By Alexandra Cohen
De Oro Media Group
Las Vegas Tribune Exclusive
The now 3-year old dispute over the shuttered Badlands Golf Course has accelerated from the Eighth Judicial District Court and the Nevada Supreme Court to Federal Court in the District of Nevada. Two Las
Vegas City councilmen, James R. Coffin (AKA Bob Coffin) and Steven G.
Seroka (AKA Steve Seroka), are defendants in the United States District Court case. Both politicians are being charged through their official capacity and personally. The 96-page federal complaint accuses them of an illegal scheme to deprive the landowners of their constitutional property rights through abuse of authority and a violation of
Court documents state that Defendant Bob Coffin has repeatedly and publicly furthered his personal agenda and demonstrated personal animus against Yohan Lowie, the developer, an American citizen of Israeli descent, for reasons totally unconnected to the merits of Plaintiff Landowners applications. The complaint goes on to cite a constitutional property rights through abuse of authority and a violation of municipal code.Court documents state that Defendant Bob Coffin has repeatedly and publicly furthered his personal agenda and demonstrated personal animus against Yohan Lowie, the developer, an American citizen of Israeli descent, for reasons totally unconnected to the merits of Plaintiff Landowners applications. The complaint goes on to cite a 2015 incident where Coffin contacted Mr. Lowie about the development of the land, telling Mr. Lowie to “shut up and listen” and telling Mr. Lowie that Jack Binion, a home owner in the exclusive neighborhood and a wealthy former casino owner and large contributor to the Defendants campaigns, was demanding that no development occur on the portion of land Mr. Lowie wishes to develop. Mr. Coffin went on to say that Mr. Binion is a longtime friend and that he would not take a position against Mr. Binion. Additionally, Coffin publicly berated Mr. Lowie in a city council meeting with anti-Semitic remarks by comparing Mr. Lowie’s personal actions in pursuing the development of the land to the treatment of “unruly Palestinians.” Seroka’s animus has been ongoing, leading an effort of a proposed 6-month city ordinance directed to delay Lowie’s development. Upon Seroka’s determination that the motion would fail, he modified it to convert it to a directive to City Staff to revise the ordinance so that the City Council could revisit it in the future.On November 29, 2017, in a town hall meeting held at the Queensridge clubhouse, Defendant Seroka publicly stated, while a member of the City Council and while Plaintiff’s applications for the development of the land were pending before the City Council, that for the City to follow the letter of the law in adjudicating Plaintiffs’ application, as Staff desired to do, was “the stupidest thing in the world.” The complaint further points out that the City Council has repeatedly refused to approve applications, created unreasonable delay, or imposed unsupported and suspect conditions. The developers have suffered damages, including, but not limited to, increased maintenance and carrying costs, engineering fees, and architectural fees because of these violations. The developers are seeking injunctive relief, an award of damages, punitive damages and attorney’s fees. The developer seeks a jury trial.