ROCK HILL, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — York County filed a lawsuit Thursday against several of David Tepper’s companies and the City of Rock Hill over the “failed” Panthers training facility.
The lawsuit alleges that Appaloosa Management, LP, Tepper Sports Holding, Inc., and DT Sports Holding, LLC, the companies the document refers to as the “Tepper Defendants” misappropriated $21 million of public funds meant for the expansion of a roadway in the county.
The lawsuit claims that the Tepper Defendants instead “improperly” used the funds on their “failed vanity project, the Carolina Panthers’ headquarters and practice facility.”
The county said that rather than cover the project’s budget themselves, “the Tepper Defendants took money from York County and its taxpayers.”
The lawsuit also said the City of Rock Hill failed to issue the required bonds and the project collapsed.
“Both the City and the Tepper Defendants have harmed York County and its taxpayers, and the county should be made whole,” the complaint stated.
After GT Real Estate Holdings, David Tepper’s real estate company, filed for bankruptcy last week, York County officials said the county expected to be reimbursed the $21 million it contributed toward upgrading a section of Mt. Gallant Road that borders the site of the project.
“York County contributed $21 million toward the Mt. Gallant project,” officials said last Thursday. “We believe those funds will be returned in full with interest, and County taxpayers are protected. We were prepared for this action, and fully expect a positive outcome for our citizens.”
The lawsuit accused the Tepper Defendants of civil conspiracy and negligence over the misappropriation of the $21 million obtained from the Penny Tax Fund under the pretense of constructing and expanding Mt. Gallant Road.
It also accused the City of Rock Hill of breach of contract for failing to issue bonds in the amount of $225 million to fund the project.
York County is requesting the full repayment of the $21 million and pre and post-judgment interest. The lawsuit also asked for compensation for lost tax revenue and economic benefits.
On Thursday, Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys addressed how the project ended and the future of the site.
“The Panthers, the owner filed bankruptcy in order not to pay the general contractor that they got to come to this area,” said Gettys. “Which—it is what it is.”