WARREN - At least one of the attorneys who represents three men accused in a lawsuit of conspiring to ruin the Sunrise Inn restaurant says he'll ask the court to award his client thousands of dollars in legal fees for ''frivolous conduct'' now that the claim has been dismissed.
The request could be filed as early as Friday, said attorney Marty White, who received notice in the mail Tuesday that attorney Dick Goodman had filed a notice to dismiss the civil racketeering lawsuit against White's client, businessman Robert Cregar and others.
''This was nonsensical, unfounded,'' White said. ''My client incurred thousands of dollars in legal fees and public embarrassment.
''We will be seeking compensation for his legal fees and cost of litigation and shame on them,'' White said.
Goodman in March on behalf of Sunrise Inn of Warren owner Ken Haidaris filed the lawsuit, the most serious allegations of which were made under the federal Rackeeter Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and Ohio's Corrupt Practices Act.
The lawsuit alleged that Cregar, owner of All American Big Bob's Bail Bonding and two other men, Joseph Sankey Jr., a former Big Bob's bail bondsman who owned the building across that street from the Sunrise Inn that housed the controversial, now-closed Sunset Lounge, and LaShawn Ziegler, whose Dream Team Promotions operated the Sunset Lounge, worked together to wreck Haidaris' restaurant.
It also claimed that money from the Sunset Lounge was redirected to Cregar's bail bonding business and other businesses he owns.
Goodman filed the dismissal papers Friday.
Messages were left seeking comment with Goodman and Haidaris. Sarah Koovor, the attorney for Ziegler, had voicemail box that was not set up and could not be left a message.
''We said from the beginning we viewed this litigation as frivolous,'' said attorney Gil Blair, who represents Sankey.
''This leaves my client, I guess it leaves him damaged,'' said Blair, who intends to meet with Sankey soon to discuss options. ''He had his character and reputation smeared, and for what really.''
Warren Law Director Gregory Hicks, who Goodman mentioned as a potential ''wrongdoer'' in communication among the attorneys, but was not named as a defendant, said the dismissal ''simply goes to show this was a frivolous lawsuit with no basis in fact. It's unfortunate individuals can do such a thing.''
Hicks said he is in discussion with attorneys.
The case can be refiled.
It sought as much as $3.7 million in damages and to dissolve businesses owned by Cregar; Ziegler's Dream Team Promotions, and Blue Magoo's Ventures LLC, Sankey's company that did business at the former bar.
The lawsuit also sought permanent revocation of Blue Magoo's liquor license.
Other matters involving the liquor permit remain outstanding. Sankey's Blue Magoo's Ventures still faces five permit violations from an August 2012 inspection and there's Warren's challenge to a state decision overruling its objection to the renewal of the 2012-13 permit held by Blue Magoo's. Both cases are before Ohio's Liquor Control Commission.
The bar is being remade into a church.