Lawsuit dropped


“Davenport offered to withdraw its motion for sanctions against the Board if the county dismisses the case and offers a public statement about it,” said Reid.  “We understand that yesterday evening the Board accepted this offer.” Davenport had accrued more than $1.6 million in attorneys’ fees which the county could have been required to pay in compensation to Davenport had the judge in the case agreed to levy sanctions against the county.

“No money changed hands,” Reid added. “Davenport is very pleased to see this litigation end, to have its reputation cleared in this matter, and to have played a role in bringing a new high school to Fluvanna.”

Attorneys’ fees alone have cost the county more than $500,000; the county has paid around $90,000 in compensation to expert witnesses it had intended to call in the case.

Fluvanna County Attorney Fred Payne had no comment on the Board’s decision.  Members of the Fluvanna Board of Supervisors, with the exception of Tony O’Brien who could not be reached, also declined to comment in the case.

A formal public statement is expected to be issued by the county soon.

The lawsuit alleged that Davenport had given bad advice to the county about the purchase of bonds to fund the construction of the new high school, and that the advice had cost the county $18 million in additional interest it would have to pay over the life of the “stand alone” bonds purchased through the Virginia Public School Authority.  The county has since refinanced part of the bonds, and dropped the amount of damages in the lawsuit to $5 million.  The county’s own expert witness, a finance analyst, had conceded in her deposition in the case that the amount of excess interest was likely closer to $1.5 million, and could actually be lower than that.  The bonds were purchased during a period of market instability in the fall of 2008.

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