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Fina files lawsuit against Boevers

By Roger Pugh
publisher@piedmontnewsonline.com

Former Piedmont Mayor Mike Fina has filed a lawsuit in Canadian County District Court against Piedmont developer Phil Boevers and a political committee he alleges Boevers headed.

The suit claims committed False Light-Invasion of Privacy and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Stress on Fina.

In the suit, Fina says some fliers the Boevers’ group distributed during last Spring’s mayoral race contained false statements about Fina. Fina maintains this, combined with other actions by Boevers, cost Fina reelection as Mayor and caused him to suffer embarrassment, severe mental and emotional distress and harm to his reputation in the community.

Piedmont resident Forrest Wells, who was listed as the registered agent for the political committee on the fliers, was also named in the suit.

The suit asks for an award of damages in excess of $10,000, punitive damages in excess of $10,000 and attorney fees. It was filed March 23 on Fina’s behalf by Oklahoma City attorney Russell L. Mulinix.

The lawsuit maintains Boevers was upset because the city did not approve his land development in which Boevers had a contract to sell land on which to build the Williams Grocery Store. The store was eventually built elsewhere in Piedmont. The suit says Boevers required the contract with Williams to be contingent on Piedmont approving his development, which the plaintiff believed to be an effort to force the city into approving the development because the city needed and desired the grocery store.

The suit says when the city denied the development proposal, Boevers refused to sell the land to Williams.
Fina maintains in the suit that shortly after the development was denied, Boevers began harassing and embarrassing him.

Among other things, it claims Boevers filed an Open Records request with Fina’s employer, Lt. Gov Jari Askins office requesting all of Fina’s e-mails and other communications, and this was intended to jeopardize Fina’s job and cause emotional stress.

During the campaign Fina’s suit says mailers from Boevers’ group put Fina in false light.

It cites one flier which accuses Fina of being sued for sexual harassment, another flier accusing Fina of stealing $70,000 from Piedmont schools, and another which accuses Fina of being under investigation by the Canadian County District Attorney’s office. Fina claims in the suit all of these allegations are untrue.

Gideon Lincecum, attorney for Boevers, said the lawsuit is factually misleading and legally without merit.

He noted that Fina was a public figure and his client had a right to oppose Fina’s reelection bid with truthful and factual information.

35 Comments

  1. john says:

    That campaign from 2011 left a black eye on our community. I hope we never have to endure that kind malicious attacks and slime tactics ever again in future elections. This was all orchestrated because a little boy didn’t get his way and he was throwing a temper tantrum. Now it may cost him more then bargained.

  2. JT says:

    There was no doubt a lot of mudslinging and nasty campaigning. Mr. Boevers acted like a spoiled child after he lost out on the grocery store deal. The one thing I don’t understand is if it caused so much emotional stress and embarassment, why wait almost 2 years to file the lawsuit?

    Let’s also not forget that Fina had a staff member/friend set up the Piedmont Watchdog website to push his side of the story but never would acknowledge he was behind it. He also took (illegally used?) all the email addresses from the City of Piedmont’s Connect-CTY/Blackboard system and used them to announce the start of his website and send out regular updates.

  3. john says:

    Many of lawsuits always take time for pre trial discovery, that is why there is a statute of limitations. You always want to gather, fact find and develop the case before you rush to file your case. What I read on line that this case has teeth and merit, Giddy is wrong.

  4. JT says:

    All of the evidence included with the initial filing is from the April 2011 election. The registration form for “Citizens for a Better Piedmont” has been on Mike’s blog since May 14, 2011. The newspaper also reported about how the political committee more than a year ago. There is nothing new here that hasn’t been known for quite a while. I feel sorry for whoever had to pay the bill if it took almost two years to put this together.

  5. john says:

    All the evidence? 🙂

  6. JT says:

    Yes everything is the initial filing has been known for quite a while.

    How’s the canola look this year? 🙂

  7. john says:

    As long as we have moisture at the right time canola is looking good so far, the fields soon will be covered with a thick canopy of yellow flowers. Quite picturesque.

