Perry explains status of lawsuit

August 12, 2016

Recent letters to the editor from Guy Martin and John Neal made some unsubstantiated accusations about me with the obvious intent to impugn my character and harm my candidacy. This conduct is typical of those who want to maintain the status quo for their own benefit.

In response to an improper retroactive application of the "pending ordinance doctrine," I sued the city for its grossly unfair and abusive conduct. Messrs. Martin and Neal claim that the city has spent up to $200,000 in legal fees defending the lawsuit. I filed a FOIA request with the city because I have reason to believe that those numbers are totally made up. In response to my FOIA request, the city on Tuesday notified me they would not be able to fulfill my request because copies relating to "expenses paid by the city in connection with E&R Enterprise's lawsuit, directly relate to pending litigation." Citizens have a right to know how much the city spends defending lawsuits.

At least two senior city officials have confirmed that Messrs. Martin's and Neal's numbers aren't even close. The city solicitor confirmed that fees for counsel appointed by the city's insurer are being paid by the insurer and that the city's deductible is $10,000. That is a matter of public record. So, if my FOIA request could not be "fulfilled," where did Messrs. Martin and Neal get their numbers? Who even provided them with any such information? Even if their numbers are correct – which is highly unlikely – it is the city that incurs these unnecessary legal expenses by daring citizens to sue.

The dissemination of these false statements by Messrs. Martin and Neal is merely another last-minute despicable attempt to make me look like the bad guy - business as usual for these folks. I ask you: Who are the bad guys?
Mr. Martin's characterization of my lawsuit as a "largely losing lawsuit" is factually incorrect, as well.

The city's lawyers engaged in delaying tactics and legal maneuvers to make the lawsuit more expensive for me – the city's customary modus operandi. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in our favor and threw out the federal District Court’s ruling with instructions to remand the entire case back to the Court of Chancery where it started. I hardly consider that a “largely losing lawsuit.” These facts are a matter of public record - do a fact check.

I had no choice but to file a lawsuit to defend my property and due process rights to protect against the inexcusable conduct of the city. This is not just about me. It’s about the rights of every other property owner in Rehoboth. For me, it is a matter of principle. I will always hold elected officials accountable for their failure to govern by law as opposed to politics.

Those who are divisive, those who believe their property rights are superior to the property rights of others, those who disregard civility and respect for their fellow citizens, and disseminate falsehoods do far more damage to our community. It would be nice if people like Mr. Martin and Mr. Neal, who engage in character assassination, actually took the time to even know the person they are impugning.

Please vote on the facts – not false and made-up statements. I ask for your support and your vote Saturday, Aug. 13.

Richard J. Perry Jr.
resident candidate for
Rehoboth Beach commissioner

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