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More legal troubles mount for St. Petersburg concert venue Jannus Landing

ST. PETERSBURG — The legal woes for Jannus Landing, reportedly Florida's largest and oldest outdoor concert venue, just keep piling up.

The concert venue — and the recently arrested man who runs it, John C. Bodziak — are now being sued by two Tampa Bay area men who say they were wronged.

In one lawsuit, filed June 29, Lakeland resident Paul Carr says the concert venue is responsible for injuries he sustained during a March 14 concert in which he was hit with a cymbal thrown into the crowd.

In another lawsuit, St. Petersburg real estate developer Daniel Harvey Jr. says Jannus Landing and Bodziak defaulted on a $295,000 loan. And now Harvey, who bought the loan from Whitney National Bank in May 2008 for $170,000, wants the collateral Bodziak put up against the loan: the venue's liquor license.

Both men are seeking damages "in excess of $15,000," according to their lawsuits.

Neither man's attorneys could be reached for comment late Wednesday.

These lawsuits, however, aren't the popular downtown spot's only problems.

Jannus ran into tax trouble this year when the Florida Department of Revenue arrested Bodziak on a grand theft charge. The state agency says Bodziak owes more than $250,000 in sales taxes he collected between June 2004 and July 2007.

If convicted of the charge, Bodziak could face up to 30 years in prison. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Public records also showed that the business has a history of trying to pay the state with bad checks.

And state officials have already said that if they don't get their money, they could go to a judge to shut down the business.

In Harvey's lawsuit, filed July 1, the businessman claims that Bodziak missed one or more $8,000 monthly payments on the loan. Harvey sent Bodziak a notice June 17 demanding payment.

Carr, the concertgoer, said in his lawsuit that Jannus was negligent when it allowed the Wholigans, a tribute band that performs songs by the Who, to destroy instruments after its show.

Carr, the lawsuit states, was "severely injured," when a cymbal hit him in the head.

Kameel Stanley can be reached at (727) 893-8643 or kstanley@sptimes.com.

More legal troubles mount for St. Petersburg concert venue Jannus Landing 07/15/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 15, 2009 10:22pm]
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