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Published: Saturday, 5/4/2013

Packo’s sale reaffirmed in pair of court rulings

Bennett Bennett

Though Toledo businessman Bob Bennett has been operating the Tony Packo’s restaurant chain for more than a year, the sale of the iconic Toledo business was reconfirmed this week in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Horvath Horvath

Judge Gene Zmuda granted a motion filed by court-appointed receiver Steven Skutch to confirm the sale of the firm’s assets to Mr. Bennett’s company, TP Foods LLC.

Christopher Parker, attorney for the receiver, said the sale does not change the transfer that took place in February, 2012.

“Mr. Bennett continues to operate the businesses, and we continue to proceed consistent with the terms of the asset purchase agreement originally approved,” he said.

Tony Packo Inc. was placed in receivership in 2010 after it defaulted on some $2.7 million in bank loans.

Also Friday, Ohio’s Sixth District Court of Appeals affirmed an earlier decision issued by Judge Zmuda in a civil action filed by Robin Horvath, a former co-owner of Packo’s who has challenged several rulings.

In contesting Fifth Third Bank’s judgment against the company, himself, and Tony Packo, Jr., Mr. Horvath contended the bank had conspired with Tony Packo, Jr., and Tony Packo III to procure the default on the Packo company’s loans.

The appellate court concluded, “No new information was presented that would support Horvath’s allegation that Fifth Third conspired with the Packos.” In confirming Judge Zmuda’s denial of his motion, the court further said Mr. Horvath had not filed his motion in a reasonable time because he waited more than a year.

“Throughout, Horvath was intimately involved in the proceedings, and was well aware of the emphasis placed on a timely resolution of the receivership sale in the interests of maintaining the viability of the Tony Packo’s franchise,” the appellate court wrote. “However, instead of bringing his concerns to the court’s attention immediately, Horvath waited until the deadline for submitting bids for the receivership assets.”

Thomas Matuszak, attorney for Mr. Horvath, declined to comment on the decision.

William Fecher, attorney for Fifth Third Bank, said it was the bank’s policy not to comment.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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