Kela Tennis Club sues Mt. Vernon mayor for breach of contract

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MOUNT VERNON -

The Kela Tennis Club is suing Mayor Richard Thomas and the city of Mount Vernon just two weeks after being evicted from their home on Memorial Field.

All construction has stopped on Memorial Field after Thomas and the city were slapped with a $27 million lawsuit for evicting the tennis club and deflating their protective bubble in the middle of the night.

The mayor insists he ended the city's contract with Kela Tennis Club because it owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in back rent.

In their lawsuit, Kela accused Thomas of breaching the terms of their 15-year contract first by failing to fulfill a promise to complete construction of the clubhouse, restrooms and two additional courts. Officials from Kela say they were forced to spend $340,000 for work that the city was supposed to do.

Members of the City Council say the city shouldn’t rush in to repairs of the field.

"Ultimately I want the field built but I want to see the field built not at any cost," said Brenda Crump, of Mount Vernon. "We need to do things above board. We need to do things right."

The City Council and Thomas are back in court next month to decide the future of Memorial Field. There is no word yet on when Kela Tennis Club will be in court with the city.

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