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Nasher-Museum Tower Talks Are Fine – Says Negotiator
by Jerome Weeks 26 Jun 2012

The DMN reported talks between the Nasher and the Museum Tower had “all but broken down.” And a lawsuit was coming. Nope, says the head of the pension fund that backed the tower. And the negotiator says the talks are fine.

CTA TBD

Earlier today, we linked to the Dallas Morning NewsInvestigates Blog. It reported that the negotiations between the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Museum Tower over the purportedly damaging sunlight glare coming from the tower had “all but broken down.” And litigation would be coming soon.

But that’s inaccurate, says the head of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System that financially backed the $200 million tower. And the lawyer leading the negotiations believes they are close to reaching resolution.

The DMN quoted a letter from Gary Lawson, the attorney representing the Pension System, claiming adverse publicity was affecting the tower’s sales prospects. And the DMN quoted an email from Richard Tettamant, the system’s administrator, which said “I believe that the Nasher and the Pension System wish to resolve this issue amicably … but we have to protect the Pension System’s and Museum Tower’s legal rights.”

But in an email statement this afternoon, Tettamant says, any impression that litigation initiated by the Pension System is pending is inaccurate. He added that the reason the DMN received that letter from Lawson was that the system had asked the Texas Attorney General to review parts of the DMN‘s “numerous open record requests” — presumably about the Pension System. He said that a copy of that letter to the AG was required to be sent to the DMN.

Tettamant writes:

“The letter to the Attorney General is simply a prudent and conservative measure as allowed by law in response to the threat of litigation against Museum Tower as speculated in the press.”

Tom Luce, the lawyer who has been facilitating the negotiations between the Museum Tower and the Nasher representatives, says in a statement that rather than breaking down, the meetings have been “collegial and professional.” The latest was held Friday, June 22. He reports that “technical teams from both sides” have been “working together, and I believe we are close to reaching resolution.”

I left a message for DMN managing editor George Rodrigue, asking for comment. We will add it when we receive it.

The full texts are below:

Statement from Tom Luce:

The Nasher Sculpture Center and Museum Tower have worked together in a series of meetings, most recently on Friday, June 22, to develop a number of potential solutions that will mitigate the glare from Museum Tower. Together, we have identified several design solutions that we are continuing to study and discuss. The process has been collegial and professional, with technical teams from both sides working together, and I believe we are close to reaching resolution.

Statement from Richard Tettamant, administrator, Dallas Police and Fire Pension System:

The Dallas Morning News article about pending litigation is inaccurate. As a result of the Dallas Morning News’ numerous open record requests, we asked the Texas Attorney General to review parts of each request as allowed by law. A copy of that letter was required to be sent to the Dallas Morning News. The letter to the Attorney General is simply a prudent and conservative measure as allowed by law in response to the threat of litigation against Museum Tower as speculated in the press. More importantly, we agree with Mr. Luce’s statement today that last week’s discussions were successful, cordial and professional. We’re confident that the process will continue and we’ll have a positive outcome. The System has not changed its mission to try to resolve this matter in a reasonable and professional manner.

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