Posted by: Patricia Salkin | December 13, 2018

Fed. Dist. Court in PA Allows Amended Complaint Regarding Alleged Conflict of Interest Over Parking Dispute

This post was authored by Touro Law student Thomas Brown ’20

Plaintiffs T.I.C.B. operated a parking lot company and acquired parcels near PPL Park to use for public parking to make money during sporting events. PPL Park stadium operator, Global Spectrum, also had its own parking area. The city of Chester issued a cease and desist order to plaintiffs pertaining to the use of the lots for public parking, saying that TICB’s attendants were creating an unsafe and disorderly environment, waving drivers to their lots while falsely claiming the regular stadium lots to be full. The city also claimed that the lots were not properly zoned for public parking. Plaintiffs appealed to the zoning board and were granted continued use of the lots while they applied for a variance. A few months later, police cars blocked off TIBC’s lots. Plaintiffs allege that police commissioner Bail and three other top officers were W-2 employees of Global Spectrum, were paid $400 every time they blocked TIBC’s parking during events, and therefore had a financial conflict-of-interest in diverting visitors and possible customers from TIBC’s lots to Global Spectrum’s lots. Plaintiffs further allege that defendant Bail failed to report the income he received from Global Spectrum on his Statement of Financial Interest Form in violation of 65 Pa.C.S. § 1105(a).

Plaintiff’s brought civil RICO, federal due process, and state law claims against the defendants. The Court determined the RICO claims were insufficiently pleaded because it could not be definitively shown that the officers acted with improper motive when blocking off the lots. They were given 30 days to amend their complaint. The due process claims were dismissed. The state law claims against the police officers were dismissed.

T.I.B.C. Partners, LP v. City of Chester, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52010 (E.D. Pa. 4/19/2016)

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