Councilwoman says ‘No’ to Vail Resorts
AVON ” There’s no love lost between Vail Resorts and Avon resident Pete Buckley ” the two have been battling in court for nearly five years. But should Buckley’s wife, Debbie Buckley, an Avon councilwoman, be dragged into the fight?
Earlier this month, Vail Resorts for the second time asked Debbie Buckley not vote on anything that deals with the resort company or its subsidiaries.
“The basis for this request is the conflict of interest that exists within the Buckley household pertaining to us,” said Martha Dugan Rehm, senior vice president and general council for Vail Resorts, in a letter to the Avon Town Council. “The conflict relates most directly to the court order, entered Jan. 23, 2006, against Mr. Buckley for $100,000 in attorneys’ fee in our favor.”
Although Vail Resorts said Pete Buckley has been ordered to pay up, Pete Buckley said the court order hasn’t yet been signed.
The first letter regarding Debbie Buckley was sent by Vail Resorts in 2003, and Avon town attorney John Dunn said because she wasn’t involved in the conflict with Vail Resorts, she could vote on issues dealing with the company.
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Dunn took a similar stance this time around, and Debbie Buckley is heeding his word. However, she did take a step of precaution by telling the Secretary of State that she is married to Pete Buckley, who is in litigation with Vail Resorts.
“Debbie has never been affected by the litigation,” Pete Buckley said. “She’s always been kept at a great distance. She has just as much distance from this as any other council member.”
The legal battle began in 2001 when Pete Buckley was accused of flooding Vail.net, a subsidiary of Vail Resorts, with “spam” or bogus e-mails. The charges were eventually dropped, but Pete Buckley retaliated and sued Vail Resorts, Vail.net and its vice president, John Uhley, for malicious prosecution. Pete Buckley lost his lawsuit, and Vail Resorts is looking for $100,000 in compensation.
The Buckleys declined to comment about the ongoing case or Vail Resorts’ request for Debbie Buckley to remove herself from voting.
Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14621, or firstname.lastname@example.org.