Opposition to a proposed casino 1/2 mile from the Gettysburg NMP
“Powerless” LeVan wants Out of Agreement with Lashinger, blog
This story was front page in the Gettysburg Times. My
comment follows the article:
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 Wed Sep 14, 2011.
BY JARRAD HEDES Times Staff WriterGettysburg
Several investors in an Adams County casino
project rejected by the state gaming control board in April are asking a county
judge to allow them to withdraw from a partnership with Mason-Dixon Resorts and
Florida lawyer Joseph Lashinger or lift a restriction prohibiting them from
pursuing other gaming opportunities.
In a lawsuit filed Sept. 8 in Adams County
Court, the "LeVan Limited Partners," which includes Adams County
residents David LeVan, Bernard Yannetti and Michael Jackson, said if a
judge does not dissolve the partnership, "Lashinger can maintain it as
a shell indefinitely and preclude members of the LeVan Limited Partners from
ever pursuing other gaming ventures regardless of whether they would
compete with Mason-Dixon Resorts."
LeVan, Lashinger and the other partners sought to convert the 300-room Eisenhower Inn in Cumberland Township into a $75 million casino resort, with 600 slot machines and 50 table games.
"I really can't comment and am not authorized to comment on what is in the complaint," John White, attorney
for the LeVan Limited Partners, said in a phone message on Tuesday.
According to the partnership agreement between the LeVan Limited Partners and Mason-Dixon Resorts, nobody in the group could pursue the acquisition, development or management of a new or existing
gaming project in Adams, Franklin, Cumberland or York counties in Pennsylvania,
or Frederick or Carroll counties in Maryland.
No other Category Three license may become available in Pennsylvania until July 17, 2017.
Lashinger, on July 15, rejected a request by the partners to be released from those restrictions or to withdraw from the Mason-Dixon group.
LeVan and the other partners "lack the votes" to remove Lashinger if they believe he is acting inappropriately.
According to the lawsuit, Lashinger controls 76.8 percent of the votes of the partnership while the LeVan Family
Partnership holds 20 percent of the votes and LeVan himself with the remaining
LeVan and his partners, according to the
lawsuit, were also upset that Lashinger appealed the gaming board's decision to
award a Category Three resort casino license to the Nemacolin Resort in Fayette
"The LeVan Limited Partners voiced
serious concerns to Lashinger regarding the appeal...including that they did
not believe the appeal could succeed and they believed the continued
association with Mason-Dixon Resorts would tarnish their reputation with the
gaming board and community, thus harming their prospects for a Category One,
Two or Three gaming license should one become available in Adams County or
elsewhere," wrote White, in the lawsuit.
White cited a magazine and newspaper article
where LeVan felt the authors misunderstood his role in the filing of the
appeal. LeVan wrote Lashinger on Sep. 2 asking him to issue a press release
stating he had nothing to do with the appeal but Lashinger had not responded as
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has yet to
overturn any of the gaming board's licensing decisions.
According to the lawsuit, LeVan and his
partners feel that even if Mason-Dixon is successful on its appeal, the group
could not proceed with the project because they will lose access to the sole
source of financing for the casino, from the Delvest Corporation, on Dec. 31,
2011. Mason-Dixon had until July 31, 2011 to purchase a 29-acre piece of land
from Ernest and Linda Shriver without which, the lawsuit states, the partners
could not draw adequate water for the project.
Its option agreement to purchase the property at the Eisenhower Inn and Conference Center also expires on May 8, 2012.
"Even though the partnership has no operations, no sources of revenue and no prospects for either, its continued existence unreasonably and oppressively ties the hands of its powerless
partners," the lawsuit states.
LeVan and Lashinger did not return calls for
comment on the lawsuit. ##
Le Van’s lawsuit states that this contract “unreasonably and oppressively ties the hands of its powerless
It's interesting to see that minor investors David LeVan, Bernie Yanetti
and Michael Jackson describe themselves in this lawsuit as "powerless".
Over the last 6 years Mr. LeVan has made numerous promises to the Adams County community
that he would personally insure that any casino licensed here would be run by
him and be positive for Gettysburg. He claimed that about the first casino project (2005-2006) although
he, together with all his fellow investors like Jeff and Barbara Ernico, owned such
a tiny fraction of the Crossroads project that he could never legally have
Now LeVan’s lawsuit shows once again that he is and always was
legally "powerless" to control anything done by Mason-Dixon Resorts.
His many lofty promises appear to be simple advertising.
This suit also affirms LeVan’s ongoing intention to pursue a casino next to Gettysburg’s
hallowed ground. To do so he needs to be
free of his contract, a contract
supposedly signed between mentally competent consenting adults.
LeVan once again claims he is the victim here.
Perhaps he doesn’t realize that his own values and actions make
him his own worst enemy. Does he have any ethical concerns about dividing
neighbors, threatening our major industry by offending Gettysburg’s tourists,
and holding this community hostage year after year to his own desires? Hopefully
his troubles will encourage greater self-awareness and an ethical turn-around.
Until that comes, his goals, his unfortunate situation and his lack of insight into it re-affirms
the necessity for us to stand firm to protect the family-friendly atmosphere of
our community and the cultural surroundings of sacred ground.