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Mediation ordered in dispute between veterans groups

The Athens Messenger - 7/10/2018

Note: This story appears in the Tuesday, July 10 newspaper on Page A1.

A legal dispute between two veterans organizations over an East State Street post home in Athens is going to mediation.

Judge George McCarthy of Athens County Common Pleas Court has appointed retired Judge L. Alan Goldsberry to serve as mediator. Mediation had been requested by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3477 in a lawsuit it filed last December against the Athens chapter of Disabled American Veterans.

A date for the first mediation session has not been set.

"We're hoping it's going to occur early in August," VFW attorney Ken Ryan said Friday.

The Messenger reported last December that the VFW had filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the DAV. The VFW asserted it had a deal under which the DAV would assign its original 99-year lease of the property, which dates back to 1951, to the Veterans of Foreign Wars post. The lawsuit was filed after the DAV ordered the VFW last year to vacate the post home for alleged failure to pay rent, utilities and taxes.

The DAV filed a counterclaim in the lawsuit asserting that the VFW failed to meet all its obligations under a 1999 lease in which the VFW leased the East State Street post home the two veterans organizations shared prior to and after the lease. The DAV claimed the VFW failed to pay the rent, utilities, real estate taxes and reimbursement for property damages as called for by the lease.


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