City continues law suit against California promoter

Mike Carson
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Summerside city hall

SUMMERSIDE – After two years in a San Jose court, the City of Summerside still has no resolution to its lawsuit against a California promoter.

The city has been in a legal tussle with Katrina Sussmeier and her company Starlink Productions Inc., over a failed Michael Jackson Tribute Tour that was supposed to be stage in the summer of 2010.

The city invested $1.3 million in the concert and is now suing to get the money back.

City officials filed suit on Jan. 24, 2011, charging Sussmeier and her production company with fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, negligent misrepresentation and recission (rescinding) of a contract.

Sussmeier, in turn, charged the city with breaching the contract by violating a non-disclosure agreement.

Deputy mayor Bruce MacDougall, chairman of the city’s finance committee, said there has been little movement on the issue over the past several months but that the case is still active.

“Basically, our lawyers are still talking to their lawyers in the states and there have been no new developments,” he said. “We continue to work through the process, the litigation process. We can give you updates as they come along but there haven't been any real solid updates in the last while.”

Legal action comes at a cost. The city began the case over two years ago by appropriating $77,000 for legal expenses. The money was quickly spent.

The finance chairman said he was uncertain as to how much additional money has gone to the California lawyers and added he wants it to stop

“I don’t know what it has been lately,” MacDougall said. “I know we haven’t spent a lot on it. Once we get the litigation thing finished, unless there are any developments come out of that, I’m not throwing any more money at it.”

Acting CAO Gordon MacFarlane did not comment on the costs to date for the city in its suit, but did say the city is moving forward with the two-year-old case.

“We are currently pursuing litigation against parties in California who defrauded the City of Summerside,” MacFarlane said in a written response to questions. “We can confirm that, Ms. Katrina Berg Sussmeier and her company Starlink have filed for bankruptcy in the California court system. The City of Summerside is contesting the discharge of these debts based on our assertion that Ms. Sussmeier and her company committed fraud against the city. As this process is before the courts, we are unable to comment any further at this time. We will provide more information when we are able to comment.”

When contacted on Monday, Sussmeier said she was advised by her legal counsel not to comment on the case at this time.



Organizations: Starlink Productions

Geographic location: California, SUMMERSIDE, San Jose

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Recent comments

  • former summerside resident
    February 18, 2013 - 18:28

    I love reading these posts, I mean I really do. Let's face it people, until the people of summerside finally decide to elect someone that they don't know on a personal level or sit at bakin donuts having coffee with every day these situations will continue to occur. I belive when Mr Stewart became mayor we were still a little town, now we are trying to act like a big city with the same leadership, sometimes its ok to dance with someone you didn't take to the dance.let's face it summerside has changed why hasnt our leadership? The answer WE all let it happen

  • circus missing a car load of clowns
    February 17, 2013 - 10:54

    I don't live in Summerside but I am astonished at how this has, and is happening.....From reading the previous comments I am amazed at how your city is run, want a solution? DON'T VOTE!! The next city election...everyone stay home and write up a bill for YOUR SHARE of the $ 1,377,000+ ( $83.50 ) Would you like to HAVE $ 83.50 or spent another $ 83.50 of YOUR money? Your move Summerside taxpayers

  • John W.A. Curtis
    February 15, 2013 - 08:41

    There are a lot of hyprocrits in Summerside they demand a man be held accountable for his actions and then support politicians and police who refuse disclosure of their actions.

  • elle's mother
    February 15, 2013 - 07:51

    Why is it that nobody has to answer to the citizens of this city? What are we waiting for? Where is the new communications officer? Good time for her to step in.

  • John W.A. Curtis
    February 15, 2013 - 07:22

    Someone should tell Loomis ,I was in court and accused the P.E.I. Supreme court and province of collusion and demanded 55 million dollars. i was in court another day and former judge Ralph thompson told me to sue ort change the legislation. it is the province and city of Summerside who are keeping silent. I refused to apologize for accusing the province and P.E.I.Supreme Court of collusion. I picket first thing in the morning and then look for work. I must be doing something right because someone threatened me ask the Summerside Police.

  • Mack
    February 14, 2013 - 17:34

    I like that Billy MacKendrick's jib. I like how he says it is "a" insult and then calls other people morons. I salute you sir.

  • John W.A. Curtis
    February 14, 2013 - 17:32

    If the Access to Information was in place people would learn the truth why Summerside stop dealing with health and safety issues before 22 people were injured at the Credit Union Place and MacFarlene would be replaced .MacFarlene knows Summerside's former and present City Counciloors were hiding information before 22 people were injured.

  • Loomis
    February 14, 2013 - 16:07

    You should be sued John with that sign you were holding today and the slander you spew. Do you work? Who are you against and who wronged you tomorrow?

