Judge named for newest River Campus lawsuit

Saturday, October 4, 2003

The Missouri Supreme Court has appointed New Madrid County Circuit Judge Fred Copeland to hear Cape Girardeau businessman Jim Drury's latest lawsuit against the River Campus project.

Drury, a motel and restaurant owner, has fought a running legal battle with the city of Cape Girardeau over its involvement with Southeast Missouri State University's development of an arts school on the grounds of a former Catholic seminary overlooking the Mississippi River.

Drury, who has lost three previous lawsuits, filed his fourth lawsuit against the city over the River Campus issue on Sept. 22 in Cape Girardeau County Circuit Court.

Local judges have recused themselves in the case.

Drury accuses the city of illegally committing to spend about $9 million in tax dollars toward the $36 million arts school project.

City officials argue the funding plan is legal. Financing for the project already is in place with the recent issuance of bonds through the Missouri Development Finance Board.

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