The recent article about the law suit about Beale Street brings to mind the following items that I reported four years ago.
I received a tip that there were a number of boxes of BSDC documents at 701 N. Main in a locked closet at the Housing and Community Development Building. These documents were City records concerning Beale Street Development going back years. I called Sara Hall, then the City Attorney, and told her about them and she said that she could not go down there herself as that would raise questions. Instead she sent Elbert Jefferson, the current city attorney, down there and he found the boxes of documents and brought them to the 3rd floor of City Hall. She called me and said I could review the documents. However she said that she must first send the documents to Ricky Wilkins (the attorney representing the City in the Beale Street case) for review before I could see the documents. After Wilkins reviewed the documents, Will Gotten (a friend and retired attorney) and I went down and we spent time looking through the documents. I made some copies but basically the documents showed that the City made no effort to get the quarterly and annual statements from BSDC and they made no effort to collect any money from Elkington
I also have a letter dated February 19, 1993 from Rickey Wilkins to City of Memphis Administrator of Audits, to Coopers and Lybrand and Banks Finley White and Company with copies to Charles F. Newman and John A Stemmler. wilkins ltr to city and auditors 2-19-93 The letter stated that attached to the letter was a copy of the 1992 year end financial report received from Beale St. Management. He asked for their comments about the report. The financial report from Beale Street Management dated February 4, 1993 to Robert Lipscomb and Johnny Owens showed a net income of $235, 698.20. On the covering letter from Wilkins was a hand written memo from JAS dated 3/3/93 stating “The question is what will BSM do with the $235,000- will it credit the amount to the alleged monies due or will be governed by the terms of the sublease? Then there is a PS from JAS stating “The legal services bill must include Rossi’s bills for dealing with defaults and negotiations with City. Tenant improvement credits should be detailed to the City to find out what improvements have been made for which tenants. I cannot read the ordinary repair number but it looks high. An explanation would be in order”.
In my review of the documents in the secreted boxes, I have financial reports for a number of years showing a net profit. However no money has been paid. Also I have found the 1992 audit performed by the internal audit department of the City of Memphis and sent to Robert Lipscomb. Apparently none of the recommendations were enacted. Now we have a very expensive lawsuit and guess who is getting paid to handle the legal matters for the City. You guessed it, Ricky Wilkins.