After suing school district, church plans to sue bank over so-called ‘land grab’

UPDATE, POSTED 4:30 P.M. MONDAY, SEPT. 21, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – After filing suit against the Fayette County School District earlier this month, Imani Baptist Church now plans to sue Central Bank & Trust Company in Fayette Circuit Court, over what the church alleges was a scheme to take the church’s land.

In a statement Monday, attorney Aubrey Williams, who represents the church, said the lawsuit, which will be filed at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, will seek damages against Central Bank for the role it played in Imani’s loss of its church properties and facilities by “tortious interference with prospective business relations, and breach of good faith and fair dealing.”

“The sum and substance of the complaint alleges that Central Bank colluded and conspired with the Fayette County Board of Education to renege on its tacit agreement and commitment to lease space from Imani which would have allowed Imani to meet its debt obligations to Central Bank and prevent the pending foreclosure sale of its properties and facilities,” Williams said in a statement.

“The proof at the trial of this cause will show that Central Bank, after Imani succumbed to its pressure to reveal its Class A tenant, Fayette County Board of Education, induced the Board to scrap its original plan to lease property from Imani for the larger prize of outright ownership from which both it and Central Bank would enjoy exponential profit and gain,” he continued, summarizing the case.

The bank ad school district previously have denied any wrong.

ORIGINAL STORY POSTED SEPT. 9, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Lexington church claims that rather than rent property from the church, the Fayette County Public Schools bought the church from a holding company following a tax sale.

Now, Imani Baptist Church at 1555 Georgetown Road in Lexington, has a lawsuit accusing the school district of breach of contract.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the church calls it a “modern-day land grab.”

The school district announced last month plans to turn the 113,000 square-foot building on 22 acres into a new $26.9 million home for the district’s STEAM and SUCCESS academies, the newspaper reported.

I its lawsuit filed Wednesday, the church claims the district had promised to lease property from Imani, providing the income the church needed to maintain its property. Instead, i October 2016, the church was sold for $10.5 million to its lender, Central Bank, at a Fayette Master Commissioner’s sale, according to the Herald-Leader.

That sale was part of an ongoing dispute between the bank ad the church over the loan ad the church’s default.

In December 2017, the school system bought the property for $10.6 million from a holding company, according to the newspaper.

The church’s attorney, Aubrey Williams, of Louisville, claims the school district promised to lease the Imani property ad the reneged, choosing instead to buy the property in the “land grab,” the newspaper reported.

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