Thursday, August 02, 2007
Vigil Trial Witness Sues Ex-Treasurer for Breach of Contract
The man whose testimony helped send former state Treasurer Robert Vigil to federal prison is suing Vigil and his ex-deputy, alleging breach of contract.
George Everage claims that Vigil terminated his contract position as a securities lending oversight manager for the treasurer's office after he refused to hire the wife of ex-Treasurer Michael Montoya.
Vigil's attorney, Sam Bregman, said today that there never was a contract for the alleged deal. He said the matter was a failed business negotiation between Everage and Montoya's wife.
"They have no signed contract," he said.
A message left Thursday for Vigil's former deputy, Ann Marie Gallegos, was not immediately returned.
A federal jury convicted Vigil on one count of attempted extortion in September stemming from his dealings with Everage and acquitted him on 23 extortion and racketeering counts. He is serving a 37-month sentence at Bastrop Federal Correctional Institute in Texas.
Everage also alleges in the lawsuit, filed last month in U.S. District Court, that his right to the contract he negotiated with the treasurer's office was violated.
"The acts of defendants Vigil and Gallegos were intentional, malicious, sadistic, willful, wanton, obdurate and in gross reckless disregard of plaintiff Everage's constitutional rights," the lawsuit says.
He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and a jury trial.
According to the lawsuit, Everage left the treasurer's office after two years in April 2005 to seek the contract position in which he would arrange placement of certain investments.
During contract discussions, Vigil asked Everage to do him a favor and hire the wife of a friend if Everage got the contract, saying the woman would work for $500 to $1,000 per month, the lawsuit states.
Everage later learned that the woman was Samantha Sais, who had told Everage that she had only the most vague understanding of securities lending but wanted $45,000 a year, the lawsuit stated.
During Vigil's trial, Everett said Sais wasn't needed for the contract job and had no skills in the financial area. The contract specified that no subcontractors would be used, the lawsuit states.
During the next two months, the lawsuit says, Vigil and Gallegos threatened Everage, telling him his contract wouldn't be honored unless he hired Sais.
After Everage couldn't reach an agreement with Sais, his contract with the treasurer's office was canceled July 15, 2005, the lawsuit states.
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