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Judge: No, you can't cancel Trump's NYC golf course contract


This is a story that’s been knocking around for a couple of years now but continues to rise like a Zombie every month or two. Shortly after the January 6 riot, then-Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio declared in no uncertain terms that he was going to war with Donald Trump. He planned to team up with Attorney General Letitia James (who ran for office on a platform of launching fishing expeditions against the former President) and “run Trump out of the city.” That’s a direct quote, by the way. So de Blasio quickly declared that all of the Trump empire’s contracts with the Big Apple were null and void. The four primary targets he located were two skating rinks in Central Park, the Central Park Carousel, and the Trump Ferry Point Golf Course in The Bronx, all of which were managed under the Trump brand.

The first three of those attacks all turned out to be spectacular and expensive failures. They couldn’t find anyone else to manage the Carousel at a reasonable price, so it sat closed for an entire season, much to the disappointment of the city’s families. Management of the skating rinks was finally turned over to a new company last year and they promptly instituted a steep price hike right in the middle of the surging Biden inflation boom. But they could at least boot the Trump empire out of the golf course, right? Well… not according to the judge hearing the case. And if they try, it’s going to cost New York taxpayers a bloody fortune. (NY Post)

A state Supreme Court judge ruled Friday that the city did not have the right to cancel Trump’s contract to run the Ferry Point Golf Course. Mayor de Blasio had nixed the deal after the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, arguing that Trump would not be able to attract golf tournaments.

In her decision and order filed on Friday, Justice Debra James said there was nothing in the contract that required a tournament — only that the city would share in any proceeds. That means either Trump gets to continue to run the course, or the city needs to pay him to leave. Trump’s son Eric said they’ll stay.

“The judge didn’t buy their nonsense and this is a well-reasoned and appropriate decision and we look forward to running the best golf course for years to come,” Eric Trump said.

The judge agreed with all of the legal analysts who were weighing in on the question last October. The Trump clan has been writing and enforcing contracts for a very long time and they have an army of lawyers dedicated to those tasks. The contract for the golf course still had thirteen years to go on it and they had built in considerable penalties for the early cancellation of that contract without cause.

Having the former mayor stand at a lectern and declare that Trump’s “disgraced reputation” would prevent him from attracting tournaments to the golf course was irrelevant from the beginning. As the judge pointed out, there wasn’t a single provision in the contract that required any tournaments to take place. It only ensured that the city would get a cut of the profits. (And the records show that it’s been profitable every quarter since it began, including during the pandemic.) If the city wants Trump’s operation separated from the golf course they’re going to have to buy them out at an estimated cost of $30 million. Eric Trump has indicated he has no intention of leaving.

Donald Trump simply broke a lot of Democrats to the point where they were losing their minds. Few seemed to take his presidency harder than Bill de Blasio, though. And his unhinged response may wind up battering Gotham’s strained budget even further, to the tune of eight-figures. Of course, Bill has sailed off into retirement by this point, so I suppose he can stick the taxpayers with the bill and consider it not to be his problem.

His partner Letitia James hasn’t gotten the memo yet, however. Just this week she asked a judge to hold both the former president and Donald Trump jr. in contempt and to levy massive daily fines on the Trump organization.

Former President Donald Trump should be held in contempt for failing to respond to a subpoena as instructed, the New York Attorney General’s office said Thursday in a new court filing.

New York Attorney General Letitia James also asked the judge to impose a daily $10,000 fine until Trump complies.

The subpoena, issued as part of James’ civil investigation into the way Trump values his real estate portfolio, sought personal documents from Trump, including tax records and statements of financial condition.

I never fail to find these stories amazing. Donald Trump has been out of office for more than a year, but he still lives in these people’s heads rent-free on a daily basis. And the fishing expeditions launched against him have yet to produce enough results to hold a family fish fry. It would almost be amusing if it wasn’t so sad.


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