Bergano vs City of Virgina Beach

The trial was held in Federal court from February 7 – February 9.  Judge Henry Morgan presided.  We first received press coverage prior to my first Rally on November 10, 2015.

NOVEMBER/2015

Virginia Beach dentist rips city for treatment in eminent domain case

Southsidedaily.com is your source for free local news and information in Virginia Beach

A long-time Virginia Beach dentist is decrying what he and his lawyers say is eminent domain abuse by the city against his practice.

A city spokesman relayed a statement Friday from Deputy City Manager Dave Hansen in response to the allegations.

“The city has accommodated Dr. Bergano and promptly addressed his concerns,” it said in part.

Dentist Allan Bergano and his staff. (Courtesy of Allan Bergano)
Dentist Allan Bergano and his staff. (Courtesy of Allan Bergano)

Allan Bergano said the city told him last year he would have to leave the building where he has served patients for more than three decades because of a widening project on North Witchduck Road. He and his wife, Edwina, spent nearly a year looking for another location; when they submitted the potential costs of their move to the city, they were shocked at its offer for relocation help: $25,000.

Bergano said other dentists who moved for a nearby widening project on South Witchduck Road had received assistance ranging from $280,000 to $500,000. He appealed the city’s offer. The response provided another surprise.

The city withdrew its offer of $25,000 and instead said the dental practice could stay where it was, Bergano said. The reversal came in August, about a month before the September deadline he had been operating under to move, he said. The Berganos had already spent time and money looking for a new location — tens of thousands of dollars, they say — and had a lease on the new spot, near Town Center.

Staying put, however, seemed an untenable situation to Bergano. The city had purchased the office complex in 2014 and in August began filling it with its Department of Human Services. A building that Bergano once shared with chiropractors, insurance agents, a law office and other small businesses was now devoted almost entirely to government services that drew an unsettling clientele for Bergano’s staff and patients.

They began seeing prisoners in orange jumpsuits and handcuffs coming for evaluations and “indigent people sleeping” in the parking lot, he said.

Bergano said his practice is now the only business in the building. The incompatibility of a dental office surrounded by Human Services was one of the reasons the city wanted him to move in the first place, Bergano said.

Hansen, in the statement released Friday, said Bergano had a month-to-month lease when the city acquired the office complex a year ago, and that the city has offered him a five-year extension on his lease.

“Dr. Bergano has known he was not being required to move since August 2015,” he wrote.

Hansen added that “several parking spots” have been marked for the dental office’s exclusive use, and said the city will schedule “those rare visits” by inmates when Bergano’s office is closed.

“Inmates are occasionally – but rarely – brought to the new Human Services offices located in the adjacent building. They are brought through a separate entrance,” he wrote.

The city has upgraded electrical and plumbing systems, landscaping and more to the building, which was “was in very bad shape” when the city bought it, Hansen wrote. Moving Human Services there was intended to “offer essential services to Virginia Beach residents closer to where they live” and is “part of a conscious effort to improve Human Services for our citizens,” he wrote.

As for Bergano’s expenses, Hansen wrote that the city has offered to pay for the time the dentist and his wife spent in their search for a new place, “as well as any other contractual expenses that were undertaken,” but “no such expenses have been disclosed to the city.”

“The city has already paid $2,500 to compensate the real estate broker that Dr. Bergano engaged to search for a new office,” he wrote.

The Norfolk eminent domain law firm Waldo & Lyle is representing the Berganos in their case. A representative for the firm relayed a blistering rebuttal Saturday to Hansen’s statement on behalf of the couple.

“The city has been a terrible landlord,” it said. “We are being forced to move because of the hostile environment the city has created, an environment that will kill the business that has taken us three decades to build.”

About the inmates, it said, “At least the city admits they are bringing them. What they are not saying is that they are bringing them in handcuffs accompanied by armed deputies.”

If the situation is so safe, they asked, “then why is there a full-time security guard posted outside?”

As for the designated parking spots, the Berganos said they asked for eight spots but received only four, “and often they are used by human services.”

