Rick Jones seeks to enforce contract in new suit against Wood River

Steve Korris Jun. 26, 2009, 1:36am

When Triad Industries owner Ricki Lee Jones stood on top of the world Wood River's city council promised him the moon, and now that he faces a prison term he expects the city to deliver.

Jones sued the city in Madison County circuit court on June 18, seeking to enforce a contract he signed in 2005.

It called for him to give the city about a half acre for a water tower, and called for the city to bear all costs of developing nearby property that Jones owned.

His lawyer, Harry Sterling of Fairview Heights, wrote in the complaint that Jones "has done all things required by him to be done pursuant to the agreement."

In January Jones pleaded guilty to evasion of federal income taxes.

He agreed to pay $1.2 million to the Internal Revenue Service and $2.4 million in restitution to BP Products North America.

He admitted BP paid Triad to clean contaminated soil at its Wood River refinery and he spent much of the money on himself.

Prosecutors have delayed his sentencing while indicating that he has cooperated in matters they haven't disclosed.

Four years ago, when Triad Industries looked legitimate, Wood River council members jumped at a chance to cooperate with Jones.

He conveyed a .41 acre parcel for the water tower and added 1.85 acres as a gift.

The gift provided Wood River with right of way and a utility corridor.

The council agreed to build a road and provide sanitary and storm sewers, city water, fire hydrants, natural gas, telephone and any other utilities Jones might need.

The contract excused Jones from seeking permits for improvements.

It obligated Wood River to provide curb cuts "at all places and at all times as and when requested by sellers."

It waived fees for 10 water and sanitary taps.

"The total cost of storm sewers to keep seller's development drained shall also be borne exclusively by the buyer," it stated.

"The necessary engineering, installation, and materials shall be provided by the city at the city's expense as deemed necessary at the seller's request," it stated.

Wood River promised to reimburse all site engineering and preparation costs that Jones had already borne.

The contract provided that "all disagreements or discrepancies shall be resolved to the satisfaction of the seller."

According to Sterling, Wood River breached the contract and Jones suffered damage in excess of $50,000.

To complicate matters, Jones's wife Dorothy Jones also signed the contract.

Rick Jones filed for divorce in 2007, and this April he and Dorothy agreed to a divorce that divided the assets remaining after he has paid BP and the IRS.

The agreement broke down, and Rick moved in May to vacate the divorce.

For Dorothy, Erin Reilly of Edwardsville moved on May 29 to enforce the agreement.

Reilly attached an affidavit from Dorothy swearing she hadn't received any executed deed or transfer of business from Rick.

Dorothy swore she has heard nothing about payments to BP and the IRS.

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