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Grill faces suit as LCSO investigation continues

By Staff | Feb 18, 2009

A civil lawsuit filed by Lisa Johnson against Cape Coral Councilmember Eric Grill will not affect the ongoing criminal investigation in their dispute over a construction contract, Lee County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Larry King said Wednesday.
“It shouldn’t have any dramatic affect on it at all,” King said.
Johnson filed the civil suit last week against Grill, alleging that he took $50,000 for a construction project but never started work.
Grill has until March 4 to respond to the suit.
Johnson, owner of Tropical Twisters Gymnastics, contracted with Grill’s company, Grand Cape Construction, in November 2007 to build a 7,000-square-foot gymnasium in north Cape Coral. She started to worry when the council member stopped returning her calls in August.
Grill has spoken only once on the issue.
“I had contracts and I intended to honor those contracts,” he said during a January council meeting.
Grill could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Johnson initially filed a criminal complaint against Grill in December with the Cape Coral Police Department, which eventually was forwarded to the LCSO, which is currently investigating.
Johnson said the civil suit would have been filed earlier, but she and her lawyer, Curt Truitt, needed to tally the amount of compensation sought.
“We filed an initial complaint asking (Grill) to return the money, however, he did not answer,” she said.
Beyond the initial $50,000, Johnson is suing for lost revenue, extra rent payments on her current building caused by the delay in construction and lawyer’s fees.
She did not put an exact figure on the total amount of compensation.
Truitt could not be reached for comment Wednesday.