The rebuttal also says the city has not offered to compensate them the same way it did for the three dentists who moved for the South Witchduck Road project.

“And when we presented a relocation estimate of almost $500,000 one city official laughed in our face,” they wrote.

The Berganos are holding a rally at 3 p.m. Tuesday at their office at 256 N. Witchduck Rd. to call attention to their case. Allan Bergano said they want to hold local government officials accountable and keep other small businesses from facing the same treatment.

“If this can happen to me it can happen to anybody,” he said. “This is not about me. This is about small businesses.”

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qs5HKME_QsI

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Virginia Beach dentist planning rally against city

VIRGINIA BEACH

A dentist said he plans to sue the city after it told him to relocate his business on North Witchduck Road, then changed its mind and said he could stay.

Allan Bergano, who moved to Hampton Roads from Seattle 32 years ago, says the city has treated him badly in the exchange and is withholding money he believes is due. He’s also angry that he now shares the building with a Human Services Department annex.

“I’m still wondering why I am being treated like this,” Bergano said. He is organizing a protest at his office today.

In a statement, Deputy City Manager Dave Hansen said the city has given Bergano $2,500 to pay for the real estate broker he used and has offered to compensate the dentist and his wife for their time expended in the search and any other contractual expenses that were incurred.

The couple have not taken up the offer, the statement said.

In September 2014, the city bought Bergano’s building on North Witchduck Road to house some operations of the Human Services Department. The building was in bad shape, and the city fixed it up, according to Hansen’s statement.

That month, Bergano was told in a letter that he would have to move and the city would reimburse him for those expenses.

Eleven months later, and after Bergano signed a lease elsewhere, the city sent a letter notifying him that the relocation was no longer necessary. He would be reimbursed for money he spent looking for a new place for his practice, according to the letter dated Aug. 20.

Bergano said he is entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars that was given to other dentists in the area who relocated on the city’s dime. He also wants to know why the city backed out on him at the last minute.

“At first, I was kind of glad I didn’t have to move,” he said. “Then it dawned on me that if they could change their mind about relocating me, they could evict me.”

Bergano would not disclose how much he spent during the months he was looking for a new place to lease, but he said he flew to Pennsylvania to look at new dental equipment and hired advisers to help with the search.

He said the city directed him to three other dentists on South Witchduck Road who were relocated by the city because of road improvements. In those cases, reimbursements ranged from $280,000 to $520,000, according to city invoices.

The city reimbursed the other dentists between 2008 and 2011, according to the documents.

In a rebuttal statement to Hansen’s statement, Bergano said that when he presented a relocation estimate of almost $500,000, one city official “laughed in our face.”

Bergano said he plans to move even though the city has said he can stay in the building, because it now houses an annex of the Human Services Department.

“My patients don’t feel comfortable. My staff doesn’t feel comfortable,” he said. “I have to move.”

In a news release, Bergano said inmates in orange jumpsuits regularly come into the building, unsettling his patients. Hansen’s statement said inmates are occasionally, but rarely, brought in through a separate entrance, and their visits will be scheduled when Bergano’s office is closed.

Bergano said he plans to sue the city for relocation and medical expenses incurred during the time that he thought he would have to move. The situation has caused his blood pressure to rise, he said.

A rally for Bergano is planned for today at 3 p.m. at his office at 256 N. Witchduck Road.

http://southsidedaily.com/2015/12/02/virginia-beach-dentist-sues-city-over-property-dispute-requests-federal-investigation/


Virginia Beach dentist sues city over property dispute, requests federal investigation

Southsidedaily.com is your source for free local news and information in Virginia Beach

Allan Bergano speaks to supporters at a rally on Nov. 10, 2015, outside his dental practice on North Witchduck Road.
Allan Bergano speaks to supporters at a rally on Nov. 10, 2015, outside his dental practice on North Witchduck Road.

A dentist who says the city intentionally disregarded his rights in an eminent domain case has filed a federal lawsuit over the matter and asked two senators and a congressman to seek an investigation into it.

