The Trump Organization on Monday sued New York City, claiming the cancelation of its Bronx golf course contract earlier this year was politically motivated. In January, just days after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to terminate several agreements with former President Donald Trump’s company, including the contract for Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point. As first reported by ABC News, the lawsuit argues the mayor had a “pre-existing, politically-based predisposition to terminate Trump-related contracts, and the city used the events of January 6, 2021 as a pretext to do so.”
De Blasio cited the president’s role in inciting a deadly attack on the Capitol on January 6 as the reason behind ending three contracts with the Trump Organization. Trump still owns the organization but has given his sons Eric and Donald Jr. control over the business.
“The President incited a rebellion against the United States government that killed five people and threatened to derail the constitutional transfer of power,” de Blasio said in a press release dated January 13. “The City of New York will not be associated with those unforgivable acts in any shape, way or form, and we are immediately taking steps to terminate all Trump Organization contracts.”
Trump was impeached this year for inciting the riot, but the Senate acquitted him.
The agreements included two ice rinks at Central Park, the Central Park Carousel, and the Trump Golf Links. While the contracts for the ice skating rinks were already set to expire this year, the agreement for the city-owned golf course was not set to expire until 2032. The city concessions have brought the Trump Organization as much as $17 million in revenue per year, according to the Washington Post.
As 6sqft previously reported, de Blasio first attempted to end the contracts in 2015 after Trump made racist remarks about Latinos. First Amendment protections prevented the mayor’s effort from moving forward.
The city now argues that the January decision by the PGA of America to cancel a tournament set to be held at one of Trump’s golf courses in New Jersey showed the inability of the venue to attract major competitions, a breach of the contract. However, the Trump Organization says the contract did not actually require tournaments to be held at the site, but only that the organization operates and maintains a “first class, tournament quality daily fee golf course.”
While the city legally can cancel contracts at will, the Trump Organization is arguing the city would owe them about $30 million as part of a “termination payment.”
“It was Donald Trump who interfered with basic democracy when he incited a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol,” Bill Neidhardt, spokesperson for de Blasio, told ABC News in a statement. “You do that, and you lose the privilege of doing business with the City of New York. It’s as simple as that.”
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