CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Benjamin appointed a new judge Tuesday to hear the lawsuit West Virginia Radio Corporation has filed against the WVU Board of Governors, athletics director Oliver Luck and several individuals associated with the university.

Benjamin removed Monongalia County Circuit Judge Phillip Gaujot from the case, replacing him with Jackson County Circuit Judge Thomas Evans.

(Read Chief Justice Benjamin’s order here)

WVRC, the parent company of MetroNews, asked Gaujot to be disqualified based on a 1987 disagreement Gaujot had with Greer Industries attorney Robert Gwynne at a Fourth of July party. Greer is the parent company of WVRC.

Benjamin said he reviewed the motion and “determined that the matters set forth therein are sufficient to warrant such disqualification to avoid even an appearance of impropriety.”

WVRC’s wide-ranging lawsuit was filed in June and names 10 defendants in all, including Luck, WVU president Jim Clements, board of governors chairman Drew Payne and WV Media president Bray Cary.

The suit claims unlawful dealings tainted the 2008 purchase of a scoreboard for Milan Puskar Stadium and, more recently, that Luck and Payne conspired to rig the bidding for the university’s third-tier media rights package. The contract was awarded to IMG College, which is partnering with Cary’s firm.

WVRC was among the firms unsuccessfully bidding for WVU’s third-tier rights last fall. WVRC did not enter the second round of bidding and has been critical of the university for failing to grant the company a hearing in light of missteps by Luck that were verified by state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

The lawsuit also focuses on a $7.75 million loan the WVU Foundation made to Cary’s company—a loan of which nearly $5 million was forgiven—and allegations that the football stadium scoreboard purchase also skirted WVU procurement policies.

In issuing the order Tuesday, Benjamin said the lawsuit should be considered for the state’s Business Court Division.

 

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Comments

  • Imgrill

    I'm ticked off and somebody has got to pay seems to be all this is about. Funny JR was fine with "good ole boys " as long as he was one. If we never hear about him again it will still be too much.

    • Robert

      Imgrill...

      That should be the first question that WVU's attorneys should ask JR...why was none of the so called "shenanigans" that happened at WVU before IMG not important and now they are??? I would love to hear his explanation. However, with that said...WVRC has a lot to offer and I think that IMG and WVU would be foolish not to try and come to an agreement that would satisfy all three parties. I think that JR is a reasonable man that does truly care about WVU...all parties involved just need to make this go away for the sake of West Virginia University. I would venture to say that Bray Cary's intentions are not nearly as honest as John Raese's are.

      • Don

        I'd be suprised if WVRC knew about the other stuff until the 3rd tier rights bid was rigged. I'm guessing once they started to look into that the other questionable actions came to light. Just a guess....

  • rekterx

    The thing that bothers me about this lawsuit is that it is such a shotgun pattern. Mr. Jenkins has called it a "wide-ranging lawsuit."

    It is obviously not only about Ollie's indiscretions (real, imagined, or exaggerated). To someone like me, looking from the outside, the design of this suit appears geared to the hope of hitting something, anything.

    The problem is that WVRC in the past never seemed to have a problem with the scoreboard and the "loan" to WVMH. But now, NOW, these things are a problem since WVRC is out of the MSN business.

    This is why, to me, no matter what the merits of the charges may be, and I think there is some merit, that I believe this lawsuit is motivated by sour grapes more than anything else. It strikes me that since WVRC (and its owner) are a loser that now WVRC (and its owner) want to make sure that somebody elses loses too.

    "If I gotta take a hit, so do you too!" This strikes me as Mr. Raese's position and we are all losers for it.

    • Don

      Maybe WVRC didn't know about the other issues until it started to examine and research how things were being done. I think the suit shows an obvious pattern of dishonest and unethical behavior on the part of those in charge at OUR university and I for one would like to see it cleaned up. I think JR feels the same way.....not sure why people can't see that.

    • Palmetto King

      Bingo my friend. I could not agree more. That is what folks don't seem to understand. JR is in it for JR and not was is best for WV or it's fans. Heck the gut doesn't live in WV.

      In addition, people blame IMG for the fact they can't hear games, but that is what waited any those in the know at the beginning of the year. It was the suit that prevents more radio stations from being added. Nothing will change until the smoke finally clears.

  • rekterx

    Why is there a picture of the football stadium accompanying this article on the front page of the website? Why isn't there a picture of John Raese since he is the one pursuing this court case? Why not a picture of the outgoing judge and the incoming judge?

    I can think of a number of different pictures I would have used before using a picture of a packed stadium.

  • William

    There is a new SHERIFF in town to keep WVU shady deals in line. GO JR, YOU ARE THE MAN!

  • gwp

    JR is such a outstanding citizen for this, wonder why he didnt say anything until he was cut out of the deal....lol

  • TLC

    Wow ! Look at the facts. Luck messed this process up. That's why he wasn't involved the last time. JR called him on it. It's that simple. We are going to miss the great job WVRC did.

    • cutty77

      WVRC did a decent Job. But they never payed WVU any money. They kept it all. Thats why JR is Soooooooooooooooo Mad.

