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Lawsuit dismissed against Gwinnett Chamber, VP

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and one of its vice presidents involving a Suwanee zoning case.

Last week, Superior Court Judge Dawson Jackson said that Nick Masino was addressing a matter of "public concern" and not "disseminating confidential information" during a phone conversation with Suwanee City Manager Marty Allen about a proposal to build a private school in the city.

Besides that, the allegations that Masino intervened to stop the development were false, his order said.

"I'm just very happy that justice was done and the truth came out," said Masino, the former mayor of Suwanee who now heads economic development at the chamber. He called the suit an "absolute waste of the effort and energy of the Chamber of Commerce and me personally."

"I'm very happy for it to be over. It's absolutely the best holiday present we could have received," Masino said.

The case involved a 2008 proposal to build the school in a residential area near the intersection of Moore Road and Settles Bridge Road.

At the time that developers reached an $8 million deal, city codes would have allowed the construction, but shortly afterward the city council imposed a moratorium on building permits, and then the city imposed a special-use permit requirement.

Settles Bridge Farm LLC officials, who owned the lane, sued the city and, in a separate case, Masino and the Chamber, and Notre Dame Academy sued the city.

In 2010, the suit between the school and the city was settled, with the city paying $50,000 of a $257,000 settlement that reimbursed the school for out-of-pocket expenses.

While a jury has recommended a $1.8 million award to Settles Bridge Farm in its case with the city, a judge has not yet ruled.

Attorneys for Settles Bridge Farm did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Comments

SuxBeanU 2 years, 11 months ago

I guess the good old boy network is working just fine. Next up, dismiss that pesky DUI charge. Is there any question who actually runs Gwinnett County?

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HonestIngine 2 years, 11 months ago

How much money does the city of Suwanee pay the ex mayor to head up Economic Development? People of Peachtree Corners, pay attention, because this is in your charter and as soon as the city is in place, your Mayor, will be doing the same to his friends.

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kevin 2 years, 11 months ago

Seems we must get ride of Nick Masino. No one wants to touch him. Acts so innocent all the time. He will "burn" the taxpayers in Gwinnett; just wait and see.

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kevin 2 years, 11 months ago

Maybe the voters should take a hard look at Judge Dawson Jackson the next election. Sure Masino will plead not-guilty. Don't they all?

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HonestIngine 2 years, 11 months ago

Here is the problem, we have 800k+ people in Gwinnett County. 5 commissioners representing us. Do away with these small towns, and combine them with the County. Increase the Commission to have 1 rep for each city. Each town will have a representative. Do away with each city's police dept. combine them into one county police and fire protection. This will save taxpayers money. What save the taxpayers money! What a novel idea.. These little cities are killing us with higher taxes and seperate services. Make us one big county, providing all the services we need. Have 1 rep from each city, cuts out the fat in these small town budgets.....

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Mack711 2 years, 11 months ago

Did the city of Jacksonville Florida do the same thing? This is a great idea but may not go over with the elected officials that are now holding office in the cities. That will mean loss of the jobs that they have to go find one and go to work for a living.Like your plan and wish we could do it. You have something that the elected officials do not have and that is common sense.

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