The legal battles over building a minor league baseball stadium in uptown Charlotte are over. Jerry Reese has ceased all efforts to stop the stadium, attorneys for the county and city announced Monday.
The decision came after Superior Court Judge David Lee indicated that he was prepared to impose sanctions against Reese after dismissing his sixth and seventh lawsuits targeting the project, County Attorney Marvin Bethune and City Attorney Bob Hagemann said.
Reese agreed in a settlement with the county and city to drop his appeals in the two lawsuits and to dismiss an eighth lawsuit. Reese also agreed not to file any more lawsuits related to the baseball stadium, which is now under construction.
I agreed to settle the cases so that I could concentrate my efforts toward my calling and commitment to bring Major League Baseball to the Carolinas, which I fully intend to do, Reese said in a statement to the Observer.
Reese said his efforts to bring Major League baseball to the Carolinas will now be focused in communities outside of Mecklenburg County, which do see themselves as major league communities.
I guess future developments will determine who had the broader and clearest vision regarding the future of uptown Charlotte and professional baseball in the Carolinas, Reese said in his statement. I am very comfortable that I will be vindicated in the long run.
Reese filed his first two lawsuits in 2007 after Mecklenburg County and Charlotte entered into agreements with each other and the Charlotte Knights on a privately owned AAA minor league baseball stadium, the county and city attorney said. Those two lawsuits as well as three subsequent lawsuits were ultimately dismissed by judges. Those rulings were upheld on appeal.
Finally crossed the line
After Lee dismissed Reeses sixth and seventh lawsuits, the county and city asked the judge to issue sanctions against Reese on the grounds that the last two lawsuits were frivolous, filed for an improper purpose and sought to relitigate issues that had already been decided by the court, Bethune and Hagemann said.
While we certainly respect our citizens right to challenge governmental decisions in court when there is a legitimate legal claim, we believe that Mr. Reese finally crossed the line, Bethune said in a statement.
Hagemann said: There is no doubt that Reeses lawsuits caused a significant delay in the joint City and County goal of bringing the Knights to Center City Charlotte. But we are pleased that this matter is finally concluded and that the decisions of our elected leaders will now be carried forward.
Charlotte Knights Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dan Rajkowski expressed satisfaction at the latest developments.
These lawsuits didnt deter our organization from doing what was right for our team, our fans and the community, Rajkowski said in a statement. We continue to focus our efforts on constructing one of the finest Class Triple-A franchises and look forward to our opening of BB&T Ballpark in April of 2014.