WATERVILLE — Colby College is sticking with its decision to terminate an agreement with a Portland developer to build a downtown hotel even though a woman pursuing a sexual assault lawsuit has discontinued her claims against him and called his inclusion in her original lawsuit a “mistake.”
A Colby spokesperson issued a statement Tuesday reaffirming that the college had terminated its agreement with Kevin Mahaney, owner of The Olympia Cos., and is now “moving ahead to develop the property ourselves.”
The college hired Olympia last year to develop and manage the hotel, but fired the Portland-based company after learning about a lawsuit filed Jan. 9 against Howard Rubin, a New York City millionaire financier who allegedly owned a sex torture chamber.
The original lawsuit, filed by a woman using the pseudonym Julie Parker, alleged that Mahaney was responsible in 2015 for introducing Parker, then 20, to Rubin through another woman. Mahaney maintains he never met Rubin and does not know him.
Parker, who sought millions of dollars in damages from Mahaney and Rubin in her original complaint, filed court papers this week discontinuing the suit against Mahaney. Her case still stands against Rubin, who faces separate allegations from other women alleging sexual assaults and human trafficking.
Parker discontinued all of her claims against Mahaney “with prejudice,” meaning she cannot revive her suit against him.
She also signed a sworn statement, dated March 17, in which she says including Mahaney in the complaint was a mistake and that he bears no responsibility for what happened to her.
She says the assault changed her life irreparably and left her physically and emotionally traumatized. She said she struggles to come to terms with what happened and find a path toward achieving the sort of life she deserves.
“Earlier this year, I decided that, to move on with my life, I needed to tell the story of what I endured and to seek justice through the court system,” her statement says. “As part of that effort, I brought a lawsuit against not only the man who committed the assault, Mr. Howard Rubin, but also against Kevin Mahaney, with whom I was friends at the time of the assault. I now realize my decision to include Kevin in the lawsuit was a mistake and that he bears no responsibility for what happened to me. Kevin played no role in the attack, assisted me in its immediate aftermath, and continued supporting me for months thereafter.”
Mahaney, a Bangor native who lives in New York, has been president and chief executive officer of Olympia for 30 years and was awarded an honorary doctor of law degree from Thomas College in 1996. He was a trustee of University of Maine System and has owned and operated hotels for 45 years, according to the Olympia website.
Hotels developed by Olympia include the Hotel at Oberlin, at Oberlin College in Ohio; The Inn at Swarthmore, at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania; and Hilton Garden Inn, Durham University Medical Center, in North Carolina, according to the site.
Last week, before the discontinuance was filed, Colby College issued a statement saying it had learned of the lawsuit against Mahaney, but a college spokesperson would not give further details.
“Colby College had engaged the Olympia Cos. as its development and management partner on a hotel in Waterville, Maine, which is still in the early planning stages,” the Colby statement says. “Since learning of the allegations, Colby College has terminated its agreement with the Olympia Cos. and is currently planning to self-develop the project, as it has done with other downtown properties.”
A spokesperson for Mahaney issued a statement last week saying “we continue to vehemently deny these preposterous allegations” and called Colby’s decision to terminate the development agreement premature and “an unjust overreaction.”
“As we have said all along, Kevin Mahaney did not introduce the plaintiff to Howard Rubin and does not know him, so Mr. Mahaney’s alleged participation in this incident is not just implausible, but impossible.”
Then on Monday, Parker, through her attorney, Kevin Landau, filed her “stipulation of voluntary discontinuance” in the New York Supreme Court.
An email sent to Landau on Tuesday seeking comment and a phone message left for him Wednesday at his New York City office were not returned.
Contacted on Wednesday, Rubin’s attorney, Edward A. McDonald of New York City, issued a statement saying his client “engaged in consensual relationships” and does not know Mahaney and never met him.
“He had never even heard his name until they were improperly joined in a lawsuit,” McDonald said.
Mahaney filed a motion to dismiss all claims against himself, dated March 12, saying he had been named as a “tag-along defendant, presumably because he is a wealthy individual.” The motion said nothing in Parker’s complaint even remotely suggested Mahaney contributed to or had anything to do with any of the alleged abuse, Mahaney was not aware of the abuse until after it occurred, and he never met and does not know Rubin.
Amy Calder can be contacted at 861-9247 or at:
Twitter: AmyCalder17Share > > > > Read or Post Comments
Source : https://www.pressherald.com/2018/03/21/colby-college-hotel-plans-to-go-ahead-even-after-suit-modified/Thank you for visit my website