Wood River fights suit Rick Jones filed against city

By Steve Korris | Aug 14, 2009

Wood River city leaders wonder why former Triad Industries owner Rick Jones sued the city over a real estate deal but didn't sue former wife Dorothy Jones.

On July 27 the city moved to dismiss a suit alleging a breach of a real estate contract between the city and the Joneses.

"Ms. Jones is a necessary party to this action, and if she is not joined by plaintiff in a reasonable time, the action should be dismissed in its entirety," Paul Stearns of Bryan Cave in St. Louis wrote for Wood River.

"Ms. Jones's actions could affect the city's obligations and liabilities under the agreement, preventing this court from making a complete determination of the controversy in her absence," he wrote.

The complaint does not allege that Dorothy performed all her requirements under the contract, he wrote.

"The city's due process right in avoiding multiple suits and potentially inconsistent judgments can only be protected by joining her in this action," he wrote.

Rick Jones sued Wood River on June 18, claiming it bought land for construction of a water tower but didn't honor its side of the contract.

His lawyer, Harry Sterling of Fairview Heights, wrote that the city agreed to provide a public roadway with sidewalks along it.

He wrote that the city was to bear the expenses of developing the Jones property.

Stearns answered that Rick failed to identify the provisions of the contract the city allegedly breached.

The complaint didn't state what the city failed to do, he wrote.

"By way of example, plaintiff does not allege that the city refused or otherwise failed to build the road or sidewalks," he wrote.

"Furthermore, the complaint is defective because it does not allege that Dorothy L. Jones performed all her requirements under the contract," he wrote.

Rick pleaded guilty to income tax evasion in January, admitting he spent for his own benefit money that Triad Industries received from BP Products North America.

He and Dorothy signed a divorce agreement in April.

On July 30, U.S. District Judge Phil Gilbert imposed a 15 month sentence on Rick.

The divorce hasn't panned out, and on the day of Rick's sentencing Dorothy moved to enforce the April agreement.

Rick failed to execute deeds and business interests, Erin Reilly of Edwardsville wrote on Dorothy's behalf.

Reilly asked Associate Judge Ellar Duff to execute the necessary deeds and transfers.

On Aug. 6 Dorothy submitted an affidavit swearing she found a potential buyer for a property that was awarded to her in April.

"The potential buyer has indicated to my realtor that they will not be in a position to make a firm offer on the property or to close on the sale of the property until I can provide evidence that I am the legal owner of the property and am in a position to transfer clear title to the property," she stated.

Duff set a hearing Aug. 19.

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