A former business associate of Hingham restaurants Wahlburgers and Alma Nove is hoping for a speedy resolution to the lawsuit against his former partner.
Edward St. Croix, who has worked with members of the Wahlberg family in operating and managing the two restaurants, filed a lawsuit on Jan. 10 claiming wrongdoing by the family and accusing them of slander.
St. Croix was the focus of a lawsuit filed by his former business partner in October, which claimed that St. Croix had mismanaged funds, unjustly took restaurant money, and lived lavishly off restaurant accounts.
As a result, the lawsuit claimed that despite approximately $4.5 million in revenue from Alma Nove in the first year, the restaurant was operating at a loss.
The suit went on to justify the May 2012 removal of St. Croix from a management position from Shipyard Ventures LLC, an organization in charge of managing Alma Nove and Wahlburgers.
The lawsuit seeks to permanently remove St. Croix from a management position without giving him any additional money.
In a response complaint, St. Croix denied the allegations, and puts forth several of his own, including that Paul Wahlberg spent money from a joint-management account to pay for his wife’s bills, gave his wife a salary although she did no work, and paid for a private jet for his brother, Mark Wahlberg.
The countersuit also alleged that Wahlberg and the new Wahlburgers general manager, Rick Vanzura, had no right to remove St. Croix from a management position.
Despite the back and forth allegations, legal representatives for St. Croix said their client hopes for an expedited timeline.
“Mr. St. Croix is disappointed that this dispute has proceeded to this stage and hopes for an early resolution,” said Tara Myslinski, a partner at O’Connor, Carnathan, & Mack.
Myslinski declined to give a more specific timeline.
“In the meantime, while awaiting an early resolution, Mr. St. Croix intends to vigorously defend the baseless claims against him and pursue his own meritorious suit against Mr. Wahlberg and Mr. Vanzura,” Myslinski said.
Legal counsel for Wahlberg could not be reached for comment.
St. Croix is seeking damages in this case, in both back pay for management fees and compensation for funds removed from joint accounts without his knowledge.
St. Croix also wishes to maintain his ownership interests, though how that may happen, if it is to happen, has not yet been decided, Myslinski said.