An Arnold businessman who claims a councilmember has harassed him and damaged his business is threatening to sue Arnold unless the city pays him a $75,000 settlement.
Anthony Burgio, the owner of We Buy Gold at 940 Jeffco Blvd. operating as Definition Holdings, is alleging Ward 1 Councilwoman Doris Borgelt has harassed him since May 2012, according to a Feb. 21 article the Arnold-Imperial Leader. Stanley Schnaare, Burgio's attorney, sent a letter to the city on Feb. 11 demanding a $75,000 settlement.
Schnaare told the weekly newspaper that if the city didn't pay the money, his client would file a lawsuit. He said in the article, "Please consider this letter our 90-day notice of right to file suit to claim damages in regards to the actions by the city through its employees and agents."
In December, At the time, Borgelt denied harassing the business, and said she was acting on complaints she'd received about it.
According to the Feb. 21 Leader article, Schnaare cited the following examples of alleged harassment:
- Between May 15 and June 6, Borgelt made a "deliberate effort" to harass the company about the issuance of its business license.
- In October, "at the insistence of Borgelt" efforts were made to have the property inspected, the parking lot measured and the street signs properly verified.
- In November, Borgelt came to the property with a camera and asked a customer to leave.
In an email to Arnold Patch, Borgelt said that the company was issued a business license on May 14 without having the required fire inspection. The Building Department signed off on the application, and it was sent to the clerk's office, she said.
According to city ordinances, inspections and repairs must be completed prior to a business license being issued. She said the fire inspection was completed on June 7.
Borgelt also told Patch that on two separate occasions, the company's sign was lit using household extension cords to flood lights. She added that the sign is closer than 10 feet to the front property line, which is in violation of the city's codes.
She also said in the email that the business offered no handicapped accessible parking or entry. However, Ward 2 Councilman Bill Moritz noted in an earlier meeting that
As for taking photos, Borgelt told Patch in her email, "I have learned that I must always have proof to accompany any complaint that I make the city aware of, or I am told no violation exists."
Borgelt also said she did not ask any customers to leave the business. She explained in her email, "One customer parked illegally. I happened to be picking up dry cleaning at the cleaners next door. The attendant at the dry cleaners asked the lady to move. The lady refused. I never said my name, or mentioned that I was on the city council - I just reiterated she needed to move. She did move her truck to the gold buyer's lot, took care of whatever business it was that she had at the place and then asked if my name was Doris. I agreed that it was, and at no time was any mention made that I was on the city council."
City Attorney Bob Sweeney could not be reached for comment on Monday. The letter may be discussed during the council's closed session at its meeting on Thursday.