Allan Bergano alleges in his complaint that the city acted at times with malice and with “callous disregard” for his constitutionally and federally protected rights regarding his longtime dental practice on North Witchduck Road. He also alleges the city failed to train its employees on areas of law involving displaced people and relocation benefits following a government’s acquisition of property.

Bargano’s lawsuit was filed late Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Norfolk by his attorney, Joe Waldo of the eminent domain firm Waldo & Lyle.

City Attorney Mark Stiles provided the following statement Wednesday by email through a city spokesman:

“We believe the city has treated Dr. Bergano fairly, but we have not yet seen the lawsuit, so we have no comment on it.”

In addition to the lawsuit, Bergano has sent letters to Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and Rep. Scott Rigell outlining what he describes as his “mistreatment” by the city of Virginia Beach and asking them to seek an investigation by the Federal Highway Administration into the matter.

The letters outline the history of Bergano’s dispute with the city and mention the dentist’s civic involvement in Virginia Beach.

“Dr. Bergano, among many other civic duties, recently chaired FilFest 2015 at Town Center which celebrated Filipino heritage and brought thousands of visitors to the City,” the letters say.

They are signed by the chairman of the Filipino American Community Action Group and the vice chairman of the Council of United Filipino Organizations of Tidewater, in addition to Bergano.

Bergano has leased space in an office building on Witchduck Road and practiced there for 32 years. He says the city acquired that building under threat of condemnation in 2014 for a road expansion project, and told Bergano that he would have to move his practice and be entitled to relocation assistance.

Bergano spent a year and thousands of dollars seeking a new location; when he signed a lease for a new spot, the city denied his request for relocation assistance, according to an email from a city employee that was filed with the lawsuit. Bergano’s estimated cost for build-out and equipment for the new spot totaled $458,000.

The city then reversed course and said Bergano could stay where he was. The city, after acquiring the building, had moved its Human Services Department into the offices around his dental practice, however, taking up parking spaces, bringing prisoners in handcuffs for evaluations, and drawing homeless people into the dentist’s office because all the other entrances to the building are kept locked, the letter to the legislators said.

Bergano says that situation has forced him to move.

Deputy City Manager Dave Hansen released a statement in early November regarding Bergano’s complaints.

“The city has accommodated Dr. Bergano and promptly addressed his concerns,” it said in part.

Hansen wrote that the city has offered to pay for the time the dentist and his wife spent in their search for a new place, “as well as any other contractual expenses that were undertaken,” but “no such expenses have been disclosed to the city.”

“The city has already paid $2,500 to compensate the real estate broker that Dr. Bergano engaged to search for a new office,” he wrote.

Bergano’s lawsuit, among other things, asks the judge to declare that Bergano is a displaced person under state and federal law and that the city deprived him of his rights. It seeks “appropriate compensatory damages” and attorneys’ fees and costs.

The city must adhere to federal law in the case because it received federal funding for the road expansion project, according to the complaint.

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Based from Dennis’s press packet:

Embargo for Nov. 9, 2015

To: Hampton Roads news directors, newspaper editors, reporters

From Dennis Hartig, on behalf of Allan Bergano, D.D.S.

Re: Nov. 10 rally protesting eminent domain abuse Community protests eminent domain abuse Of popular Kempsville dentist

