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Iowa Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Gerald Kirke Regarding Casino Management Case

The Iowa Court of Appeals overturned a $10 million judgment against a businessman from West Des Moines on November 25th, 2009, more than one year after a Polk County jury declared that the businessman broke a contract agreement to manage a casino in the northwestern portion of Iowa.

A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals sided with Gerald "Gary" Kirke, the owner of Wild Rose Entertainment, who reiterated his innocence on the charges filed against him and argued that he never entered into a contract to operate the Wild Rose casino and hotel in Emmetsburg.

At issue was an agreement made on October 2004 to collaborate with Sioux City businessman John Pavone and his casino management organization, Signature Management Group. Include in the agreement were clauses to "enter into an exclusive management agreement" at a later date and to ensure "good faith and best efforts" to negotiate the agreement.

But relations between Kirke and Pavone began to unravel in early 2005 over specifics like who would hire key casino staff for the facility. Signature Management Group sued for breach of contract.

Polk County jurors decided in Pavone's favor in September 2007. Attorneys for Wild Rose argued that the agreement was merely "a deal to agree" on a future management contract.


06 December 2009
News Submitted by:
Jack Silverman

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