The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Tenant puts University Gardens case on hold

Jetton wants federal court to re-hear bankruptcy case

Condo tenant Gerry Jetton has delayed the University Gardens case again.

Jetton filed a notice of removal Tuesday to have his bankruptcy case moved from the state court to a federal bankruptcy court.

A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, but as The Daily Campus reported, the case was delayed late Monday night.

Jetton delayed the proceedings in early June when he filed for bankruptcy the day before a scheduled hearing for summary judgment.

Gary Vodicka, the lawyer suing SMU over the complex, said Jetton wants “an impartial judge who doesn’t have significant, personal and close connections to SMU.”

SMU officials were still steaming over the delay when interviewed Wednesday.

Vice President for Development and External Affairs Brad Cheves said the delay is “an example of how the opposition is playing games with the legal system.”

“He [Vodicka] obscures the facts and is preventing SMU from having the case heard. It is now time for the delays to stop and the games to stop.”

Vodicka disagreed with the notion that he is delaying any action.

“After committing fraud to 200 owners of the condos and after shooting and stabbing them in the back, their pleas fall on deaf ears,” Vodicka said. “Fraud is far worse than any delay.”

Vodicka said he had received calls in recent days from old condo owners who had sold to SMU. The owners told him they would not have sold if they had the information about the use of the property that they have now.

Cheves said that Vodicka’s claim of fraud is irrelevant to the case, because SMU fairly bought the condos from the owners.

“We’re waiting for a chance to discuss the facts of the case, and SMU remains eager and ready to present its case,” Cheves said.

Vodicka said SMU is willing to proceed with the court case because “they think it’s cheaper to take their chances in court rather than compensate the owners.”

Vodicka said recent comments by Laura Bush published in local and national papers about the timeline on a presidential library announcement reaffirm his belief that the library will be located at SMU and that the condo owners were not compensated properly.

“The University of Dallas has no legal issues, Baylor has no legal issues — the only school that has legal issues is SMU.”

For the first time, Vodicka set out numbers that he deemed proper to settle the case. He said the owners should be compensated at $250 a square foot rather than the $75 they’ve already been compensated for. He also had an idea of who could provide the compensation.

“Let uncle Ray Hunt wire $40 million and we can get this case over with-that is all they have to do.”

The next phase of the case involves the motion of the notice for removal.

Cheves said the motion should be heard in a week. If the motion were rejected, then a new date for summary judgment would be set at the state district court. If the removal were granted, then the bankruptcy case would proceed in the federal bankruptcy court.

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