So what in the world is going on with the closing of the Oklahoma City Co-working Collaborative, known in the local techie community as okcCoCo? I took my first shot at reporting this story for the Tuesday edition of The Oklahoman. Truth be told, it’s never been easy to tell okcCoCo’s story. When it reopened in July, I showed up for an interview and the nice lady who agreed to visit with me was so clearly unprepared to be in a news story that I scrapped the effort. But with the collaborative facing a legal onslaught by U.S. Fleet Tracking over a disputed $23,000 contribution, the gates of communication opened up – at least until U.S. Fleet Tracking sought a gag order in Oklahoma County District Court late Monday afternoon.
But my coverage isn’t over – at least not yet.
There’s only so much one can tell in a news story with limited space, time and resources. Some may ask – why is this a big story? Whether one supports or likes okcCoCo, there is no doubt that it became the epicenter of downtown’s tech community. And a lot of people are irate over it closing.
So, was there an attempt by either side to settle this dispute? I’ve been asked this by several readers. US Fleet Tracking is not talking. And they’ve obtained a gag order to prevent anyone else involved in this suit from speaking either. But I received quite a bit of material prior to the gag order.
Here is a copy of a proposed settlement that Derrick Parkhurst said was pitched – but that various settlement offers were ignored by US Fleet Tracking. I am ready and eager to hear US Fleet Tracking and Jerry Hunter’s side of the story. For now, I can just share what I’ve been provided. So here’s a copy of the settlement offer, as provided to me by Parkhurst:
This Settlement Agreement is made by and between the parties to Case No. CJ-2012- 3395, District Court of Oklahoma County, OK (the “Lawsuit”) and to this Settlement Agreement— The Oklahoma City Coworking Collaborative, LLC,  Derrick Parkhurst,  Tommy Yi and  Chad Henderson and  US Fleet Tracking, LLC and  Jerry Hunter. The parties agree to the following terms to fully and finally resolve all issues relating to the Lawsuit and all issues arising out of or related to the Lawsuit:
The Oklahoma City Coworking Collaborative, LLC’s Obligations The okcCoCo:
1. Sponsorship. Sponsorship opportunities for a period of 24 months for USFT, at the discretion and direction of USFT including:
a. USFT company branding will be displayed as a premier sponsor on okcCoCo event communications and premier signage opportunities at okcCoCo events; b. USFT Company branding will be displayed as a supporting founding member of the okcCoCo on the okcCoCo website, and signage on the okcCoCo sponsor wall; and c. USFT will be provided with one business coworking membership at the okcCoCo, at no charge.
2. Repayment. The okcCoCo will repay the sum of $23,000.00 with interest at the current Wall Street Journal Prime Interest Rate of 3.25%, to begin January 1st,
2013 as follows:
a. The okcCoCo will pay to USFT all revenues that exceed operating costs each month will be paid to you within 15 days of the end of month; b. The okcCoCo will pay to USFT 100% of any title sponsorship for the okcCoCo will go to you (unless the donating sponsor insists on some other use of the funds or places restrictions on how the funds can be used) c. The okcCoCo will pay to 50% of any event sponsorship and 50% of any funds otherwise donated to the okcCoCo will be paid to you on a monthly basis.
3. Compensation Restriction. The okcCoCo founders, Derrick Parkhurst, Tommy Yi and Chad Henderson agree that they shall not be paid any salary or otherwise take any financial compensation until the total amount under this Settlement Agreement is paid.
4. Parkhurst Withdrawal. Within 10 days of the execution of this Settlement Agreement, Derrick Parkhurst will withdraw from majority ownership of the okcCoCo and surrender and return all of his units of ownership to the okcCoCo.
USFT will be provided with
written documentation that this provision has been complied with.
5. Non-disclosure. The okcCoCo and the founding members agree to non-disclosure of terms of this Settlement Agreement.
US Fleet Tracking, LLC’s Obligation
US Fleet Tracking will do the following:
1. Dismissal. Upon the signing of the Settlement Agreement, USFT will immediately dismiss with prejudice the lawsuits against the okcCoCo and Derrick Parkhurst and release all okcCoCo founders from responsibility related to this matter. USFT will provide written notice to the okcCoCo that the lawsuit has been dismissed with prejudice.
2. Non-disclosure. USFT and Jerry Hunter agree to non-disclosure of terms of this Settlement Agreement.
1. Releases. The Parties hereto mutually release each other, their attorneys, directors, officers, agents, representatives, employees, and/or shareholders from any and all claims, causes of action, demands, liabilities, loss of earnings or earning capacity, expenses, damages of any kind or nature and fees and costs which either party ever had, now has or which may later appear or accrue, whether known or unknown, anticipated or unanticipated, arising out of, or connected directly or indirectly with or relating in any way to the lawsuit. This release provision covers all claims of any nature, whether legal, equitable, or statutory, whether in contract or in tort, whether matured or unmatured, and whether liquidated, unliquidated, fixed, or contingent up to and through the signing of this Agreement.
2. Governing Law. This Settlement Agreement shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of Oklahoma. In the event litigation is instituted between the parties in connection with any controversy or dispute arising from, under or related to this Settlement Agreement, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover its attorneys’ fees from the other.
3. Counterparts. This Settlement Agreement may be executed in any number of counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original, but all of which shall together constitute one and the same instrument. A facsimile or digital copy of this Agreement or signature page shall be the same as an original.
4. Attorney Fees. Each party shall pay his or its own attorney fees and costs associated with the lawsuit and this Settlement Agreement.
The parties to this Settlement Agreement agree to all of the terms listed above and agree that this Settlement Agreement is a binding and enforceable document.
Dated this _______ day of September, 2012.
US Fleet Tracking, LLC
By:__________________ _________________________ Jerry Hunter, CEO Jerry Hunter, individually The Oklahoma City Coworking Collaborative, LLC By:_______________________________ ______________________________ Its:_____________________________ Tommy Yi, Member and Co-Founder __________________________________ ___________________________________
Chad Henderson, Member and Co-Founder Derrick Parkhurst, Member and Co-Founder