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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Former mayor of San Jose, market in Plaza San Pedro at the center of new lawsuit

Former San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery is at the center of a new lawsuit over an alleged failed business deal involving the city’s popular marketplace in Plaza San Pedro.

On Monday, John McEnery IV filed a federal lawsuit against his uncle Tom McEnery, alleging that the former mayor used him for his own financial gain.

Tom McEnery, who served as Mayor from 1983 to 1991, co-owns a market located on St. John Street between San Pedro and Almaden in downtown San Jose, along with his nephew John McEnery IV and MCM Diversified Inc. , an investment company created and operated by Martin Menne. The market, which opened in 2011, consists of two main buildings with an eclectic mix of food and beverage vendors and a large outdoor area.

John McEnery IV lives in South Carolina and began looking for ways to sell some of his shares in the market after closed businesses were closed due to COVID-19 public health orders.

“Cash flow stalled and John P. McEnery IV’s investment became more difficult to justify financially. Unlike his wealthy uncle, McEnery IV’s investment in the LLC accounted for a significant portion of his family’s financial assets and income, ”the lawsuit says.

John McEnery IV began negotiations with his cousin Oliver Herning to sell him some of his shares. But, according to the lawsuit, the former mayor and Menne tried to deliberately destroy the enterprise shortly after they learned about it.

Tom McEnery allegedly began driving to Herning’s house and “did his best” to dissuade him from continuing negotiations with his cousin, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says that the efforts of Tom McEnery and Menne were ultimately successful and Herning refused to negotiate, depriving John McEnery of a viable business partner and losing at least $ 75,000.

Patrick Hammon, partner at law firm McManis Faulkner, called it a “sad case.”

“There have been a lot of bad business relationships between members of the McEnery family over the years,” Hammon said. “And it’s sad that the former mayor got involved in a business discussion between his nephew and another of his nephews.”

Tom McEnery, who said he had not yet been served, called the trial “unsuccessful.”

“What we’re trying to do is keep 17 small businesses in the market and make sure we can pay our bills,” he said.

The former mayor added that he felt that a prominent San Jose lawyer representing his nephew, James McManis, was waging a kind of vendetta against him.

World Nation News Desk
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