been asked to remain silent for now by federal authorities until we can get together. I am not surprised by the actions of criminal people.”