      • JL

        Pay for what Cutty? Being an affiliate. You are the expect, so we are told, then you would know that MSN was controlled completely by WVU where the pocketed $6.7 million dollars. What other "affiliates" are paying for affiliations in West Virginia now under IMG or before under MSN? You never get that right - just act like the National Enquirer and say things that are untrue.

        • cutty77

          Please show me where WVRC ever payed WVU any amount of money,let alone 6.7 million.I guess missed the artcle on the consultant was talking about where WVU payed all of WVRC Bills. As in Cars, Food,Hotel Rooms for a cast of Many. In fact he said WVRC had a pretty Good Deal.I know people who use to work in The Mac Mountaineer Alt. Club. They tried to find the money trail,and never could because it had so many layers to it. Must say it was a Nice Gig for a while.

      • Don

        Cutty77 either you can't read or you love to purposly mislead people. WVRC never recieved anything from WVU. What would you want WVRC to pay for? WVU owned the rights not WVRC. WVRC has never owned the rights. Can't you understand that? WVRC did pay to air the coach's radio shows. MSN is owned by WVU not WVRC....AND 100% of the $$ generated by MSN was retained by WVU. Get it, 100%. WVRC kept $0. Period. All of this information is public and has been confirmed by WVU on multiple occaisions......so why do you continue to mislead?

        • cutty77

          Oh Mislead one, But i will leave you with this. WVRC did this service for WVU for Free the last 25 years. Merry Christmas to You Too. lol

          • JL

            Actually WVRC paid more than $170K plus free satellite time in 2012. Just the facts. You might be the dumbest person ever to post anywhere. Like a little weasel in your parents basement living on Cheerios and banging out misleading and ridiculous comments like the vermin you are.

          • cutty77

            @ JL,
            You Mad Bro. Sticks and Stones may break my bones,but words will never hurt them.

          • Don

            its the facts that seem to hurt you cutty77. Why is that. It'a all public, if you care to check. But obviously you don't care about the truth. Just untruths and lies.

          • cutty77

            @ Don anJL,'
            In tonight Daliy Mail is stated WVRC Corp. Payed WVU 1.7 mill. per year for the years 2009 to 2012. Then WVRC expenses were 750,000 thousand per year. That leaves 900,000 per year for WVU. Old Cutty ain't as Dumb as you guys are. lol

          • OhMY

            Cutty77, again you either can't read or comprehend. The $750,000 expenses were expenses incurred by MSN, NOT WVRC. 6.5 million minus $750,000 equals 5.75 million. Still substantally more than the 4.1 million IMG gaurantees.

  • Dan

    So.. WVU and IMG are already building their new radio network and have set the "new" system up. Sounds like this will end in some sort of large settlement towards Greer/WVRC

  • cutty77

    They removed my last post. The Truth Hurts. Plaese get this Circus over with.

    • wvrefugee

      Why is it a Circus?? Ollie f'd up the entire deal!

    • Robert

      Yes..but he now lives in Ripley, WV...Jackson County. I'm pretty certain that he knows Bray Cary.

  • Bill

    Judge Tom Evans is a native of Roane County.

    • Robert

      Yes..but he now lives in Ripley, WV...Jackson County. I'm pretty certain that he knows Bray Cary.

    • Katie

      Tom Evans has lived in Jackson County for over 20 years and still does with his wife. He had a law practice in Ripley for years before he was elected Judge. Bray Carey of WV Media also lives in Jackson County. Not sure if their friends, but both are prominent Republicans in Jackson County. WV Radio also has a prominent employee from Jackson County in Joe Parsons.

  • DWM

    The lawsuit is the best thing that could happen for WV taxpayers. If Ollie and the boys have done nothing improper, they will be exonerated. If, on the other hand, they have executed improper benefits to a board member, to the disadvantage of the WV taxpayer, they should be held accountable.

    I don't see why anyone would be directing insults towards JR at this point. If he is right, lets get rid of the crooks. If he is wrong, have a field day with him at that time. Either the system is crooked or JR is throwing a fit because he lost. The results of the case will give us the answer.

    • wvrefugee

      Bump!

    • Jim

      Well if they did nothing wrong as the AG said about the bidding process, then why waste the time and money of the taxpayers for the lawsuit?

      Also, why is JR involved in a suit for the scoreboard? He was not involved with it and it caused him no loss or harm.

      • Don

        If they didn't do anything wrong, why did the AG tell them to Re-bid?

        • Jim

          He suggested but did NOT order. Get the facts straight. And again IMG had the best bid which they lowered and still won.

          All your boy did was cost WVU revenue. Something he's been doing for decades.

          • STL

            If the original bids are ever released, which i doubt they will ever be, everyone will see that the best bid did not win!

  • JL

    Ten million dollars stolen from WVU by the insider boys and JR is tabbed a rich boy, robber baron? Why don't you get on WBOY's site and ask Bray Cary to give back the $5,000,000 dollars his third rate TV station stole.

