As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, the ongoing legal exchanges of fire between GOP Sen. Ray Scott of Grand Junction and a wholesale supplier of his fireplace business continue–and it’s not going well for Sen. Scott:
In a ruling issued last week, U.S. District Judge Michael E. Hegarty said Scott’s company, Gas Products Corp., was in breach of contract with fireplace manufacturer Montigo Del Ray Corp. and owes Montigo $9,583.
Hegarty also dismissed Scott’s claim that Montigo interfered with prospective customers by telling GPC clients that GPC was having problems paying its bills, saying that in 2009, Scott’s past-due balances were as high as $110,000.
The judge, however, deferred execution of the monetary judgment against Scott until a final judgment is rendered on other claims against Montigo that Hegarty ruled should go to trial, which include misappropriation of trade secrets, civil conspiracy and interference with existing contractual relationships.
Basically, the court ruled that the case against Sen. Scott is valid–but counterclaims from Scott against the company need to be resolved before money changes hands. But despite the fact that a trial is scheduled for December on the matter, the Sentinel continues:
“We are in the heat of negotiations,” Scott said. “I can’t disclose it, but it’s probably going to be wrapped up in a few days.”
The story of Sen. Scott’s acrimonious legal battle with a wholesaler in his private business dealings blew up into much wider exposure than the Grand Valley after court documents were published alleging that Scott had made a threat to the company using his status as an elected state legislator. The Sentinel reported in late August:
Scott filed his lawsuit after Montigo made several attempts to collect payments it claims Scott’s company owed. Not long after those collection attempts, Scott sent an email threatening to use his position in the Legislature against the manufacturer.
“I would think that someone who could protect your interest in this market and who serves on the energy commission would be a huge benefit, or I guess could be a huge problem under the right circumstances,” [Pols emphasis] Scott wrote to Montigo executive Scott Baron in September 2012, a month after his distributor contract was terminated. “Wow. Now politics enters the picture, didn’t expect that one.”
Interestingly there is no mention of those remarks in today’s story, but that seems to certain to stay relevant going into that December civil trial.
Unless, of course, the trial doesn’t happen! We can certainly see Scott having an incentive to settle the case quickly now, preferably with no further mention of the allegation that Scott threatened to use his elected position for private gain. Civil settlements usually enjoin the parties against saying nasty things about each other, which would work out smashingly well for Ray Scott–especially since his betters in Colorado Senate leadership say they’re waiting to see how the case is resolved before they do anything.
Do you see how it could all get convenient? Because we can. Stay tuned though, because there’s at least one more procedural hurdle fro Scott to get through before this can get swept under the rug.