The Orange County Register reported that Fullerton council member and Republican BoS candidate Shawn Nelson might need to hired his own lawyer to defend himself in a fraud lawsuit related to a stock sale for a failing martini bar in Fullerton.Â
The lawsuit, filed by a former Nelson business partner, seeks $285,000 in damages for fraud and breach on contract.
From the Register’s story:
“The plaintiff, Damian McLawhorn, is demanding the return of more than a quarter-million dollars he contends he paid Nelson and two other defendants for 50 percent ownership in the business.
McLawhorn said they misrepresented the business, saying that it had a license to host disk jockeys and provide entertainment when it did not.
Also being sued are Nelson’s law partner, Greg Rizio, and Fullerton businessman Sean Francis.
Nelson said the allegations of fraud and breach of contract in the suit amount to a political shakedown. The Orange County Superior Court lawsuit, filed in February, comes in the midst of his campaign to replace former supervisor Chris Norby, the councilman said. The election takes place in June.
“He wanted to stick a dagger in me, and he did,” Nelson said. “I think he roped me in there thinking I would put pressure on the other guys or be forced to deal with him. I think he was hoping with the suit to shake me down. I’m just not going to let him do it. The unfortunate thing is that anybody can file a lawsuit for any reason.”
Nelson said he got rid of his partial ownership of the Sky Lounge venture by selling all his stock in it to McLawhorn more than a year ago.”
As a Fullerton council member, Nelson must abstain from certain votes on matters before the council due to conflict of interest issues concerning his business and investment interests in Fullerton.Â Recently, during an emergency council session to review painful budget cuts to city services, Nelson placed himself ahead of the interests of Fullerton residents when he excused himself for more than an hour to attend a fundraiser for his BoS race at the Bushala Family home in Fullerton, instead of doing his job as a council member.