The North Augusta Riverfront Company has filed a countersuit against Steve Donohue, who they accuse of trying to halt or delay the development of Project Jackson with an “unfounded” suit filed against the City of North Augusta last year.
The summons and complaint were filed with the Aiken County Clerk of Court’s office by the North Augusta Riverfront Company on May 30.
Project Jackson is a proposed 457-acre development along the Savannah River front possibly consisting of a hotel, stores and a baseball stadium.
The complainant states the company had a contractual relationship with Greenstone Enterprises Inc. to sell a substantial portion of property to Greenstone for the development of, among other things, a baseball stadium.
The complaint states the agreement to sell the property to Greenstone for Project Jackson was “a close certainty and there was a reasonable probability that a specific contract for the sale of the Property would be realized.”
Donohue is accused of “intentionally and improperly” interfering with the relationship between the company and Greenstone by filing an “unfounded” complaint last year.
In December, Donohue, along with the neighborhood’s homeowners’ association, filed a suit against the city citing violations with the Tax Increment Financing Law.
That suit alleges that, among other matters, there is no evidence for a recent finding of blight in the proposed area.
The River Club Homeowner’s Association later voted to have itself removed from the complaint.
“Defendant filed the Lawsuit with the intent, purpose, and motive of halting and/or delaying Project Jackson and prohibiting Plaintiff’s sale of the Property to Greenstone, with no real expectation of prevailing on the merits,” the document filed last month stated. “As a direct result of Defendant’s filing of the Lawsuit, Plaintiff is unable to consummate its prospective contract with Greenstone.”
The complaint goes on to say the company has sustained actual damages, including lost profits. It seeks judgment against Donohue for actual damages, consequential damages, incidental damages and punitive damages.
Donohue was given 30 days to respond to the complaint, but had not as of Thursday.
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012. He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.