Massen files lawsuit over naming rights

By Joel Charron
Convicted sex offender, Jim Massen, 80, took the first steps in trying to restore his naming rights to the street, soccer field and parks at United Communities Credit Union Complex.
Massen’s Samuel Mossman served the town with a lawsuit on April 1. He is asking a Superior Court judge to force the town to honour the contact they signed with Massen on May 3, 2010.
Council voted in February to return a $100,000 donation, which would see the road leading into the complex, the soccer fields, a park and a walking trail be named after Massen.
Massen pleaded guilty in 1990 to two counts of gross indecency and one count of invitation to sexual touching involving three teenage boys. He served a year in jail and was later granted a pardon.
The town filed a notice with the court saying it intends to contest the claims in the lawsuit. The notice of its intent to defend gives the town until May 1 to file its statement of defense.
Massen is also asking that the town pay for the cost of launching the lawsuit and any other relief the judge wishes to grant.
The land on which the complex sits was purchased from Massen in December 2008. The 70-acre property was purchased for $406,000.
Massen says the town first came to him in March 2008, inquiring about the land.
The lawsuit says the town used naming rights as an incentive to sell his property.   After the sale, Massen claims he was asked by a fundraising consultant to make a donation in exchange for naming rights.
“The town entered a contract with Mr. Massen, they have to live up to their end,” said Mossman.
Mossman said Massen is not willing to accept a refund of the donation.
Massen still lives on the land under a lifetime tenancy clause. Massen pays no property tax because the town owns the property.
Town solicitor Ed Posliff said the town intends to defend the claim, however didn’t go into detail about the town’s defense until he files the statement of defense.
“We’re defending this because we think it’s wrong,” said Posliff. “I think we will be successful.”
Posliff added that he will be filing the statement of defense in the next seven to ten days.
The town has until May 1 to file its statement of defense.

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