Green Power's Tri-City creditors wait for foreclosure decision

Tri-City HeraldJune 30, 2014 

Green Power Sun

The Port of Pasco is evicting Green Power, a tenant since 2007, from the Big Pasco Industrial Park.

PAUL T. ERICKSON — Tri-City Herald Buy Photo

— Green Power's Tri-City creditors are going to have to wait a little bit longer for a decision on whether they can foreclose on the troubled biofuel company's unfinished Pasco plant.

Superior Court Judge Cameron Mitchell on Monday told creditors he would issue a written decision later this week after hearing arguments about the issue.

But Mitchell said it's clear that Panda Holding is a party of interest in the case, which was what Green Power's attorney, Crane Bergdahl of Pasco, was disputing.

Jose Gonzalez, owner of American Electric of Richland, and James Osterloh of West Richland, who was Green Power's former chief engineer and owner of Concrete Structures, have formed a company called Panda Holding to pursue what Green Power owes them.

Both have received court judgments for the debts owed by Green Power. Green Power owes American Electric more than $1 million for electric work on the unfinished Pasco plant. Osterloh says he's owed $4.4 million, including interest.

Panda Holding is asking the Franklin County judge to approve its foreclosure on Green Power's unfinished plant in the Big Pasco Industrial Park and to approve an order of priority for about 11 creditors, including Panda Holding.

"The debts are owed, the liens exist and now is the time to foreclose on them," said David Gardner, a Spokane attorney for Panda Holding.

Green Power has filed for bankruptcy protection twice, most recently in an effort to block foreclosure proceedings by the creditors. However, both times, the case was dismissed when acting CEO Judith Calhoun did not submit all the required information to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Calhoun has been the acting CEO since Green Power founder Michael Spitzauer was federally indicted in connection with wire and bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering and lying on a federal tax return. He has been in jail since December.

Altogether, Green Power and Spitzauer owe about $36 million, including interest, to about 40 creditors, according to court documents.

However, most creditors do not have liens securing their debt and giving them a right to sell any of Green Power's property.

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