Lehigh Valley

Former boxing champ Larry Holmes launches legal fight over parking

EASTON, Pa. - Former boxing champ Larry Holmes is now gearing up for a legal fight over a parking issue with a neighboring business owner and a towing company in Easton.

Round one began Friday, when Larry Holmes Enterprises filed a civil suit in Northampton County Court against Riverstar Properties, 101 Larry Holmes Drive, Easton; Riverstar owner Robert Haver, of 25 6th St., Frenchtown, N.J., and Phil and Penny Ahearn's Towing & Automotive, 106 West Fairfield Ave., Easton.

Holmes, who has a two-story office building that includes his Champs Corner restaurant at 91 Larry Holmes Drive, has been sparring for years with Riverside, which has a five-story office complex nearby, over cars being towed from the 159-space lot they have shared since 2005.

In his suit, Holmes accuses Riverside and the Ahearns of conspiring to damage his restaurant business by being involved in "a scheme to illegally tow cars."

The Ahearns operate "without any authority," the suit says, and demand a $240 cash payment for towing and impound.

All this violates a Dec. 22, 2005, shared parking agreement between Holmes and Riverside, the suit says.

WFMZ.com telephoned Haver for comment late Friday afternoon at his office at the Riverside Plaza complex, but a voicemail message was not returned.

However on Jan. 4, Haver sent an eight-page letter about his ongoing dispute with Holmes to Becky Bradley, Easton's head of department of planning and codes. In it, Haver said Riverstar "strictly adheres" to the shared parking agreement allowing only "tenants, occupants and users" to use the lot.

Haver also said in the letter that he has had "numerous meetings and calls with Larry Holmes, his attorneys and administrative assistant about parking issues," and that Holmes and his attorneys reaffirmed Riverstar's rights to tow "unauthorized and illegally parked" vehicles.

Holmes is asking for an unspecified amount of compensatory damages and for the court to review the parking and maintenance agreements between himself and Riverside.

Penny Ahearn, who runs Phil and Penny Ahearn's Towing & Automotive with her husband, told WFMZ.com Friday afternoon that she had no comment on the suit, adding, "The suit has to do with Larry Holmes and the property management company, not us."

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