Prime Prep takes landlord to court in lease dispute - Dallas News |

Prime Prep takes landlord to court in lease dispute

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A judge granted a restraining order against Prime Prep Academy's Fort Worth landlord.

This week the school filed a lawsuit alleging the landlord and two former administrators conspired to benefit financially from the charter school.

Bishop Fredrick Mays didn't have a lot to say as he was leaving the Fort Worth courtroom. His demeanor was very last week.

On Friday, Mays' Charity Church locked out Prime Prep staff and students claiming the school hadn't paid its rent.

"My client has no intent to intimidate or disrupt anyone or interfere with the education of children," said his attorney, John Fraser.

"The school alleges it's basically been extorted more than $100,000. What do you say to that?" asked FOX 4 reporter Lari Barager.

"There's a second lease that was signed and my client has a right to rely upon that lease," Fraser said.

Now Prime Prep is suing Bishop Mays for the return of money it says it didn't owe.

Prime Prep's original deal with Charity Church allowed the charter school to operate rent free for three years.

A disputed second lease signed last October obligates Prime Prep to pay Charity Church $18,000 a month in rent plus maintenance and utilities.

"The state doesn't recognize this mysterious lease that came out of nowhere last year," said Prime Prep Superintendent Ron Price.

The lawsuit identifies three men connected to the school who also have outside financial dealings with each other.

D.L. Wallace co-founded Prime Prep with former football great Deion Sanders. He formed Pinnacle Commercial Property Group on the side and its business address is Charity Church.

Wallace brought in Kevin Jefferson as Prime Prep's director of finance. He also added his friend as a "governing person" of Pinnacle.

For almost two years, Bishop Mays has been Prime Prep's Fort Worth landlord. He's also named as chief financial director of Pinnacle.

And just to bring the relationships full circle, Wallace is named as a director of Mays' Charity Church.

"Interesting is the best summation I can give these relationships. Quite interesting," Price said.

The disputed second lease between Charity Church and Prime Prep is worth almost $650,000 over the course of three years.

The deal took effect one month before Wallace was forced out as Prime Prep's executive director.

It was signed by his business partners, Jefferson and Mays.

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