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Ex-Tamarack Vice President Suing the Idaho Resort for Severance Pay;
Seeking More than $1 million, His Suit is the Latest in a String of Legal Action

By Ken Dey, The Idaho Statesman, BoiseMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Apr. 2, 2008 - Tamarack's former vice president of real estate sales is the latest to sue the ski and golf resort near Donnelly.

Rory Veal, who was hired by Tamarack in 2002, filed a lawsuit March 19 in 4th District Court in Boise asking for just more than $1 million in damages for severance pay and real estate commissions he claims Tamarack owes him. Veal was laid off in December.

The lawsuit alleges that terms of his employment contract called for a severance payment to be made equal to six months of his $16,000-a-month salary and six months of health insurance payments equal to nearly $6,000.

Veal also said he is due nearly $244,000 in commissions from sales of real estate.

Boise attorney Dan Williams, who is representing Veal, said Idaho law allows for Veal to seek damages totaling three times the amount of money due him.

"This is one of these instances where a company agreed to pay somebody, and they're obligated to pay them," he said. "We're trying to make them do what they were obligated to do."

Ken Rider, the resort's director of sales and marketing, declined to comment except to say the resort would let it go through the normal legal process.

Veal has since gone on to become the vice president of real estate sales and marketing at Whitetail Club & Resort in McCall.

His lawsuit is the latest in a string of legal action taken against the resort since its two main investors, CEO Jean-Pierre Boespflug and Alfredo Miguel Afif, filed bankruptcy in late February under the names of their companies to keep Credit Suisse, a Swiss investment bank, from foreclosing on the resort.

Boespflug and Afif had pledged their majority ownership stake as collateral for a $250 million loan from the bank.

The bankruptcy filings came after the French bank Societe Generale withdrew a $118 million construction loan for the resort -- money Boespflug has said Tamarack was counting on to pay part of the Credit Suisse debt.

Since the bankruptcy, Credit Suisse has filed one lawsuit to foreclose on the resort and a second lawsuit for unspecified damages aimed at Boespflug and Afif for breaching a written agreement included as requirement for the $250 million loan.

Dozens of contractors have also filed more than $13 million in liens against the resort for unpaid debt.

Last month, Boespflug said he hoped the resort could secure financing in time to resume construction on the resort's village project.

But Tamarack's Rider said Tuesday that there was nothing new to report.

"We're still working on trying to secure additional financing," he said.

Ken Dey: 672-6757

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