The special meeting of the Chautauqua County Legislature scheduled for tonight has been canceled by Jay Gould, legislature chairman.
County Executive Gregory Edwards recommended Gould cancel the meeting because Richard Platschek, the prospective purchaser, did not make the required purchase deposit of $1.65 million. Edwards is ending the county's agreement with Platschek and will continue efforts to find a buyer for the home.
Platschek released a statement to The Post-Journal on Wednesday afternoon, stating he dealt with the county in good faith.
"We agreed to the county's asking price and every request made during the negotiations," Platschek said. "At no time was it ever suggested that my group was an unacceptable purchaser. I had numerous conversations with the county executive during the negotiation process."
Platschek said he signed an Asset Purchase Agreement with the county and that it was subsequently signed by the county executive. Although the agreement requires a deposit to be placed in escrow, it also provides that the deposit would be made within five days of receiving a "fully executed agreement," Platschek said.
The agreement was contingent upon approval by the Chautauqua County Legislature.
"It cannot be 'fully executed' until that time," Platschek said. "We nevertheless agreed to make the deposit pursuant to an Escrow Agreement before the County Legislature's meeting."
Platschek said he was prepared to attend the meeting and explain the proposal to the legislature. However, sometime in the middle of last week he learned from the county's real estate broker that the transaction would only be approved if additional parties were added to the purchase group.
"This was the first time we heard of this development," Platschek said. "It was suggested to us that we present a 'new' agreement, which we would not do. Nevertheless, we agreed to bring in the parties suggested by the real estate broker and had a conference call scheduled for Monday to discuss the details. That call never happened."
"Our attorney spoke with the county attorney late Monday afternoon after I had learned that the 'new' parties were directly negotiating with the county," Platschek continued. "We were still prepared to make the deposit but certainly wanted the opportunity to discuss this with the new participants."
On Tuesday night, Platschek said his attorney received a call from the county attorney, who said that the county was canceling the agreement for failure to make the deposit.
"I also learned that the county would be accepting an offer from the 'new' group," Platschek said. "We signed the agreement the county wanted. Nevertheless, we suddenly we became 'unacceptable' after the agreement was signed. We were always ready to make the deposit. It was the county's representatives that wanted to change the agreement. Obviously we are disappointed by this turn of events as we made a good faith offer that we believed was in the best interest of the county."