Contempt Hearing Delayed For Bellaire Bridge Owner

BENWOOD – A criminal contempt hearing set for next week for Bellaire Bridge owner Lee Chaklos has been continued, according to Dan Guida, attorney representing the city of Benwood.

Guida also said the three liens against the bridge actually total more than $2.1 million.

U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley had scheduled the contempt hearing for Chaklos for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, but Marbley still has not filed an official “show cause” order in the case.

“The e-mail from the judge’s clerk to all counsel said, in part (the judge is) waiting to hear back from the U.S. Attorney’s office before issuing the show cause order and rescheduling the hearing,” Guida said. “The new date will likely be sometime in October.”

Calls to Marbley’s office were not returned Thursday.

Marbley set the contempt hearing date following a mediation hearing in his Columbus office on July 16. He said he learned during that hearing that Chaklos had failed to disclose to the court that there were $1.5 million worth of liens against the span.

However, the amount of liens is now more than $2.1 million, according to Guida. The first lien Guida said he discovered is with DAC Audit Services of Clarkston, Mich., which invested $820,0000 with Chaklos. The company believes it now owns the scrap metal as a result of the deal.

The second of the liens is with RFK Enterprises of New Castle, Pa., who made investments totalling $1.2 million with Chaklos between March 2011 and May 2012. Chaklos promised RFK “it would receive a high return on its investments once the Bellaire Bridge was demolished, and the scrap steel sold.” In the agreement, Chaklos listed all steel scrap from the bridge as collateral, according to Guida.

The third lien is with the Scrap Dynamics Corp. of Aurora, Ohio, who Guida said invested $100,000 with Chaklos on May 4, 2012. In exchange, Chaklos promised the company it would become the exclusive purchaser of the bridge scrap.

Chaklos co-owns the Bellaire Bridge with his wife, Krystal Chaklos, under the name KDC Investments. The couple resides in Virginia Beach, Va.