Swadley’s files countersuit against state
Swadley’s Foggy Bottom Kitchen filed a countersuit against the state of Oklahoma claiming the state breached its contract to provide services at Oklahoma state parks.
The original suit from the state, filed in April, indicated that the company did not allow the state to inspect its financial records and broke promises made to the state throughout the contract. This stems from an internal investigation that took place in the fall of 2021 after reports of financial irregularities were brought to their attention. Eventually leading to a request for a forensic audit by Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater after the state paid more than $16 million to Swadley’s for management fees, construction costs and reimbursements for losses the restaurants were facing.
In the 57-page countersuit by Swadley’s, the company claims that the state wrongfully terminated the contract after it “deliberately, willfully, and maliciously engaged in a smear campaign” to shed themselves of the contract. In this new suit, Swadley’s seeks to recover “special damages,” including expenses from having to counter the state’s comments toward the restaurant and the deal. Swadley’s is also claiming that the state was involved the entire time in the process of implementing the restaurant at several different state parks to the point it was micromanaging.
The suit also names the company’s former vice president, Curt Breuklander, as the whistleblower who originally gave information to state officials, sparking the investigation in 2021. As well as speaking to various government agencies and the media, Breuklander was allegedly heavily involved in the contract negotiation process, and upon his departure took a company computer and important documents. Also named is former Deputy Director of Tourism and Recreation Gino DeMarco. He allegedly used his exclusive knowledge of dredging at Lake Murray to buy $700,000 of property, develop it to increase the value, and then resell it.