Tulare City Councilman Greg Nunley is demanding a public apology and a payment of $16.5 million from Tulare City Hall for what he claims is an organized effort to harm his construction and real estate development business.
Nunley’s claims–including accusations of libel, slander and defamation, as well as fabrication of documents and unfair oversight of his development projects by city staff–were presented in a letter signed by Fresno-based attorney James Wilkins and dated March 19. The letter was sent to Tulare City Attorney Mario Zamora.
In his letter, Wilkins claims city representatives “engaged in a course of conduct designed to and has improperly interfered with” Nunley’s various businesses, including Great Valley Builders. Those actions have allegedly harmed Nunley and his businesses, causing “substantial injury and economic damages,” as well as harming their reputations.
The claims made by Nunley and his attorney apparently stem from allegations Nunley’s businesses have failed to pay development fees for several projects, a claim made initially by Visalia-based attorney Michael Lampe, who is currently suing Nunley on behalf of Tulare resident David Frost. A copy of Wilkins’ letter was obtained by Lampe from Tulare City Hall through a public records request.
According to Nunley’s attorney, staff at City Hall allowed the publication of false statements about Nunley’s alleged failure to pay fees on time, as well as his alleged failure to submit proper paperwork regarding his real estate development ventures in Tulare. Wilkins’ letter also claims city staff altered or fabricated documents to support the claims of non-payment of fees and Nunley’s alleged failure to submit proper paperwork for his projects.
Nunley’s claim for payment also alleges the sitting councilman’s development projects were singled out for additional scrutiny by city staff. The alleged discrimination against Nunley includes unfair standards and uneven application of building codes, the letter from Wilkins states. It also alleges Nunley was required to perform additional work not required of other land developers.
To repair the damage to Nunley claims was done to his business and reputation he is demanding payment of $16.5 million dollars, as well as a public apology from City Hall.
Lampe, in a statement accompanying his release of the letter, called for Nunley to remove himself from the City Council.
“Public officials have an absolute obligation to put the public’s interest before their own personal interests. This obligation, legally known as ‘fiduciary duty’, is breached when a public official attempts to benefit at the public expense,” Lampe wrote. “In light of the filing of the attached claim, one would hope that Councilman Nunley will have the decency to resign his council position.”