Update: Roadblock For Big M Takeover?

Published: October 18, 2011 11:55 am EDT

Jeff Gural's vision for the new Meadowlands Racetrack took a big step last week when the NJSEA gave him the green light for a new state-of-the-art grandstand. Although, the news he has received this week is probably enough for him to tear his hair out


According to a report by The Star-Ledger, in a ruling on Monday, October 18, Superior Court Judge Maurice Gallipoli refused to lift restraints which would allow Gural to sign a contract with the state of New Jersey which would see him become the lessee of the Meadowlands Racetrack.

The issue at hand stems back to the actions of a pair of the Meadowlands Racetrack's senior mutuel tellers, Cathy Follo and Greg Tarantino, in July of this year. The tellers, members of Local 137 of Laborers International Union of North America AFL-CIO, had brought an action claiming that the union’s leadership illegally approved an agreement with Gural without a vote from the entire membership. In turn, Judge Gallipoli imposed temporary restraints on the lease process, and it is those restraints which Judge Gallipoli has refused to lift.

According to the report, the union has stated that its executive board has the authority to vote on contracts.

"I don’t think the tellers get it," Gural was quoted as saying in the article. "I’m very disappointed. I thought we were in pretty good shape with all the unions and now we’re dealing with this."

In a follow-up report on njbiz.com, New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority Spokesman John Samerjan was quoted as saying that the case "has no impact on us signing a final lease" with Gural. The article also explains that Judge Gallipoli's most recent opinion said the case will return to court November 9, 2011 after both sides have the chance to file additional arguments.