Alice Rogoff, the former owner and publisher of the Alaska Dispatch News, has settled another of her court disputes.
In recent court filings, it appears she has given another of her former creditors a personal guarantee against a lawsuit filed by a third party.
By doing so, her lawyers convinced the judge to allow her out of a lawsuit that resulted from hundreds of thousands of dollars she (through her defunct companies) owes a local contractor.
The case involves improvements made by M&M Wiring to property owned by Arctic Partners. The improvements were to have allowed Rogoff to move her press operations from a building she had sold, and from where she was being evicted for nonpayment of rent and her share of the utilities.
The Arctic Partners building needed a massive amount of work to make it usable for press operations, but Rogoff declared bankruptcy before the work was completed and, through a bankruptcy process, sold the newspaper to its current owners, which restored its former name, the Anchorage Daily News. The new owners didn’t want to take over the Arctic Partners building when they purchased the paper. Rogoff was stuck with a nonfunctioning press in a nonfunctioning building, and she owed a lot of money to the building owner and the contractor.
Rogoff’s personal guarantee to Arctic Partners gets her out being the third party to the lawsuit that M&M Wiring has against Arctic Partners. M&M has placed a lien on the building where the improvements were installed at the instruction of Rogoff’s agents. One of those agents is currently one of her lawyers.
The judge has accepted her personal guarantee to Arctic Partners, should the company lose to the plaintiff M&M.
Personal guarantees are what got Rogoff into a lot of trouble in the past, with millions of dollars of loans from Northrim Bank, and with her original lease from Arctic Partners, which she quit paying after she (or her company, to be precise) filed bankruptcy.
The next court action on this case between M&M and Arctic Partners is set for Sept. 21. Rogoff is off the hook unless Arctic Partner loses, and the company has hired Rogoff’s lawyers to defend it. It’s a good bet that the lawyers will do so aggressively, and Rogoff might even be paying the billable hours on that.
Looming on the horizon for Rogoff is the lawsuit that her former business partner, Tony Hopfinger, has filed against her over the $900,000 he says she owes him for his share of the now-defunct Alaska Dispatch News. That dispute over ownership and money owed to Hopfinger by Alaska Dispatch Publishing LLC is set to go to trial the week of Nov. 13.
Hopfinger claims that an IOU written by Rogoff on a bar napkin stating she would pay him $1 million is an enforceable promissory note. Rogoff is going to counter with her version of what her intent really was when she signed that note.
Or she may just settle with Hopfinger. She is believed to have a steady stream of income as a result of her divorce from David Rubenstein, one of the richest and most influential private equity financiers in the U.S.