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Former mayor files complaint against California developers
Former Yuma Mayor Phil Clark has filed a second complaint with the Arizona Department of Real Estate against a California company that acts as the city's partner in downtown redevelopment projects.
In his first complaint, Phil Clark charged that Clark/Lankford LLC didn't have an Arizona broker's license and therefore couldn't act as the city's broker in a multi-million dollar deal to acquire property the city needed for its new city hall.
That case was settled last October when the state ordered Clark/Lankford to pay what amounted to a $75,000 fine and directed the company to use an Arizona licensed broker when appropriate. State officials agreed that the error was an inadvertent mistake on the company's part because of the confusing way the deal was put together.
A department spokesperson also said city officials and Clark/Lankford had been given the phone number of a department representative to call if there was ever any question about the company's Arizona dealings in the future.
Phil Clark's most recent complaint - a copy of which was obtained by The Sun - alleges that Clark/Lankford is not complying with the department's order.
Phil Clark claims in his complaint that Clark/Lankford's assurances that it will use Yuma broker Gary Munk for any future transactions in Arizona requiring a broker isn't good enough. He says such an act is sometimes referred to as "rent-a-broker" and is unlawful in Arizona. Instead, he says, the company itself must be licensed.
The complaint is being investigated, said Jerome Jordan, acting public information officer for the Arizona Department of Real Estate.
Jordan declined to comment on the case itself. However, he did stress that the department's policy is to open an investigation on every complaint it receives, regardless of the merits of the complaint.
Phil Clark did not return phone calls Wednesday. However, he has told The Sun several times that his ultimate goal is to get the city of Yuma to rescind its partnership agreement with Clark/Lankford.
Craig Clark, who represents Clark/Lankford and is not related to Phil Clark, could not be reached for comment.
Craig Clark has told The Sun in the past, though, that he is confident his arrangement to hire Munk to represent the company as a broker is legal and ethical.
Munk said he's never heard of the "rent-a-broker" concept and isn't certain what Phil Clark is talking about.