VIRGINIA BEACH — Friends and patients of a popular Kempsville dentist will rally at 3 p.m. Tuesday in protest of the way the City of Virginia Beach has crippled his practice. Dr. Allan Bergano, a well-known Kempsville community leader, has been seeing patients for three decades at his leased office at 256 N. Witchduck Road. To make way for improvements to North Witchduck Road, the city acquired the building under threat of condemnation. The city decided not to raze the building, but determined that it was no longer fit for business use. The city turned the building over to the its Department of Human Services. It ordered Dr. Bergano to move, promising to defray the relocation expense, as it had done for three nearby dentists whose offices were taken when South Witchduck Road was widened. Those three received from $280,00 to $520,000 in relocation assistance. In 2014, Dr. Bergano followed the city’s orders, spent a year and tens of thousands of dollars to find a new location, sign a new lease, and develop a budget for relocating the new office. During this time, the human services department moved in. The dental practice was the only private business left in the building. After following the city’s orders to move, and on the eve of his move to a new office, the city pulled the rug out from under Dr. Bergano. The city decided that Dr. Bergano should stay put and keep his practice in the same building as the human services department, even though Bergano told them it would hurt his practice. His 2,000 patients lost access to his office from Witchduck Road and clients of the city agency took his assigned parking spaces. But worst of all were the regular visits to the building by inmates from the city jail wearing orange jump suits, in handcuffs and accompanied by deputies. The visits by prisoners has created a hostile atmosphere that has unsettled his patients and staff. To save his business, Dr. Bergano is relocating a short distance away. The city has refused to defray his expenses. He is considering legal action but is hoping the city changes its mind.


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A Virginia Beach dentist says he’s dealing with a painful situation for his practice. It’s all for the sake of progress for drivers.

Dr. Allan Bergano’s office is on North Witchduck road, essentially in the path of the big widening project. He says the past year of bad buyout offers and changes is worse than, well, going to the dentist.

Dr. Allan Bergano established his practice in Virginia Beach 32 years ago. Right now he’s paying two leases, but not by choice.

“Thirty-two years down the drain,” said Bergano. “The city stole my dream. This is my American dream right here and it went down the drain. Small business owners are being ripped off by the city. I followed directions to a tee and then all of sudden the rug was pulled from me.”

Dr Bergano says it all began last year when the city approached him with a plan to widen Witchduck Road which would require him to relocate with their help. The city bought the building and began moving offices with the Department of Human Services. He says they gave him a year to find a new place, sign a lease and bring back his bids. But when he did he was appalled.

“At first I said, OK I completely understand, limited parking, closing of the street and all the city services,” said Bergano. “Then they told me I only qualified for $25,000 whereas my colleagues were getting anywhere between $250,000-$500,000.”

And when he appealed their decision, things only got worse. Another change of heart. He says they rescinded their offer altogether. No money to move. In fact, he no longer had to relocate, although he says they knew he might not feel so comfortable anymore.

“This is not conducive to a dental practice,” said Bergano. “My patients don’t feel safe. My staff doesn’t feel safe.”

So now he’s feeling the squeeze — Left to move on his own dime. Dr. Bergano says he refuses to be treated unfairly or remain silent anymore. He’s hosting a rally to bring attention to this issue next week. He says future business owners need to be made aware. It’s Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. outside of his office at 256 N Witchduck Rd.

Virginia Beach City Attorney Mark Stiles sent WAVY.com this statement Friday:

We have been working with Dr. Bergano for quite some time, and we will continue to work with him to find an agreed resolution that is fair to everyone

Deputy City Manager Dave Hansen sent this statement to WAVY later in the day.

10 On Your Side will be following up on this case next week.

http://wavy.com/2015/11/06/dentist-says-city-officials-are-forcing-him-to-move-after-32-years/


 

 


WE RALLY 11/10/15

http://wavy.com/2015/11/10/locals-rally-in-support-of-dentists-relocation-protest/

Locals rally in support of dentist’s relocation protest

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Supporters rallied Tuesday around a dentist who plans to move his battle with city officials into court.

10 On Your Side first told you about Dr. Allan Bergano’s battle with the City of Virginia Beach Friday.

The city asked him to move last year to make way for a road project, but they offered a small fraction of what they’ve paid to other medical practices, Bergano said.

Then, he says, the city reneged on the deal altogether, but by that time he had already signed a lease in a new location.

“The city has to look at small businesses,” Bergano said. “We are the heart and soul of this community, and the message I have is, if they’re going to treat me the way they have done, nobody is safe.”

Bergano’s attorney says he wants the city to pay about $475,000 in relocation costs, and he plans to file suit Wednesday.

Outside the Witchduck Road location where Bergano has practiced for 32 years, long-time patients, friends, and coworkers held up signs showing their support, and drivers honked and cheered as they passed.

