An emergency injunction issued last week that prohibited founders of the Oklahoma City Coworking Collaborative from saying anything derogatory against US Fleet Tracking was lifted Tuesday as the two sides continue their legal battle over a disputed $23,000 contribution.
A hearing scheduled for Tuesday afternoon was delayed to Oct. 26 by Oklahoma County District Judge Barbara Swinton at the request of US Fleet Tracking. Meanwhile, officials with US Fleet Tracking released a statement to The Oklahoman questioning whether founders of the collaborative work space were closing shop or simply continuing operations under a different legal entity.
The news release, accompanied by an extensive timeline of the dispute as documented by US Fleet Tracking, notes collaborative co-founder Derrick Parkhurst incorporated another company, “The 404 LLC, ” with the Oklahoma Secretary of State on May 28. The date coincides with the two sides preparing to go to court over whether the collaborative was required to return $23,000 to US Fleet Tracking over a disagreement on where the operation would be located.
Separate firm cited
The date of a privacy statement on The 404 LLC website, visitthe404.com, is Jan. 15, 2012, and the 404 sign is displayed on the former storefront of the collaborative (commonly referred to as “okcCoCo”) along Film Row. The existence of 404 LLC is cited in the release by US Fleet Tracking as cause not to consider a proposed settlement by Parkhurst and his partners Tommy Yi and Chad Henderson.
“Knowing that they had already created an entirely different shell corporation — complete with website — to replace the CoCo under a different name, US Fleet Tracking cannot entertain any settlement offer which does not hold the CoCo founders responsible,” US Fleet Tracking representatives stated. “A failure to do so would enable them to execute the settlement, bankrupt CoCo, and have no responsibility under their settlement agreement.”
Parkhurst responded he has documentation showing planning for creating a separate entity in late 2011 — before a discussion took place between the collaborative and US Fleet Tracking. He said the intent was to turn okcCoCo into a nonprofit that would continue to provide mentoring, workshops and special event hosting, while the office lease would be handled by 404 LLC.
Parkhurst said 404 LLC was not set up with any intent of misleading US Fleet Tracking, and that funds contributed by the company were not used to benefit 404 LLC.
Parkhurst said new settlement discussions are being attempted as okcCoCo ends operations. With the demise of okcCoCo, mentoring and special events will cease, but Parkhurst said the office will remain open as the home of 404 LLC.
“I'm more hopeful than I've been in the past,” Parkhurst said of the likelihood of a resolution. “I think we're very close.”