  8. john says:

    However back to the topic in hand this case is a sad testament to a «boy that was never told no» that drug this town thru the mud not just with this sleazy campaign but the fallout that created a vacuum of outside business investors looking at Piedmont as a business opportunity. The city eventually will overcome the setback but it will be slow. Business investment is the driving engine that creates tax base for valuations to our schools, increasing sales tax collections that funnels additional funds for the city which will free up the need to pass new taxes to fund such projects as road and infrastructure new construction. The city will eventually out grow all of us as we are on Oklahoma City’s door step. So we must embrace the best possible growth for the future and good health of our community.

  9. JT says:

    Don’t worry about me, I am tough as nails. There is nothing they can say or do that will shake me. – Mike Fina

    No doubt Boevers actions were childish, wrong, petty, immature and foolish.

    That’s a nice theory about Boevers creating a vacuum of outside business investors, but I don’t see how it can be proven. I don’t see this town as a magnet for businesses before or after. The only reason the city got the last large business was because the City of Piedmont offered it almost $2 million. That’s not a repeatable action for a town this small.

    Also OKC doesn’t even use sales tax to fix the roads. They pass bonds to finance their road projects or use the ACOG money the get.

    The best possible plan for the town would be to shrink its size from 44 square miles to something smaller they could actually manage with the revenue they have. That will never happen.

  10. john says:

    Sounds like your lobbying to be a character witness for Phil Boevers, good luck with your quest. Your right about the vacuum statement, the same problem Boevers will have in is sabre rattling saying he is going sue unnamed people in his Red Green lawsuit that made the papers for His claim that unknown person or persons conspired against him that created in lost business for him. Even though this was happening during the economic down turn that was affecting all of us during the same time. But back to my point, increased sales tax will drive city budgets with increased tax collections to increase money to annual budgets for say a new street repair department. As to what many of yours and Al’s arguments were made about this bond election. As I agree with that completely. But don’t worry I’m not concerned for you as you can take care of yourself as you eloquently have stated many times, but I am thinking towards the present and future well being of our community.

  11. JT says:

    You can’t be a character whitness for someone who doesn’t have any. Boevers lawsuit for defamation against unkown people is just a foolish as this one. It did turn up a few interesting facts like how the Piedmont Citizen is actually part of Wenjest Corporation. I’m sure you’re familiar with Wenjest aren’t you? I think you sold them some land for something.

    I’m glad you agree with my disagreement about your theory.

    I say if you want to raise some money to fix the streets, sell tickets to a cage match between these two guys. Everone in town would pay to watch that.

    The city is in the process of creating a dedicated street department right now. At the last meeting I attended Mr. Crosby outlined the plan they have. They have to get people trained and they will have to figure out how to retain them, but it met with my approval. They also have some equipment to purchase as well. All of this while Mr. Crosby said sales tax revenues were slightly down. They won’t be able to rebuild an entire street though, I’m not aware of any municipal street department that does that on a regular basis. The problem all along as I see it was poor management by previous city councils and city managers.

    By the way I will be voting for the bond, I figure it’s a way to make the Simpson’s pay their fare share. 🙂

    And yes I was raised as a self reliant person, and I am raising my children to be that way as well. That in no way means that I don’t care about the well being of the community. I would be willing to guess you are as well. Why must you be so grumpy all the time?

  12. john says:

    Who said I was grumpy and I’m so glad you finally went to a city sponsored meeting that you have railed against and against attending so many times in the past as wasteful time spent…………….and if the road bond passes I will gladly pay my share even though I can’t vote for or against it. My family has long history here and paying taxes since the Indian territory before statehood. For example, as I know my parents helped back in the late 60s when the school was threatened to close due to too few students and reductions of state funding as my parents and few other long term residents kicked in additional funds in addition to the their tax assements to help balance the budget shortfall and lobby the state school commissn from closing district I-22. The school is still open today as you know. So if I come across as matter of fact is that is the business I’m in I deal in facts not fiction. So if my butterfly thoughts and smiles don’t come across the computer then I apologize but I never apologize for its content just facts.

