Defendants added to the 145 Fisk lawsuit against Nicklas and City of DeKalb


New defendants were added last week to the “145 Fisk” lawsuit against city manager Bill Nicklas and City of DeKalb that could potentially cost the city millions if it loses.

John F. Pappas, Pappas Development, LLC, and PNG Development, LLC — collectively named “Pappas Entities” in the court order — were previously named as respondents in discovery (RIDs) but were converted to defendants on two counts of an amended complaint when the Court found probable cause on claims of alleged civil conspiracy and alleged action in concert.

RIDs participate in depositions and other activities of discovery, but are not parties to lawsuits as defendants are.

In December 2018, following two years of project development, City of DeKalb signed a preliminary agreement with plaintiff 145 Fisk, LLC (Fisk) to redevelop the dilapidated former St. Mary’s hospital. The plan included an incentive to the developer of $2.5 million in tax increment financing (TIF) funds. Fisk is alleging the city unlawfully terminated the agreement in April 2019 and that the termination was instigated by Bill Nicklas, whom the city council had hired as city manager at the beginning of that year.

Weeks after the Fisk termination, the council approved a preliminary agreement on a downtown redevelopment plan with John Pappas that included a $3 million TIF incentive, and the city finalized the Pappas agreement in August of 2019.

The Fisk complaint requests judgment “in excess of $2.5 million dollars compensatory damages, taxable costs, and any other remedy this court deems equitable and just.”

Below is a copy of the court order. The motion to convert was granted in part and denied in part. The parts of the motion that were granted are highlighted on page 2 of the order.


Below is a copy of the original complaint. It has since been amended, but is still useful for getting the gist. Notice the RIDs are addressed in the first section of the file.


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