“I feel like the city has let him down in some way,” said Raul Padilla, who has known Bergano since 1983. “He sustained [his practice], he worked at it for 32 years, and it would be a shame to see it fall or diminish in some measure because of this.”

Bergano said he’s worked not only to build his practice, but also to help the community grow during his time in Virginia Beach.

“I will continue to make this community better. I believe in Virginia Beach, and I believe the city will do the right thing,” he said.

A spokesperson for the city said because the matter is headed to court, city officials would no longer comment.

Last week, however, the city manager sent a list of ways he says the city tried to work with Bergano.

City councilman Bob Dyer stopped by the rally and said although he was not familiar with all aspects of the story, he would talk with city officials about it.


Bergano Rebuttal to Hansen statement

Voluntarily moving? No. This is extremely misleading because it omits the fact that the city told us last year we had to move because the building would no longer be fit for business use. They ordered us out and gave us one year to find a new location. • We spent a year and tens of thousands of dollars finding a new place. We signed a lease because the city told us to. Now we have two leases. On the eve of our move the city pulls the rug out from under us and makes us stay put by refusing to pay to relocate us.

Good landlord? No. The city has been a terrible landlord. We are being forced to move because of the hostile environment the city has  created, an environment that will kill the business that has taken us three decades to build.

  • Once again, the statement omits some key facts: The city doesn’t say that it will be very difficult to drive in here because the building loses access to Witchduck Road.
  • We asked for eight parking spots, they gave us four and often they are used by human services.
  • On the inmates. At least the city admits they are bringing them in. What they are not saying is that they bring them in in handcuffs accompanied by armed deputies. And if there situation is so safe, then why is there a full-time security guard posted outside?

Fair compensation? No. The city once again omits facts. It has not offered to compensate us the same way it did for the three dentists who were relocated when S. Witchduck was overhauled.  • They got from $280,000 to $520,000. They city has refused to explain why we are being treated differently. And when we presented a relocation estimate of almost $500,000 one city official laughed in our face.

Better building? Yes. They have improved the building, not for the Berganos. They made it worse for us. http://wavy.com/2015/11/06/dentist-says-city-officials-are-forcing-him-to-move-after-32-years/http://wavy.com/2015/11/06/dentist-says-city-officials-are-forcing-him-to-move-after-32-years/http://wavy.com/2015/11/06/dentist-says-city-officials-are-forcing-him-to-move-after-32-years/


DECEMBER/2015       WE SUIT THE CITY

Virginia Beach dentist sues city over relocation battle

VIRGINIA BEACH

A dentist who says the city’s indecision as to whether he had to move his longtime dental practice has cost him a great deal of time, money and stress sued this week.

Dr. Allan Bergano’s filing in federal court in Norfolk also named as defendants two city employees he says issued the decisions: City Right of Way Agent Gail Salmons and Director of Public Works Philip Davenport. He also has sent letters to U.S. Sens. Mark Warner, Tim Kaine and Rep. Scott Rigell asking them to investigate the matter.

The problems between the city and the dentist began last year when the city bought the building on North Witchduck Road where Bergano has maintained his practice for 32 years and told him he had to move, according to the lawsuit. Bergano was told he would be compensated for expenses, the lawsuit says.

While he looked for an appropriate site, Bergano said his business suffered. A city road expansion project moved his office’s entrance and eliminated some parking. When some of the city’s Human Services Department relocated to the facility, employees and visitors took up most of the remaining parking, prisoners in handcuffs and jail jumpsuits were brought in, and homeless people camped out in the parking lot sometimes came inside his office. It made his patients and staff feel unsafe, the lawsuit says.

Bergano signed a lease for a new site in July and submitted an estimate of $458,393 for relocation costs. The expenses included hiring a real estate broker, advisers to help with the search, and all the new equipment and construction expenses required for such a move, said Joseph Waldo, one of Bergano’s lawyers.

