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Joplin Officials Consider the Options After Wallace Bajjali's Re - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Officials Consider the Options After Wallace Bajjali's Resignation

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The city of Joplin is out $1.7 million it paid Wallace Bajjali to redevelop Joplin after the tornado.

I sat down with local attorney Bill Fleischaker to see if there is any possibility in the city getting any of that money back.

“As near as I can tell there are no assets to this partnership and nothing significant. So the problem is you can sue 'em and sue 'em for $20 million, but collecting it is going to be your problem,” says Fleischaker.

Wallace Bajjali was unreachable by city attorneys for weeks until they received the company's resignations via email on Monday. Councilman Bill Scearce says

"It kinda makes me feel like I'm abandoned. But it doesn't make me feel like this is the end of the world because we have some viable projects."

City officials say they are moving forward on new developments. But so far the plan is not to hire a new master developer."

“The gentleman that's comin' here is not going to be a master developer. He's just going to be an investor."

Wallace Bajjali has been sued several times in the past but city attorney Peter Edwards says

“I think the city did a fair amount of due diligence in the hiring of Wallace Bajjali, whether or not the city would pursue another master developer to come in is unknown at this time."

Scearce says the city has learned it needs to do better research before taking on a new developer.

In Joplin, Diane Gerstenfeld KOAM News. 

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