The Duncan Banner

Local News

July 26, 2013

Day-to-day business at dealerships OK amid legal feud

DUNCAN — The two Mike Terry auto dealerships in Duncan are selling and servicing vehicles as usual despite a largely behind-the-scenes fight over control of the business.

“It really hasn’t interrupted operations and it doesn’t have anything to do with day-to-day operations of the stores, it’s more the big business side,” said Mike Terry, who is among a group of investors from Edmond who bought the dealerships last December.

“From our standpoint we want to take care of the customers,” Terry said Thursday. “Everyone knows how important every customer is. We want to make sure we do everything we can for the customer.”

The dispute landed in court last week after a group of five partners tried to oust Terry as dealer principal of Chisholm Trail Auto Group, which operates Mike Terry Chevrolet-Buick-GMC on U.S. Highway 81, and Chisholm Trail Auto Group II, which runs Mike Terry Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram at the Duncan/Lawton Y.

In court documents, the five claim Terry made misrepresentations in financial statements and other matters and has treated the dealerships as if they belong solely to him when he is just a minority owner.

The five partners say they make up a “super majority” on a board of managers for the dealerships and had authority to fire Terry and name partner Roger Ely as the new dealer principal.

The others seeking to oust Terry are Vahid Salalati, Greg Luster, Ty Hartwig and Richard Horton.

Terry claims the group does not have authority to remove and fire him because he owns a majority of stock in an entity called Four Horsemen Auto Group, which he says has controlling membership in the dealerships.

Repeated efforts by The Banner to contact attorneys for the group of other partners were unsuccessful Thursday.

Terry claims that on July 15, when he was in Oklahoma City, some of the partners came to the dealerships in Duncan and told some department heads and anyone who asked for court documents about the matter they were fired.

Terry quickly sought and received a temporary restraining order, issued by Stephens County District Court Judge Joe Enos on July 16, that essentially bars him from being fired and maintains the status-quo for now.

Terry said Thursday that everyone purportedly fired came back the next day and resumed working, and for customers, it has been business as usual.

He said the other partners are upset over disbursements of dividend payments and acted hastily and illegally.

A court hearing on the matter had been set for last Tuesday, July 23, but that has been continued until Aug. 12.

Attorneys for both sides have been talking with each other and it is possible they could settle the dispute without further, in-depth legal proceedings.

 But the other five partners have asked that the restraining order be dissolved or, in the alternative, have the court appoint an independent receiver to take control of the dealerships.

They claim in court documents the dealerships “cannot effectively operate in the current state of affairs due to Terry’s mismanagement and misconduct and the dissention among Terry and others.”

Terry said the move to oust him was a breach of franchise agreements with General Motors and Chrysler and will damage his good standing with the auto makers.

He said the others acted illegally in going to the dealerships and trying to fire people. He also claims they started rumors “that hurt the dealerships and our place in the community.”

“The environment was shaky for 24 hours but it (the time period) gave everyone (employees) a renewed interest in making sure that every customer is absolutely taken care of,” he said.

The dealerships were owned and operated for years by Larry Battison and the Battison Auto Group, which sold them last December to the group of investors from Edmond that includes Terry.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 7-25 Marlow Gas.jpg Church ministry to host $1-per-gallon gas event on Saturday

    Hop & Sack Grocery should be hopping on Saturday morning.
       The annual gas buydown project, a ministry of Marlow’s First Baptist Church, will begin at 8 a.m. and last until noon on Saturday.
     The church will buy down the price of gas so customers will pay only $1 per gallon for up to 20 gallons.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-25 Chance Anderson.jpg Homegrown Marlow singer returns for free concert

        Marlow native Chance Anderson brought his  band to  Marlow’s downtown stage Thursday evening for the second of three community concerts of the summer.
     Free hot dogs and drinks were served to about 150 people who gathered for the music.
        Jason McPherson, city administrator, said he was proud of the turnout, especially with the raging heat.

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • Red Cross notes importance of local participation

    July 25, 2014

  • 7-25 National Day of the Cowboy 0013.jpg National Day of the Cowboy kicks off Saturday

    The annual National Day of the Cowboy will kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday at The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center.
    The theme is centered around Native American culture and will be showcased through a variety of different activites, specifically the ongoing Allan Houser Exhibition.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Temperature hits 101

    The temperature hit 101 in Duncan on Thursday and stayed there for about two hours before cooling down to 99 at 6:35 p.m., the National Weather Service reported.
    More hot weather is in the forecast.

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-24 Rotary Mike Nelson 0087.jpg Nelson discusses Duncan’s water supply during Rotary meeting

    Duncan Vice Mayor Mike Nelson doesn’t think Duncan residents need to worry about the city’s water supply.
    Despite Stage 3 water rationing, which limits outdoor watering to midnight to 9 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, Nelson said the forethought of Duncan’s forefathers, who were also Duncan Rotary members, have created a backup system for the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-24 Douglass Pool Update 0081.jpg What’s dug up at cemetery goes down at spray pad project

       Dana Stanley knew just where to go to get fill dirt for the Douglass Park spray pad project -- the local cemetery.
       The city is building a splash pad on top of what used to be Douglass Pool, but  before that happens  a fairly large hole has to be filled.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Traffic stop leads to drug arrest for Duncan man

    Bail was set at $250,000 Wednesday for a Duncan man who was allegedly found to have two bags of methamphetamine and two bags of marijuana in his home.
    Duncan Police Officer Suzannahe Weir said she stopped Steven Fontinott, 62,  for a traffic violation on Saturday.

    July 24, 2014

  • Man drives drunk, rolls truck in the process

    A felony warrant was issued for a Marlow man who was allegedly found to have been driving drunkenly following a rollover accident on Nabor Road.
    Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Darin Carman said William Waller, 33, was pinned under the steering wheel of his truck and smelled of alcohol.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hard year for peaches doesn't dampen summer tradition

    A rusting, silver-colored water tower tells visitors to this rural town between Muskogee and Tulsa that they've come to the “Peach Capitol of Oklahoma.”
    Residents of Stratford, the state’s other self-proclaimed peach capital, might beg to differ. Even so, Porter is known for its peaches, and every year thousands of people flood this town of about 600 residents to taste and celebrate the local crop during the three-day Peach Festival.

    July 24, 2014