Contractor Responsible for New Dallas Black Dance Theatre HQ Sues For Defamation

The contractor on the new headquarters of Dallas Black Dance Theatre is suing DBDT founder and artistic director Ann Williams and her daughter for 10 million bucks for "tortious interference" (messing with his money) and defamation. If it doesn't settle early, this could be an intriguing window on DBDT, a very closely held institution dominated by one family.

I spoke with Williams Monday. She hadn't seen the suit yet and demurred from comment other than to say, "He was the construction guy with the city that built that building. We were the ones that told the city about all the things that he didn't do. I guess he's angry at us because we turned him in."

Yup. He is angry. Vince Fudzie, CEO of Triune, says in the suit, which is after the jump, that he finished the renovation of the old Moorland Gymnasium in the Arts District project on time -- in spite of difficulties with Williams, who, he says, threw a lot of change orders at him.

The lawsuit presents letters from the city and the architect backing his story. The letters say Triune finished the job on time and the right way in spite of "unforeseen conditions and owner-initiated changes."

In spite of that, according to the suit, Williams and her daughter, Angelia, slimed Fudzie with the city of Dallas and in the community. Take a gander at some of the e-mails below. Looks like Williams's daughter even tried to get Fudzie bounced from a bachelor auction.

More to the point, Fudzie claims in the suit that Williams mother and daughter got in the way of money the city owed him for all the change-orders.

Fudzie is a guy with a pretty serious resume for work his company had done here and in other cities. I met him some time ago. I know he's smarter than most people, because he went to the University of Michigan. Williams, of course, is a local arts community icon with serious clout among the power elite.

Could be a good fight.
Vince Fudzie v Ann Willilams and Dallas Black Dance Theatre E-Mails From Ann Williams and Daughter Letter of Recommendation From Robert Durham

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Jim Schutze has been the city columnist for the Dallas Observer since 1998. He has been a recipient of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues. In 2011 he was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Contact: Jim Schutze