Cordillera club members seeking contempt citation against Wilhelm
EAGLE – Club at Cordillera owner David Wilhelm spent more than $30,000 suing some of his own members less than a week after a judge banned him from spending dues money on anything but maintaining golf courses and facilities, according to court documents.
Six Club at Cordillera members this week asked District Court Judge Fred Gannett to hold Wilhelm in contempt of court for ignoring the judge’s order.
They allege that Wilhelm improperly spent $349,990, violating Gannett’s June 24 restraining order against Wilhelm. They’re asking that Gannett order Wilhelm to repay the money and pay them punitive damages.
Gannett banned the Wilhelms from using Club at Cordillera money for anything except maintaining the golf courses.
“The court orders that the defendants shall not use funds from 2011 annual dues received from Club at Cordillera members for any purpose other than the necessary maintenance of the club’s four golf courses and related facilities,” Gannett said in his restraining order.
The members allege that Wilhelm was in contempt of that order because of spending that includes:
• June 30: $33,250 for legal work and accounting, including “restructuring” club ownership and “equity conversions.”
• July 7: $104,066 “interest expense” on one of David Wilhelm’s loans.
July 20: $73,420 to a local architectural firm for plans to renovate the Cordillera Valley Club clubhouse.
• July 27: $60,000 as a “purported” severance payment to Nicholas Wilhelm, David Wilhelm’s son.
• Aug. 12: $53,797 interest payment on one of David Wilhelm’s loans.
• Aug. 15: $20,012 for legal work David Wilhelm ordered from his law firm for his civil lawsuit against the Cordillera Transition Corporation.
• Aug. 31: $5,445 to his law firm for more work to restructure ownership.
“Clearly, none of the payments were for necessary operation of golf courses and related facilities as required by the temporary restraining order entered by this court,” their lawsuit says.
Gannett will order everyone to court early next year to explain to him why they should not be punished and fined for contempt, according to a citation issued by the court.
Wilhelm sued Club at Cordillera members for $96 million, alleging that they’re trying to force him out of the business so they can take over.
Some of the club members countered with a lawsuit that could cost Wilhelm up to $108 million in membership dues and deposits.
The Wilhelms collected $8 million in membership dues this year and paid themselves almost $1 million, while refusing to open three Cordillera golf courses, according to a class action suit Cordillera Club members filed against them.
So far this year, 313 of the Club at Cordillera’s 586 members have resigned, according to court testimony. However, they still had to pay this year’s dues.
Cheryl Foley is a Club at Cordillera member, resident and the lead plaintiff in the class action suit against the Wilhelms. She testified that around 200 members are helping pay for the lawsuit against the Wilhelms.
Their lawsuit asserts that by failing to open the courses and many of the facilities that go with them, the Wilhelms violated the membership agreement.
Alpine Bank lawsuit dismissed
Wilhelm also owes Alpine Bank $19.4 million in two loans, court documents show. He took on those debts when he acquired the Club at Cordillera from former owner Felix Posen.
Alpine had called in a $13.7 million loan because Wilhelm failed to make the Oct. 26 payment. The Wilhelms have made some of the interest payments, Alpine Bank’s attorney told the court.
However, two of those interest payments – $104,066 on July 7 and $53,797 on Aug. 12 – came from the $8 million Wilhelm collected from Cordillera Club members’ dues payments, court records show.
The restraining order bans Wilhelm from spending any of that money on anything except maintaining Cordillera’s four golf courses and facilities.
Alpine’s lawsuit was dismissed Monday. The bank and Wilhelm are trying to work to a solution, said Chad Schmidt, one of Alpine Bank’s attorneys.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.