Brad Pistotnik sues brother and former firm

WICHITA — Attorney Brad Pistotnik, who earlier this month left the Affiliated Attorneys of Pistotnik Law Offices to start Brad Pistotnik Law, has sued his former practice in Sedgwick County District Court. The suit also names his brother, Brian, who Brad Pistotnik previously said he’s practiced law with “forever.”

“It’s a pretty boring suit,” says Chuck Millsap, Brad Pistotnik’s attorney. “It’s simply a statutory method of dissolving a 50-50 corporation.”

Neither Pistotnik returned a call for comment.

“There’s nothing particularly exciting about it other than they’re two brothers,” Millsap says. “It’s a corporate maneuver to dissolve a corporation … when you’ve got two 50-50 shareholders who have differing ideas about how to manage the company.”

So were those differing philosophies what led to the split?

“I’m not going to talk about that, and I don’t think they are either,” Millsap says.

In the suit, Brad Pistotnik says he’s still a half owner of the firm where his brother remains and that he and his brother “are unable to agree upon the desirability of dissolving the Corporation and the disposition of the corporate assets.”

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Wink Hartman Sr. and Hartmoor Investments sue Casey Bachrodt over Gardner land

WICHITA — Wink Hartman Sr. and his Hartmoor Investments have sued Casey Bachrodt over land they purchased together in a retail area in front of the Walmart in Gardner.

According to the suit, which was filed in Sedgwick County District Court, the two formed BRIC Gardner in 2008. The entity borrowed $1.95 million from Security Savings Bank, which the suit says Hartman and Bachrodt personally guaranteed.

The suit says that “BRIC Gardner was not an income producing enterprise,” so Hartman, through Hartmoor Investments, and Bachrodt made capital contributions to BRIC to pay the loan.

The suit says that beginning in August of 2010, Bachrodt started failing to make necessary capital contributions and Hartmoor Investments made up the difference, which was almost $360,000.

With interest, Hartman and Hartmoor are now seeking more than $410,000 under the operating agreement.

Hartman’s attorney declined comment on the case. Bachrodt didn’t return calls to comment.

Hotel at Old Town sues two managers who left for positions at the Ambassador Hotel

UPDATED — The Hotel at Old Town has filed a lawsuit against former general manager Sheila Cole and former director of sales Amy Grossman, who now hold the same positions at the 6-month-old Ambassador Hotel.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed in Sedgwick County District Court on Tuesday, Cole faxed Jack DeBoer, the principal owner of the Hotel at Old Town, resignations for herself and Grossman on May 30. The suit says Cole offered Grossman a job at the Ambassador and that Cole faxed a note that Grossman “accepted the challenge of helping turn the hotel around.”

The suit alleges breach of fiduciary duty, the destruction of evidence and the misappropriation of trade secrets, among other things.

“I think I was treated very poorly,” DeBoer says. “I’m just protecting my asset. That’s what my attorneys counseled me to do to protect it. So that’s my story.”

Neither Cole nor Grossman returned calls for comment.

The suit alleges that prior to her resignation, “Cole accessed her office computer and deleted significant portions of the Microsoft Outlook ‘In Box,’ deleted her ‘Sent Box,’ deleted her Microsoft Outlook ‘Trash’ or ‘Recycle Bin,’ and ran a program called CCleaner to erase the evidence of the ‘link files’ showing Defendant Cole’s links to documents recently accessed by her. By running CCleaner, Cole also permanently erased the evidence of all temporary files and histories, the download history, and the evidence of what was downloaded to her Flash Drive and then erased from her computer and placed in the trash/recycle bin.”

DeBoer says he doesn’t want to comment further on the lawsuit.

“I want to stay out of it.”

The 82-year-old businessman has one thing to say, though.

“The only thing I can say is I’ve never sued anybody. How ’bout that?” DeBoer says. “I’m a lover, not a fighter.”

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TJ’s Burger House owner John Abdayem wants to erase confusion over restaurant

UPDATED — It’s been more than nine months since TJ’s Burger House owner John Abdayem has been gone from his east-side TJ’s, but customers are still confused about his role there, especially now that the restaurant has closed.

Abdayem wants to be clear about a couple of things. Most importantly, he says, his Delano TJ’s remains open.

The former TJ’s that was on the east side at Harry and Webb recently closed, but it’s been since May that Abdayem was there. The circumstances surrounding his departure are in dispute.

Abdayem says he hadn’t planned on leaving but that his landlord, Homer Morgan, unexpectedly locked him out. Morgan’s attorney, Ed Robinson, says Abdayem broke his lease and left owing Morgan about $32,000.

“What actually happened is entirely different than what he’s describing,” Robinson says.

He says Morgan sued Abdayem in Sedgwick County District Court, and Abdayem has brought a counterclaim.

Abdayem says that until a week ago when it closed, the restaurant continued to operate as Burger House, which he says led some people to think he was still there.

Regardless of the legal situation and its outcome, Abdayem says he continues to get questions from customers and wants everyone to understand the situation and that it’s not related to his Delano restaurant.

Cafe Bel Ami owner sues landlord and property manager over parking

WICHITA — The owner of Cafe Bel Ami is in a parking dispute with his landlord and the company that manages the O’Rourke Title Building at 229 E. William, where the downtown restaurant is located.

Nabil Bacha filed a lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court after reserved signs were placed on certain parking spots that he says his customers have a right to use.

Harry Najim, Bacha’s lawyer, says his client has nonexclusive use of the entire parking lot during certain hours and that reserved signs hinder that.

He says customers “don’t want to go in the restaurant and come back and find their car gone.”

Troy Palmer, president of Simon Palmer Properties, says he can’t discuss the dispute much beyond saying that there is one.

