Thursday, September 9, 1999

Judge nixes
‘premature’ flea
market motion

Medeiros wanted his contract
to continue but the judge told
him to come back after the
Stadium Authority acts

By Helen Altonn


A federal judge this morning denied a motion by Edward Medeiros to halt termination of his state contract to operate the Aloha Stadium flea market, saying it was premature.

But U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway left the door open for court consideration of the issues if Medeiros loses his contract with the Aloha Stadium Authority.

The authority was to meet at 10 a.m. today to consider extension of Medeiros' contract and other proposals to manage the swap meet.

Because of that, Mollway said she felt Medeiros' motion "was brought prematurely before claims can be properly decided by the court -- even a temporary restraining order.

"I'm not saying it wouldn't be proper within possibly two hours or this afternoon," Mollway said.

Attorney Carl Varady, representing Medeiros in the dispute over the swap meet management, left the court to prepare to refile a motion immediately after the authority meeting if the decision was against Medeiros.

The stadium authority voted May 20 to terminate Aloha Flea Market Inc.'s contract when it expires Sept. 30, creating an uproar among the vendors. They weren't notified of the action and fear they will lose their livelihoods.

The authority decided to reconsider its decision after about 200 vendors attended an authority meeting Aug. 27 to protest the contract termination.

Medeiros believes his contract is being terminated for political reasons -- because he supported Linda Lingle in last year's gubernatorial election.

Officials say Aloha Flea Market was the only bidder three years ago when the contract was awarded and the state should now consider other bidders.

"I know all of you think this is a done deal -- that they're not going to extend (Medeiros' contract)" Mollway said this morning. But the court can't predict what will happen, she said, suggesting perhaps the authority would reconsider the matter.

Varady cited first amendment issues in arguing for a restraining order from the court this morning. He said over the past year Medeiros "has been subjected to harassment, intimidation, threats and finally termination of his contract because he picked the wrong political candidate."

"You are moving into an area I probably need to address after 10 o'clock if the decision is adverse to your client," Mollway responded.

"She's given them a little nudge -- an opportunity to do the right thing," Varady said after leaving the courtroom.

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