  13. john says:

    I forgot my emotions face. 🙂

  14. john says:

    BTW JT, you maybe a little more careful with your words your buddy P B might not like what you said about him. lol

  15. JT says:

    Ralied against and against so many times? I just said I didn’t have time for it and that my attendance was fairly pointless. I had to leave early anyways to go pick up my son from another activity anyways so I think that kind of proves my point. Furthermore, more than half the time was taken up talking about things I’d allready learned from emailing my councilman, reading the newspaper and the city website. The other 45% was taken up by pointless bickering and complaining. So it was somewhat redundant.

    Well I’m so glad you’re family exists or we’d be in such a predicament and people would have had to go to school in Okarche or Cashion or Yukon…whatever you say….blah blah blah. Maybe you should get all that on a plaque at the Historical Society. LOL

    I wouldn’t know Boevers if I walked right by him and vice versa, so your joke makes little sense.

  16. john says:

    Happy Easter JT may god be with you.

  17. Kate Kearby says:

    Which spoiled boy? seems there are 2 in this case. depending on which ‘side’ you are on.

  18. Kate Kearby says:

    John shouldn’t that be a capital G in God?

  19. john says:

    Yes you are correct but I’m typing from smart phone, God knows I mean no disrespect.

  20. john says:

    Well it looks like you two are in agreement I’m am so glad that is settled. That was a close one.:)

  21. john says:

    I bet Forrest wished he thought a bit longer before he got lead down this path allowing his employer to use his physical address as the home office of this ilconcieved 527 c, the IRS statute appears to be not adhered properly and was possibly abused for its actual intent. Not good as this is my opinion of course.

  22. JT says:

    John have you referred this matter to the district attorney? Your tireless work on behalf of something that happened two years ago that maybe 5 people care about is something to be commended. I must see about how to get a plaque recognizing your efforts placed in the bathroom at city hall.

  23. john says:

    You know I just realized and forgot I have been talking to Jonathon Hisey this whole time, that explains it all. Now I know what others say.

  24. JT says:

    I forgot today was opening day. Swing and a miss!

  25. john says:

    It’s your holiday all day as you get it once a year so enjoy it. 🙂

  26. john says:

    Rangers lost to the Astros last nite, so your off a bit.

  27. JT says:

    Watching the news tonight, it looks like the Astros are talking about leaving Houston and they won’t be affiliated with the Redhawks much longer. I wonder who the Redhawks will be the farm team for now? If there was a way they could become a minor league team for the Cardinals that would probably make a lot of people happy.

  28. john says:

    Go take your Ritalin, your losing focus again.

  29. JT says:

    Sorry, I was always taught to just say no to drugs.

  30. john says:

    Jonathon Hisey(JT), Its amazing how you say only 5 people are interested in this topic but the Gazette felt like it was news worthy to cover it on the front page . Why is it when we get on topic you deflect and talk about canola and daffodils or something else off topic. Do you have attention deficit syndrome? Like I said Forrest and Phil will have to address the issues to this case and 12 jurors will determine its outcome. That’s it as I m just inputting my opinion of this pending lawsuit in the preliminary statements of the lawsuit of campaign abuse and slanderous/ libel statements by this ilconcieved campaign as stated in the assertions of this lawsuit. If you have a problem with my opinion or the commentary then turn off your computer or just not read it if it is so un-important to you and the other four people your talking too. 🙂

  31. JT says:

    Too much time in the huddle John.

    Again that’s not my name.

  32. john says:

    There you go again off topic, like they say you can’t fix stupid.

  33. JT says:

    Name calling is what people resort to when they’ve lost the argument. Are you familiar with Godwin’s Law?

    Look just because you’re best buds with the Fina’s doesn’t mean he’s innocent. Conversely just because you despise Boevers doesn’t mean he’s in the wrong. I say you reap what you sow. Trust me people are growing tired of this feud. At some point you just have to be a big boy and let it go and get on with the rest of your life. Is an amount of money greater that $10,000 going to make everything right?

    For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. Matt. 6: 14-15

    John, I forgive you for calling me stupid. Maybe Mike and Phil can forgive each other too?

  34. john says:

    I’ve lost nothing, thank you very much. And I will pray for you.

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