“We really hope to have it resolved before Friday,” he says. “We’re still kind of negotiating.”

There’s a temporary restraining order that forced Palmer to remove the reserved signs for now. A hearing is set for Friday.

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Terradyne Country Club and residential partners in lawsuit over financial dispute

UPDATED — The partners in Terradyne Country Club and Terradyne Residential are in a financial dispute that has led to a lawsuit against one another.

CS Ventures, which is Craig and Christy Smith, and Terradyne Residential have filed a lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court against partners Jerry Slack, Earle Evans and Wichita-based BGS Cos.

“It’s just that some of the partners … have not paid their part of the cash calls,” Craig Smith says. “We’ve been patiently waiting and waiting.”

Evans says he and Slack have paid.

“We feel like we’re not getting full credit on it for what we did,” he says.

Evans says the first he heard of the suit is when a reporter told him about it.

“I’m amazed because I talked to Craig Smith … yesterday. He never said anything,” Evans says.

“That can’t be true because he’s signed receipt of it,” Smith says.

Regardless, Evans says he’s not pleased.

“There probably will be some repercussions on that.”

Meaning a possible countersuit?

“Could be. I don’t know.”

A 10-person partnership formed in 2006 to buy Terradyne out of bankruptcy, and Smith and his lawyer, Harvey Sorensen, say initially it did well.

“They had a positive cash flow excluding capital expenditures,” Sorensen says.

“They invested a lot of money in redeveloping the course and redeveloping the clubhouse and getting the residential development ready to go, and then the world collapsed.”

He says, “There are several people who wanted to ride the elevator up but wanted to get off when it started to go down.”

During the difficult times, Sorensen says the club and residential development’s losses were funded through only about half of the owners.

“We have started a campaign to remind the noncontributing members of their obligations. We expect to be in contact with several prominent members of the community who have not paid their fair share.”

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Property owners file lawsuit against Casey Bachrodt claiming mismanagement and breach of fiduciary responsibility

WICHITA — Various entities, all partially owned by Summit Holdings LLC, have filed a lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court against developer Casey Bachrodt.

Summit’s five shareholders also own Key Construction.

The suit claims Bachrodt mismanaged six properties in which he also was an owner.

“We feel like he didn’t fulfill his fiduciary responsibility,” says John Walker, Summit administrator and member.

Bachrodt didn’t return calls for comment.

The relationship between Bachrodt and Summit goes back at least a decade.

Starting in October, Summit began removing Bachrodt from managing its properties, including two strip centers in Andover, one in Emporia, one in Texas and two office buildings on and near Rock Road in Wichita.

Walker says Bachrodt didn’t market the properties properly or do a good job keeping tenants or being responsive to them.

“It’s been an ongoing problem, and we weren’t able to control it and get all the details we needed until we took (the properties) over,” Walker says.

Builders Inc. now manages the properties, which Walker says “has been a very good move for us.”

 

 

Watercress developer LewJene Schneider convicted of theft and criminal damage

WICHITA — Watercress developer and lawyer LewJene Schneider was convicted of theft and criminal damage in Maize Municipal Court on Wednesday.

The charges stem from a long-running dispute that Schneider has with Fiddler’s Cove developer Bob Scott over real estate signs.

In February, Scott told Have You Heard? that he placed directional signs on city property by the Watercress development near 37th and Maize Road in order to help people find Fiddler’s Cove, which is accessible only through Watercress.

Scott says he complained to police when the signs began disappearing and eventually started calling daily to complain. Finally, he says, police used a surveillance camera in September to figure out that Schneider took the signs.

Lawyer Jess Hoeme, who is representing Schneider along with Steve Joseph, says his client contacted the city of Maize several times regarding the signs, which he says Scott placed illegally.

“No one from the city of Maize ever removed them,” Hoeme says.

“Bob Scott, the victim, admitted that he did not have permission to put those signs on Watercress property, nor did he have permission to put them on city property,” Hoeme says. “He just did it.”

Scott says it was “common practice” for people to put up signs without permission.

“Doesn’t make it right, but everyone was doing it – primarily LewJene,” he says.

Hoeme says the judge didn’t rule on whether Scott placed the signs legally or not. He only ruled on Schneider removing them.

“The judge doesn’t believe that even if those signs were unlawfully placed on her property that she had the right to remove them,” Hoeme says.

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Family members dispute stake in H.J. Born Stone through lawsuit

WICHITA — One of Wichita’s most established stone companies is the source of a family dispute that’s resulted in a lawsuit.

At issue is ownership of H. J. Born Stone. According to the company’s website, the business has been in the same family since 1949.

Betty Born filed the lawsuit as a trustee of her late husband John Born Jr.’s revocable trust. The suit, filed in Sedgwick County District Court, seeks a temporary and permanent injunction and restraining order against Sharon Born, daughter of H.J. Born and cousin of John Born.

According to the lawsuit, Sharon Born agreed to sell an interest in H.J. Born Stone to John Born in 2010. John Born was then diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and, the suit says, the plaintiffs notified Sharon Born of the illness and assured her that if anything should happen to John Born, his life insurance would guarantee payments of promissory notes to her.

John Born died Sept. 8. The suit says his widow contacted Sharon Born less than two weeks later to offer payment on the notes, but Sharon Born rejected her attempts because she was too busy with her family’s own estate.

According to the suit, on Sept. 21 Sharon Born used her attorney to deliver notice to Betty Born that she demanded the entire balance of the promissory notes and declared default because of John Born’s death.

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You don’t say

“Is that company even open today?”

Sedgwick County District Judge Terry Pullman’s comment Monday about Hawker Beechcraft after several of the company’s employees appeared in his courtroom as potential jurors