    • Guardian

      It's okay, JL. You and I just didn't get the memo of the achievement of sainthood by all the New Good Old Boys - our without spot or blemish pair from the board of governors, our chariasmatic, innocent university president, our pillar of virtue athletic director, and the wonderful Robin Hood type media company (as opposed to the robber baron incumbent) and their partner the fine, upstanding, all around good guy CEO of WVMH who is such a fine fellow we should be proud that WVU Foundation gave him a $5 million free loan and we should be angry they didn't give him more.

    • Alum

      Now complete the rest of the story:

      ...stole on EP's watch.

      • Guardian

        EP doesn't or didn't control WVU Foundation.

      • Don

        EP was the Athletic Director and according to the lawsuit email exhibits, EP questioned the scoreboard deal on multiple occaisions..... after that, the good ole boys on the BOG, moved EP out so they could continue their unethical behavior.

  • Bob Melphis

    This is the aftermath of spoiled, rich boy, robber baron not getting his way.

    • Don

      You are obviously under the same rock as Jim. Come on out boys, read the facts and face it. Your beloved university has been operating unethically and possibly illegally. If that doesn't bother you, it should.

      • Jim

        What bothers me is the company you are defending was the beneficiary of the unethical operation.

        Never paid WVU for the rights to broadcast, but received the addition advertising revenue....

        • Wilson

          Never paid because they never received any rights. No radio station pays to carry the games. If you can't believe me, call WVU and ask. They (WVU) have always owned these rights WVRC has never owned them. Plus WVU has always kept 100% of the $$ generated from MSN not WVRC.

          • Jim

            So you're telling everyone that WVRC did NOT profit from air WVU athletics?

        • Wilson

          Of course WVRC profited by airing the games. The point is they had the exact same opportunity as every other radio station in WV did. They could only sell the ad inventory that was allocated to the local stations and their revenue was only derived from that local inventory. Everyone including yourself has suggested they WVRC had some sort of special deal, which is absolutely NOT TRUE. they had the same deal as radio stations all across the state and nothing more.

  • Jim

    JR is still mad that when Pastilong retired; his golden goose retired as well.

    Still wonder how much money the University left on the table in only dealing with JR?

    • Don

      Have you been under a rock? WVRC never owned these rights. NEVER! WVU has always owned the 3rd tier rights and done quite well financially with it. All WVRC ever did was produce, distribute, and staff the games at NO COST to the University. What WVRC recieved in return was the opportunity to carry the games on their stations, just as every other radio station in West Virginia did. WVRC never recieved one penny from WVU. The only rights WVRC owned was to the coach's radio programs for which WVRC paid the university for. Those of you who get on here and submit stuff without doing any research are simply showing your ignorance and bias toward a obviously successfull business man and his companies that employ thousands of West Virginians every day. I challenge you to call the WVU Athletic Department and ask them who has owned the 3rd Tier rights for the past 25+ years. Their answer is The University itself and MSN which is wholly owed by WVU NOT WVRC.

      • Jim

        WVRC, as we see now, should have been paying for the rights to carry WVU games. Instead they were given it freely by Pastilong's good ole boys.

        And please do not be so naive to believe that WVRC was just doing the community a service out of the kindness of their hearts. Businesses paid of advertising on those stations carrying WVU athletics to WVRC.

        Did WVRC pass those profits along to WVU? Or if they were doing this out of kindness only, to charity? The answers are NO.

        Your defense of this is shocking. With no payments to WVU from WVRC on the revenue generate from airing WVU athletics, it's obvious this was a cash cow for JR and Pastilong and the old administration allowed it.

        The only fraud is how the old system worked out so well for WVRC only.

        • Wilson

          Jim you are so out of touch with how this works. No radio station pays to carry the games. Not WVRC, and not any other station across the state. Never have. The 3rd tier rights that were bid out are the rights to sell the radio in-game advertising statewide on the MSN NOT the in game advertising allocated to those local stations that carry the games. WVRC has never owned those rights. NEVER! The university has always maintained ownership of those rights AND has kept 100% of the revenue generated by MSN. Why can't you and the others understand that. WVU has also confirmed this several times.

          • Jim

            "The 3rd tier rights that were bid out are the rights to sell the radio in-game advertising statewide on the MSN NOT the in game advertising allocated to those local stations that carry the games."
            By your estimation, Wilson, WVRC broadcasted the games locally but never received any increase in advertising revenue or any revenue at all from air WVU games?

            And we are again suppoosed to believe that WVRC benefitted in no way from locally covering WVU games for decades?

  • NotFooled

    JR needs to realize when he has been beat

  • Robert

    Isn't WV Media president Bray Cary from Jackson County? Just say'n...

    • chad

      I sure hope so

    • Smith

      Used to be, divorced - now living in Kanawha County

      • mary west

        Sorry Smith but you need to you facts straight. Bray Cary and his wife have a home in Jackson County. They are still married. He left her and is living in Charleston with another woman. Repeat,,,,they are not divorced no matter what you have been told....He is a married man living with a woman outside of his marriage.....

        • mary west

          I need to make a correction, I was informed that he is not living with anyone.......But he is still married to his wife, they are not divorced at all......