Fight over August Wilson Center triggers series of legal skirmishes
The hotel developer seeking to buy the debt-ridden August Wilson Center for African American Culture is asking a judge to quash subpoenas from Pittsburgh's Urban Redevelopment Authority.
On Friday, New York-based 980 Liberty Partners will urge Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Lawrence O'Toole to issue a protective order excusing the developer from the URA's requests for 30 categories of documents and 49 topics of testimony.
The URA, which opposes the sale of the Downtown building for $9.5 million to 980 Liberty Partners, made the requests to prepare for a Sept. 29 trial to determine whether deeds and related documents block 980 from buying the Downtown property.
The developer argued the information sought by the URA is irrelevant to that trial and involves confidential and proprietary materials.
The developer's push for a protective order excusing it from the URA's subpoenas follows similar requests by the URA, state Attorney General's Office and local foundations to avoid disclosing information and documents sought by the center's court-appointed receiver, Judith K. Fitzgerald, and Dollar Bank, to which the center owes more than $8 million.
On Monday, O'Toole granted those protective orders to the attorney general and the coalition of Pittsburgh-area foundations. The judge advised the receiver to hold off on its request to depose Kevin Acklin, chairman of the URA's board of directors and Mayor Bill Peduto's chief of staff.
The authority, attorney general and foundations contend the sale to 980 Liberty Partners would violate deed restrictions and diminish the center and its mission. They want the center, built with at least $17.4 million in taxpayer money and $20 million from foundations, preserved as a “public asset.”
Natasha Lindstrom is a Trib Total Media reporter.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Big plays cost Steelers defense in preseason loss at Bills
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin mum on Bryant suspension
- Rossi: Beleaguered Steelers need MVP from Big Ben
- Another Know-Nothing moment
- Pirates notebook: Hurdle’s faith in Polanco pays off
- Pitt star running back Conner remains grounded despite success
- Patience serves as virtue amid pitching prospect Glasnow’s quest for majors
- QB Vick hits ground running in debut
- Happ’s strong start, Ramirez’s homer pace Pirates past Rockies
- Architecture: Pittsburgh history in 10 houses
- Strong-armed outfielder Garcia growing into all-around threat