City seeks judgment against Plasmatronics
CROWN POINT | The city is seeking a final judgment against New York-based Plasmatronics after the firm allegedly failed to make monthly installments to pay back a loan, city officials said.
A motion filed in Marion County Superior Court asks for a judgment of $379,746 against defendants Plasmatronics Inc., Plasmatronics LLC, Linda Decker and Lonnie Lenarduzzi.
The Plasmatronics website lists Decker as president and chief executive officer and Lenarduzzi as chief scientist of the firm, a manufacturer of plasma based products including a drive ignition system for automobiles.
Decker and Lenarduzzi did not return a phone message or e-mailed requests for comment on Monday.
Hammond based attorney Joseph Stalmack, who'd represented Plasmatronics previously, said Tuesday he plans to withdraw "very soon" from the case and would not comment on it. Decker and Lenarduzzi did not respond to an e-mailed request for the name of another attorney representing the firm.
The motion filed Monday alleges the company and its officials are liable for the $379,746 after breaching a loan agreement with the Crown Point Development Corp.
The nearly $380,000 is what the city had already paid to Plasmatronics of a $500,000 loan it offered the company as part of an economic incentives package to locate in Crown Point, where the company said it planned to manufacture its Plasma Drive Ignition System.
The city filed a lawsuit in July 2008 to recover the money after Plasmatronics terminated its relationship with the city.
The two sides agreed in February on a settlement of $125,000 if monthly payments were made of $3,000 over 41 months. The company made one payment in April and none since, city officials said, prompting them to seek court judgment for the full amount.
Current Mayor David Uran, who was elected after the deal was put in place during the administration of then-Mayor Dan Klein, said in a prepared release Monday he had "inherited this terrible deal" on his first day in office.
"I am upset this entire situation has cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and three years to be resolved," Uran said.
City Attorney David Nicholls said if the motion for a final judgment is granted the city will move to begin the collection process for the money. No hearing date has been set.