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Trump Organization sues N.Y.C. for canceling Bronx golf course contract after Jan. 6 riot

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WASHINGTON — The Trump Organization is suing New York City over its decision earlier this year to cancel the company's contract to operate an 18-hole golf course in the Bronx borough with views of the Manhattan skyline.

The lawsuit filed Monday with the New York State Supreme Court accuses the city, and specifically Mayor Bill de Blasio, of severing the contract for Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point because of political motivations and an “animosity against President Trump.” The suit said the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was the catalyst for the city’s decision.

Image: Patrons play the links as a giant branding sign is displayed with flagstones at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx borough of New York (John Minchillo / AP file)
Image: Patrons play the links as a giant branding sign is displayed with flagstones at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx borough of New York (John Minchillo / AP file)

“Mayor de Blasio had a preexisting, politically based predisposition to terminate Trump-related contracts, and the City used the events of January 6, 2021 as a pretext to do so,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit said that after the riot, de Blasio “denounced President Trump in the most inflammatory terms” and “characterized the Trump Organization as 'an organization led by a criminal.'" It alleges that the mayor also “incited others to terminate business with Trump-related entities.”

A few days after pro-Trump supporters breached the Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes solidifying President Joe Biden’s election, de Blasio said the city would sever all contracts with the Trump Organization. The Democratic mayor said that the city had a right to sever a contract with any company that is engaged in criminal activity.

"Inciting an insurrection against the United States government clearly constitutes criminal activity," he said at the time on MSNBC.

According to the Trump Organization, Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said the former president’s company “tarnished the Trump brand” and “is now incapable of living up to its promises — express and implied — of operating a golf course capable of attracting professional, tournament-quality events.”

But the license to operate the golf course, which first opened in 2015, never required the Trump Organization to hold tournaments, saying only that the city expected the company to make the grounds a “first class, tournament quality daily fee golf course,” the lawsuit said.

The filing defended the company's right to keep running the golf course by listing “accolades and top rankings from major publications,” including statements from several professional golfers, such as Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson.

The lawsuit said Johnson has played at Ferry Point and quoted him as saying it “rivals courses that host the most prestigious professional tour events anywhere in the world and is fully capable of hosting a tournament in the future.”

The suit noted the termination of the license will take effect Nov. 14, “12 days after the next Election Day, when New Yorkers will elect someone to replace Mayor de Blasio.”

The city is holding its primary for the mayoral race Tuesday.

The lawsuit says the license agreement stated that if New York City terminated the contract, then the Parks and Recreation Department would have to pay the Trump Organization “a termination payment equal to the sum of, among other things, capital improvements costs and grow-in costs,” which the company estimated to be about $30 million.

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