New lawsuit accuses Randy Parton of fraud

June 19, 2008 5:11:49 PM PDT
The North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law filed a lawsuit Thursday against Randy Parton.

The suit claims Parton and others he did business with lured the City of Roanoke Rapids into building the Randy Parton Theater for the group's benefit at the expense of taxpayers.

The 30-page lawsuit accuses Parton and several others he worked with of fraud.

The Randy Parton Theater was built in 2006. The multi-million dollar project was paid for by the City of Roanoke Rapids, but Parton lost control of the theater in February 2008 after allegations surfaced about him being drunk at a show. There are also allegations he mismanaged funds.

The lawsuit was filed by Jim Garrett, a citizen of Roanoke Rapids, and his attorney. It alleges the project was a conspiracy, a devious plan to get the city to issue $21.5 million in bonds to pay for the theater project. Parton said the project would help the city with its struggling economy.

"The city was victimized here," Jeanette Doran, N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law, said. "It's very simple. They were desperate for some stimulation of their economy and had high hopes for the Randy Parton Theater."

Now a city more than $22 million in debt is forced to pass the burden to its citizens.

"As a taxpayer of Roanoke Rapids, I'm pretty mad," Garrett said. "All of the taxpayers have been taken advantage of, and it's time someone say this is where the buck ends. We're tired of being taken advantage of."

The suit demands the city be reimbursed for all its expenses. Not only the bond debt the city incurred, but the punitive damages for eccentric purchases made by Parton and his partners.

"And it includes such outrageous expenditures as a 600-dollar girdle for Randy's wife, expenses for trips to Vegas and liquor stores," Doran said.

It's all money the team hopes to recoup for a struggling city they say got caught in the middle.

Eyewitness News spoke to Parton's Attorney Nick Ellis, who said he has not seen the lawsuit but plans to represent parton in any future litigation.


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