A top county lawyer stated that the New York tax fraud conviction will not affect Palm Beach County’s lease with Trump Organization for Trump International Golf Club, suburban West Palm Beach.
This was in response to Tuesday’s news that a Manhattan jury found Trump Organization and a related family enterprise, Trump Payroll Corp. guilty collectively of 17 criminal charges. These companies could now be subject to criminal penalties up to $1.6million.
The Trump Organization rents more than 214 acres of county property south of Palm Beach International Airport for $88,338 per month. The Palm Beach County Jail is located next to Trump International Golf Club.
Howard Falcon, chief assistant county lawyer, stated Tuesday that the lease does not allow for the termination of the contract in the case of “moral Turpitude.”
Contracts for illegal acts or other conduct can be terminated by “bad boy” clauses. These clauses are usually spelled out in leases and legal documents.
This could be fraud or other criminal acts, or simply not filing paperwork on time.
Falcon stated that a bankruptcy filing could also terminate the lease.
Falcon stated that it was unlikely that Trump Organization would file for bankruptcy protection to pay fines of $1.6 million resulting from fraud convictions.
Trump’s lease on the central Palm Beach County property dates back to 1990s, when a $75 million lawsuit was filed against the county. Trump was angry about noises from PBIA planes that flew over Mar-a-Lago.
In 1996, the lawsuit was settled with a long-term lease on county land south of the airport. The county leased Trump additional land in 2002 for a nine-hole golf course.
Trump International Golf Club was opened in 2000 by Jim Fazio Golf Design. It boasts 35-foot-tall rock formations and waterfalls as well as a clubhouse.
Trump has golf courses in Jupiter, Miami-Dade County and Miami-Dade County. Trump International is where Trump most often visits while at Mar-a-Lago.
Alexandra Clough, a business writer for the Palm Beach Post is part of the USA TODAY Florida Network.