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Motorplex sues former employee in Waxahachie concessions bid

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The Ellis County Press

ENNIS – A concessions contract for Waxahachie’s sports complex resulted in a lawsuit filed by the Texas Motorplex – who had the contract to provide food and beverages – against a former employee, who is alleged to have won the contract using a lower bid and her own company while still employed with the race track.

The City of Waxahachie, which has awarded the concessions bid to the Motorplex – a drag strip located on the outskirts of Ennis – since the sports complex on Highway 287 was constructed, said the lawsuit would not have an effect on the new bid.

"No, it shouldn’t [have an effect]," said Waxahachie City Manager Paul Stevens. "There is someone else running it now and she is doing a fine job. Things are going smoothly. If things are to change then we [the city] would do something to adjust accordingly."

In the petition filed by the Motorplex (Meyer Motorsports Inc.) against Donna Newman Christopher in Ellis County’s 40th District court on March 14, the race track alleges in court documents that Christopher, who managed the catering division for supervisor Dick Reinhard, of compiling her own bid under Home Plate Concessions and Catering, which was later awarded the bid.

"In particular," the court documents state, "Defendant DONNA NEWMAN CHRISTOPHER reviewed and proofread Plaintiff’s proposal, made the required ten (10) copies and placed them in notebooks to be submitted to the City of Waxahachie. Unbeknownst to Plaintiff [Texas Motorplex], at the time of Plaintiff’s bid was submitted, Defendant created her own competing bid. In particular, the bid on behalf of Defendant included several pages lifted directly from Plaintiff’s bid.

"Of course at the time Defendant’s bid was submitted Defendant DONNA NEWMAN CHRISTOPHER knew the amount of Plaintiff’s bid and was thus able to make a bid that would be more attractive to the client," the court documents state.

The Motorplex told the court their bid to Waxahachie was for five years, of which a 20 percent commission would be collected; the court documents state Christopher’s bid was for 15 percent the first year, then 18 percent and finally 20 percent for the three-year proposal.

"Plaintiff slightly increased selling prices (first increases in seven years) of core beverage and food items by .25 - .50 per item," the court document [sic] states. "Defendant knew this and did not increase menu prices."

When first contacted about the contract, Christopher admitted to having a contract awarded to her company; she also denied Waxahachie city officials were partners in the venture, but when contacted a second time, Christopher first made mention of a lawsuit.

She refused further comment.

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