Proposed settlement reached in Vt. telecom case
BURLINGTON — The mayor of Burlington said Monday the city had reached a proposed $10.5 million settlement in a lawsuit over its financially troubled provider of television, Internet and phone service.
Citibank sued Burlington in 2011. It alleged fraud and breach of contract in an effort to recover a portion of the $33.5 million advanced to the city in 2007 in a lease-purchase agreement intended to build the Burlington Telecom network.
The city terminated the agreement in 2010 when it was unable to make payments on the debt.
Mayor Miro Weinberger announced the proposed settlement at a news conference Monday.
City officials said Monday the proposed settlement must still be approved by several boards, including the Burlington City Council and the Vermont Public Service Board.
Weinberger said in a statement that the agreement would mean “there is now for the first time a clear path to resolution of our BT challenges.” He added, “The agreement — once completed in the months ahead - will accomplish all the goals the city has pursued over the past two years.”
Those goals have included protecting taxpayers from further BT-related losses; maintaining BT service for its more than 4,000 customers; preserving BT as a telecommunications competitor to maintain affordable Internet, cable, and telephone services for Burlington residents and businesses; restoring the city’s credit rating and recovering as much as possible of the $16.9 million the city spent on BT prior to 2010.