Ritz prepares lawsuit over Pyramid issues - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Ritz prepares lawsuit over Pyramid issues

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Shelby County Commissioner Mike Ritz is ready to sue the City of Memphis.

"My whole goal on this...was to clean up this record of having these things going on," Ritz said in an interview Thursday.

What's going on?  Ritz says Bass Pro Shops' deal to lease the Pyramid is veiled with secrecy.

Last week, Ritz gave Memphis Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb seven days to release several documents, including a signed copy of the Bass Pro development agreement, and all correspondence on the deal between Lipscomb and Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.    
"I'm going to keep pushing to try to clean up this process," he said.

Day Seven came and went, with no records received, so Ritz put Shelby County Attorney Brian Kuhn on alert Wednesday.

"If the request is not answered by providing the documents or providing a legitimate reason why particular documents are exempted from the Public Records Act, then a citizen of Tennessee can file a lawsuit to enforce that," Kuhn said.

But, Kuhn added, city officials told him they will provide the documents next week, so he advised Ritz to hold off.

In the meantime, Ritz has complaints. He also sent an email to Mayor AC Wharton demanding he officially shut down the old Pyramid Re-use Committee.  Ritz claims the committee is cutting deals behind the scenes.
"We don't need to have several committees out there that appear to have authority on this matter," he said.

Ritz said Wharton assured him the committee is no longer official.

Robert Lipscomb was unavailable for comment for this story.  Bass Pro's president will be in Memphis on Monday to make presentations to the Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission.

Insiders say he'll make his big pitch to lease the Pyramid.

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