Ed Fleming’s “Studer Donation Chronology”

Below is local attorney Ed Fleming’s “Studer Donation Chronology.” Some of the links in this chronology are no longer active, but you can view the referenced attachments by clicking on them.

STUDER DONATION CHRONOLOGY

1. Studer Donation first identified in CMPA Response to City RFP Dated July 29, 2005, Page 26, Section VI: Commitment of the Principals, Subsection C: Quint Studer (ATTACHMENT #1).

2. Donation specifically referenced and made a condition precedent in the CMPA Master Lease, Section 7.04 (http://www.ci.pensacola.fl.us/upload/PDFs/Maritime%20Park/MLA.pdf) and Master Develop agreement, Section and 11.03(D) (http://www.ci.pensacola.fl.us/upload/PDFs/Maritime%20Park/MDA.pdf). Both Documents dated March 27, 2006. Both fully executed, legal and binding documents stipulate that funds will come to the project if Maritime Museum is not built. (ATTACHMENT #2 & ATTACHMENT #3)

3. As a “Condition Precedent”, CMPA had to certify compliance with all of the conditions required for the lease to commence and to obligate the City to issue bonds. That was reported to the City Council in a report dated April 30, 2009. In that memo, the CMPA reported and confirmed that UWF had received the required contribution by Mr. and Mrs. Studer and the required lease for the museum site had been negotiated and approved. The Spring 2008 UWF Newsletter details the receipt of the donation by the University: http://uwf.edu/greatfutures/news/newsletters/Cgf_spring08.pdf (ATTACHMENT #4)

4. At the CMPA meeting of March 12, 2010 and subsequent Joint City Council/CMPA meeting on March 15, 2010, Dr. Judy Bense and Mr. Ed Gray appeared before the CMPA and City Council and requested a delay in the construction of the Maritime Museum. Dr. Bense requested a return to the 5 year fund raising timeline and also advised that UWF would forego the New Market Tax Credit opportunity. (ATTACHMENT #5)

5. October, 2010, UWF commenced a Feasibility Study to determine the future of the Maritime Museum project.

6. On or about December 15, 2010, Quint Studer announced the purchase of a Double A baseball team and the intentions of relocating that team to Pensacola to play at the Maritime Park. This announcement set in motion a series of redesigns, enhancement and expansions of the Multi-Use Stadium to meet the requirements of Minor League Baseball. Over the next 45 days, the team, CMPA staff and Magi representatives put together a project list and estimated budget. It was evident that there would not be sufficient funds to fund the entire expansion project. Mr. Studer’s team announced during one of the planning sessions that funds would be made available to cover the deficit. At a meeting at 4 p.m. January 27, 2011 with CMPA Board Chairman Eddie Todd, Bob Hart and myself, it was specifically asked of Mr. Hart if these funds were the UWF donation. He advised that they were not. He stated they were, “new funds”. Immediately moving to share the good news with Mayor Hayward so that a join announcement could be planned, a meeting was set for Mr. Studer, Mayor Hayward, Mr. Todd, Mr. Hart and myself for 8 p.m. that night at City Hall. Mayor Hayward was unable to attend that evening, so the meeting was rescheduled for 8 a.m., January 28, 2011 at the Crown Plaza Hotel. I met Mayor Hayward and Mr. Studer at the Crown Plaza, discussed the donation and the joint announcement at the workshop on 1/31. This cumulated in a presentation to the CMPA Board of the expansion and enhancements on January 31, 2011. At this meeting, Mr. Bob Hart, Esq., Representing Mr. Studer, announced a donation of $2.05 million dollars to assist in funding the Stadium Expansion costs. Video of that meeting can be found at http://www.cityofpensacola.com/pages/?pageID=9600 (45:15 mark of the video). Mayor Hayward speaks at the 47:35 mark. He thanks the Studer’s for stepping up with this donation. This was ratified by the CMPA at the meeting of 2/11/11. (ATTACHMENT #6). 47:00 minute mark, Mr. Hart, reading from a letter from Mr. and Mrs. Studer states, “and additional $2.05 million in private funding” At no time during these meetings or in the subsequent public meetings was it ever mentioned or discussed that this donation was the one and the same funds as the Maritime Museum Donation.

7. On March 25, 2011, the UWF Board of Trustees, receiving the results of a feasibility study, voted to end the Maritime Museum project and notify donors of same. Minutes of that meeting are attached. (ATTACHMENT #7). As per the Pensacola News Journal (7/31/11), funds were returned to Mr. Studer on May 3, 2011, some four (4) months after the stadium donation was announced.

8. On May 9, 2011, Mr. Hart, via telephone, expressed Mr. Studer’s desire to know exactly where and how his funds were to be spent within the multi-use stadium. I responded via e-mail with a recommendation of where the fund would be placed within the budget to ensure they were spent on the stadium. (ATTACHMENT #8). In e-mail with Acting Chairman Baker, I expressed that I was attempting to reach agreement on use of funds such that a new legal agreement would not have to be negotiated.

9. On May 31, 2011, I contacted University of West Florida officials regarding the return to CMPA of the $250,000 paid to UWF for design of the Maritime Museum. On June 7, 2011, as follow-up to that discussion, I asked UWF General Counsel Pat Lott about the Studer donation to the Maritime Museum and the contractual obligations for those funds, obviously unaware to the fact that the funds had already been returned to the donor. Ms. Lott advised that those matters were confidential and she could not provide any information. (ATTACHMENT #9).

10. On or about June 3, at a working group meeting negotiating the Stadium Use Agreement, I handed Mr. Remington, who was sitting directly to my right, my notebook binder containing the Master Lease agreement. The agreement was turned open and I specifically pointed to section 7.04. Mr. Remington flipped to the front cover to read the title of the document and then wrote down on his legal pad, “Master Lease – 7.04”.

11. On June 7, 2011, received email from Quint Studer stating, “I went out in good faith with purchase of Double A team. At the time, I had not planned on the 2 million dollars for stadium based on team”. (ATTACHMENT #10)

12. On July 1, 2011, CMP A received a letter confirming the $2.05 donation, but stipulating that it satisfies any and all charitable donations to CMPA. (ATTACHMENT #11) This is in violation of section 7.04 of the Master Lease between the City and CMPA, and as such, could not be accepted. Mr. Remington was advised of the discrepancy and the discussion of one or two donations began.

13. On July 25, CMPA received a “Gift Agreement” in amount of $2.25 million stating this was the full donation to satisfy all charitable donations from Mr. Studer. (ATTACHMENT #12) It was also expressed to Mr. Fleming via Mr. Remington that Mr. Studer would not sign the approved Stadium Use Agreement without also receiving the signed Gift Agreement. Mr. Remington was advised that such an agreement would have to be approved by the CMP A in a public meeting.

14. July 27, CMPA received a request to hold a special meeting to discuss this matter. The meeting is immediately scheduled for August 3, 3 p.m. (ATTACHMENT #13)

At no time, until Mr. Remington was shown the obligation in the Master Lease by me, had anyone ever stated publicly or privately to me that the $2.05 million contribution for the stadium expansion was one and the same as the donation to UWF for the Maritime Museum. Until reported by the Pensacola News Journal on 7/31/11, CMPA was unaware that the funds had been returned to Mr. Studer on May 3.

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