KEMAH — A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit accusing a former Kemah mayor of conspiring with city officials to obtain land and property damaged by Hurricane Ike.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Froeschner ruled in a summary judgment that the lawsuit’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, claims against Matt Wiggins are barred by a four-year statute of limitations.

League City resident John Ray Melcher, the former owner of the now-closed Eagle Rider Motorcycle Rental USA business at 310 Texas Ave. in Kemah, alleged in the lawsuit that Wiggins conspired to foreclose on the business and buy the property for “pennies on the dollar.”

The property was foreclosed in June 2009, and Melcher filed the lawsuit against Wiggins and the city of Kemah in October 2013.

The lawsuit states that Wiggins arranged for city officials to condemn structures or refuse to issue permits for repairs to buildings after Hurricane Ike.

Wiggins, who was mayor from June 2009 to 2011, has consistently denied any wrongdoing. Wiggins owns several businesses in Kemah, and said his own properties were inspected and reviewed just as stringently after Ike.

Melcher has 30 days to appeal the judge’s summary judgment on the lawsuit.

 

Contact reporter Alex Macon at 409-683-5241 or alex.macon@galvnews.com.

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