by Sam Hieb
Downtown developer Eric Robert has dropped his lawsuit against the City of Greensboro.
Robert filed suit claiming the city leveraged his renovated South Elm Street property—known as ‘The Mill” —to secure over $6 million in redevelopment funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In return, Robert claimed, the city would use a portion of those funds to help offset his redevelopment costs.
Robert’s move is somewhat sudden—it appeared as though he and his lawyer were prepared to take his case to a jury trial:
Robert said he thinks the city did everything possible to keep him from having a full trial.
“From the beginning, I’ve wanted to go before a jury of my peers and let the justice system work the way it’s supposed to work,” Robert said Tuesday. “The city doesn’t seem interested in that. They seem interested in making an example out of me because I angered the wrong council members or the wrong staff person.”
In a press release, City Attorney Tom Carruthers called Robert’s decision to drop the lawsuit a “victory.”
“We have long argued that city staff followed federal guidelines and City Council’s direction in how it administered redevelopment funding,” Carruthers said. “The voluntary dismissal of the case by the plaintiff is a victory for the city and its staff, who are continuing to work to make a revitalized South Elm Street a reality.”
Background on the case here. Whether or not Robert is simply in regroup so he can fight another legal day remains to be seen.