The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

November 7, 2012

L-3, City settle dispute

By BRAD KELLAR
Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — L-3 Communications Integrated Systems and the City of Greenville have formally ended their legal dispute.

Attorneys for the company Friday evening filed an agreed motion to dismiss its pending lawsuit, while at the same time attorneys for the city filed a motion to dismiss its appeal connected to the same suit.

The actions bring to a close almost two years of litigation and acrimony between the City of Greenville and its largest employer, concerning a proposed replat of Majors Field Municipal Airport.

L-3’s motion was filed with the 354th District Court.

“Plaintiff and Defendants have reached agreement to cease litigation between them concerning their disputes in this lawsuit,” said attorney Garry M. Miles. “Plaintiffs and Defendants agree that each party will bear its own court costs and attorneys’ fees incurred in this lawsuit.”

The city’s motion was filed with the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Judicial District of Texas at Dallas, which also indicated the two sides had reached an agreement in the case.

“Among other things, the parties have agreed that this appeal should be dismissed, that each party bear its own costs and attorneys’ fees in this appeal and that the mandate in this appeal be accelerated to issue concurrently with the judgment,” said attorney Michael W. Moran.

Last month, the Greenville City Council appointed Bob Scott as the city’s attorney in regards to the settlement negotiations with L-3. The Council voted unanimously July 31 to propose a settlement agreement with L-3 Communications, in an effort to conclude the legal dispute between the two sides.

Under the agreement, the city and L-3 would enter into a separate agreement to resolve all existing claims between the two sides, after which L-3 would dismiss the pending lawsuits. The city would take no future action to subdivide the airport property without consulting with and obtaining the written approval of L-3.

The city also agreed that as long as L-3 operates the airport property, the city shall abide by the 1947 Surplus Property Act, the subject of the federal lawsuit filed by the company against the city and that the city would take no action to seek reconsideration of the airport’s property tax exemption.

The original suit L-3 filed in January 2011 against the city in the 354th District Court sought a temporary injunction based on a proposed replat of Majors Field Municipal Airport, remains pending an interlocutory appeal ruling from the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas.

In August 2011, the city filed an appeal of 354th District Court Judge Richard A. Beacom’s ruling that he had jurisdiction to preside over the dispute.