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Chamber sues city and city manager over CVB matter

By 
Sam Klomhaus — Enterprise Staff Writer
Thursday, April 16, 2020
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Enterprise photo by Nate Howard

The Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce building on Park Street

The Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce has filed a complaint against Livingston City Manager Michael Kardoes and the city of Livingston alleging tortious interference by Kardoes, negligence by the city in employing Kardoes and demanding a jury trial.

Tortious interference is when a defendant wrongfully interferes with a plaintiff’s contractual or business relationships.

365体育网址The complaint, filed March 6 with the Montana Sixth Judicial District Court, stems from the city’s process in reevaluating and designating a Convention and Visitors Bureau. The City Commission voted Tuesday to designate the Livingston Business Improvement District the CVB, stripping the chamber of the designation.

A CVB is an organization chosen by the City Commission to receive money through the Lodging Facility Use Tax and use that money for marketing and to attract visitors. Only one nonprofit within each tourism region or eligible area can be approved to receive those funds, according to the state of Montana.

“If the LBID is designated the CVB, not only would the process be unlawful, the City of Livingston and Michael Kardoes would control the bed tax revenue from the city,” the complaint said.

365体育网址The complaint alleges Kardoes willfully calculated to cause damage to the chamber without right or justifiable cause. The complaint also alleges the city of Livingston is liable for the actions and continued actions by Kardoes.

365体育网址Kardoes declined to comment on the case, saying the city will work through the legal process.

The complaint asks “For the court to issue Judgment against Defendants in an amount to be deemed at trial for tortious interference,” as well as for the court to find the city negligent, for a jury trial, and for the city and Kardoes to pay punitive damages.

Kardoes sent out a request for proposals for a CVB designee in late January, but the chamber obtained an emergency injunction halting the bidding process.

District Court Judge Brenda Gilbert ruled March 17 that the city could go through with the bidding process, and that the chamber should have a chance to bid.

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