If I Were Your LawyerGREC Asset Purchase Agreement: If I Were Your Lawyer
Robert Mounts <email@example.com> Fri, Sep 8, 2017, 2:02 PM
Dear Mayor Poe,
You may not believe it, but I truly want you to succeed as Mayor. I want the entire seven member City Commission, all registered Democrats, to succeed. It will be good for the Alachua County Democratic Party if you all succeed and provide this City the highest measure of "good governance" in the years ahead.
However, I do not believe that is happening now if you sign the Asset Purchase Agreement (APA). My most recent thoughts on the subject were set out in the attached draft Op-Ed sent to the Gainesville Sun, which Nathan Crabbe is unlikely to publish, having already published a shorter "Letter to the Editor" that contains the central point. The longer Op-Ed is purposely blunt and candid, because you all must consider the "appearance of impropriety" in government decision-making; it goes with the job. On the known facts, the appearances are not good.
If I were your personal lawyer, I would advise you as follows: if you sign the APA, it will look like you are trying to cover up something, or protect someone, under the guise of "moving on". It will appear as yet another effort to prevent the public from ever receiving answers to the serious questions that have been raised about the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), and how we got into this unconscionable contract in the first place. You know as well as I do that the Navigant report was not the result of a true "forensic audit"; it was underfunded and limited in scope. An attempt to prevent further inquiry won't play well politically, and may even evidence some degree of criminal intent, or "mens rea", should fraud later be established.
Therefore, I would strongly advise you that the only way to insulate yourself, personally and politically, from charges of a coverup, is to boldly walk away now from the APA, terminate the PPA for the convenience of the City of Gainesville (and its citizens), put the current payments into escrow, and allow a full and open adjudicatory process to proceed, either in resumed arbitration, or under court supervision as part of a lawsuit, so that all the facts may be determined and considered prior to arriving at a fair valuation of the GREC investor's alleged damages and recoverable expenses. This process should not provide them "anticipatory profits". This is also the only way to assure the public that you have been a good steward of their money, not to mention a tough negotiator.
As I have repeatedly pointed out, the City has the inherent right to terminate contracts for its convenience. This has not been "debunked" by anyone. The only penalty for doing so, which GREC will obviously claim is a material breach or default, is that it will take a little more time to reach a final settlement that is transparent and fair to all concerned, including the rate-paying public.
Otherwise, the well-researched questions raised by Public Interest Attorney Ray Washington on his own dime pro bono will not go away and ultimately, the truth will come out. It always does. And it will not be pretty.