  • No Fool
    February 14, 2013 - 15:37

    This Acting CAO is a young smart young family man and has been warned about these individuals on many occassions. For Gods sake Gordon don't go down the same road as the past CAO, present Mayor Stewart & Deputy Mayor Bruce MacDougall. All they have done is cover up, continued mistruths to the electorate, back room boys stuff and running from the press. When in hell did reporters have to submit question and than get a written reply. Gordon, you are in the position of acting CAO, getting well paid, so so your job in a very respectable way and not go along with this stupidity. Be care the real pleyers here will use you the same was they used Terry Murphy and Malcolm Millar. Boy could them two tell us a tale. What a joke. Basil & Bruce walk around saying " Who me, I didn't know" Laughable

  • .....?
    February 14, 2013 - 14:10

    "The city began the case over two years ago by appropriating $77,000 for legal expenses. The money was quickly spent." "“I don’t know what it has been lately,” MacDougall said. “I know we haven’t spent a lot on it..." Hate to break it to you but $77,000 is the average annual income of a family on PEI TIMES 3! It is in fact more than 5!! times more than i make in a year. And if i'm not mistaken i'm sure i read an article in the summer about how the city has settled the suit and there was a big fuss about how they refused to reveal how much was recovered or how much was spent....? just what in h3ll is going on here anyways?

  • Giveitup
    February 14, 2013 - 10:58

    Its more than obvious by now that Basil Stewart, Bruce MacDougall and anyone else responsible for this long drawn out fiasco that's costs Summerside taxpayers $$$ by the minute, have no scruples or dignity or self respect whatsoever. The worst thing about it is that Deputy Doug will probably take over as mayor when Basil finally decides to retire and more of these atrocities will follow for years to come. We need outside help with this folks...because there are far too many old and naive voters in Summerside that dont know who not to vote for.

  • Billy Mackendrick
    February 14, 2013 - 06:16

    There is no words to describe the disgust I feel on this! (This) is a insult and slap in the face to every single person that pays taxes to the city of summerside minus the few small business that reaps rewards from these no brained scum. Do they ever think spending more money trying to win a law case that just isn't going to happen! From the concert, to the emails these guys have got to go, and as far as I'm concerned they should be investigated and sent to jail, when are the people of summerside going to realize, they are destroying this city one stupid idea at a time. Complete morons!!!!!

    • laughing
      February 14, 2013 - 11:34

      I sit here and read all of these comments about Basil, Bruce and the City and I totally agree as the past number of years have been a disgrace towards tax payers, however with that said we all need to take the blame a bit as we as voters have voted these same people in election after election. Lets wake up people and hit them where it hurts and stop voting them in...simple as that.

    • speaking of morons...
      February 14, 2013 - 19:38

      Thoughtful commentary on here again! These critical complaining "know it alls" are embarassing our community. The more you yap Billy Mack, the more foolish we all sound!

  • John W.A.Curtis
    February 14, 2013 - 05:58

    Intelligence isn't an attribute to be required to be on City Council or employed in Senior management. I think those named in the Hopping Report should be sued excluding the two City Councillors who voted against the concert.

  • Jarrod
    February 13, 2013 - 22:42

    Ask yourself: are you surprised by anything you just read? Bankruptcy....go figure.

  • Billy
    February 13, 2013 - 22:05

    The millions spent on this fiasco and Basil is the only one left.and the finance chair Brucie has NO idea how much money has gone to the lawyers.And he is the chair.Will these toolsheds ever learn anything..........

  • don
    February 13, 2013 - 19:32

    so basil you gave away 1.3 million of the tax payers money NOT YOURS. now you have spent another 77,000 so you are going to donate by the time you are done well over 2 million to the states of tax payers hard earned money. now when are you going to step down as mayor and leave the tax payers aloe and the rest of your group all you have done is destroy the good name of summerside.the tax payers would be better off with preschooler running the city.

  • Upset Taxpayer
    February 13, 2013 - 18:13

    We have our Finance Chairman Deputy Mayor MacDougall stating initial expenses of app $ 77,000 and does not know of any further amounts. This is very disturbing to me. This is all about taxpayers dollars being used to cover up mistakes made by Deputy Mayor MacDougall, Mayor Stewart, past CAO Terry Murphy, past Financial Director Malcolm Millar, previous Councillors/others. None of this gang were quick to stop the bleeding in the Griffin malicious persecution which lasted over 13 years. No problem letting Ben Taylor and David Hooley make a bundle. And finally low and behold the whole lot of you guys fell flat on your face when David Griffin beat you. All along this financial chairman knew very well Griffin was set up and they all forged on in an effort to ruin an innocent man. Shame on all of you. If there is any Justice and truth in this world your days are coming. Many in this fine City of Summerside can't wait for that day. So, stop the BS Bruce, resign and take the rest with you. Shamful and a total embarrassment to the City. The only victims here are the taxpayers paying through the nose for total mismanagement and poor leadership. We must have a healthy pot for lawyers.