The city denied the request. When Bergano threatened to appeal, he received a letter telling him that he did not have to move after all, and that he would be compensated only for the real estate broker fee and his time, even though the city has paid up to $520,000 for another dentist’s relocation, the lawsuit states.

Deputy City Attorney Christopher Boynton said this week the city had not been served yet and he did not believe it was appropriate to comment at this time.

A statement issued by Deputy City Manager Dave Hansen in November said the city has addressed Bergano’s concerns, including marking several parking spaces for his use, scheduling the inmates’ visits to times when the dentist’s office is closed, paying $2,500 for his real estate broker, and offering to pay for contractual expenses and time spent on the search.

Jane Harper, 757-222-5097, jane.harper@pilotonline.com


Virginia Beach dentist sues city over property dispute, requests federal investigation

Southsidedaily.com is your source for free local news and information in Virginia Beach

Allan Bergano speaks to supporters at a rally on Nov. 10, 2015, outside his dental practice on North Witchduck Road.
Allan Bergano speaks to supporters at a rally on Nov. 10, 2015, outside his dental practice on North Witchduck Road.

A dentist who says the city intentionally disregarded his rights in an eminent domain case has filed a federal lawsuit over the matter and asked two senators and a congressman to seek an investigation into it.

Allan Bergano alleges in his complaint that the city acted at times with malice and with “callous disregard” for his constitutionally and federally protected rights regarding his longtime dental practice on North Witchduck Road. He also alleges the city failed to train its employees on areas of law involving displaced people and relocation benefits following a government’s acquisition of property.

Bargano’s lawsuit was filed late Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Norfolk by his attorney, Joe Waldo of the eminent domain firm Waldo & Lyle.

City Attorney Mark Stiles provided the following statement Wednesday by email through a city spokesman:

“We believe the city has treated Dr. Bergano fairly, but we have not yet seen the lawsuit, so we have no comment on it.”

In addition to the lawsuit, Bergano has sent letters to Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and Rep. Scott Rigell outlining what he describes as his “mistreatment” by the city of Virginia Beach and asking them to seek an investigation by the Federal Highway Administration into the matter.

The letters outline the history of Bergano’s dispute with the city and mention the dentist’s civic involvement in Virginia Beach.

“Dr. Bergano, among many other civic duties, recently chaired FilFest 2015 at Town Center which celebrated Filipino heritage and brought thousands of visitors to the City,” the letters say.

They are signed by the chairman of the Filipino American Community Action Group and the vice chairman of the Council of United Filipino Organizations of Tidewater, in addition to Bergano.

Bergano has leased space in an office building on Witchduck Road and practiced there for 32 years. He says the city acquired that building under threat of condemnation in 2014 for a road expansion project, and told Bergano that he would have to move his practice and be entitled to relocation assistance.

Bergano spent a year and thousands of dollars seeking a new location; when he signed a lease for a new spot, the city denied his request for relocation assistance, according to an email from a city employee that was filed with the lawsuit. Bergano’s estimated cost for build-out and equipment for the new spot totaled $458,000.

The city then reversed course and said Bergano could stay where he was. The city, after acquiring the building, had moved its Human Services Department into the offices around his dental practice, however, taking up parking spaces, bringing prisoners in handcuffs for evaluations, and drawing homeless people into the dentist’s office because all the other entrances to the building are kept locked, the letter to the legislators said.

Bergano says that situation has forced him to move.

Deputy City Manager Dave Hansen released a statement in early November regarding Bergano’s complaints.

“The city has accommodated Dr. Bergano and promptly addressed his concerns,” it said in part.

Hansen wrote that the city has offered to pay for the time the dentist and his wife spent in their search for a new place, “as well as any other contractual expenses that were undertaken,” but “no such expenses have been disclosed to the city.”

“The city has already paid $2,500 to compensate the real estate broker that Dr. Bergano engaged to search for a new office,” he wrote.

Bergano’s lawsuit, among other things, asks the judge to declare that Bergano is a displaced person under state and federal law and that the city deprived him of his rights. It seeks “appropriate compensatory damages” and attorneys’ fees and costs.

The city must adhere to federal law in the case because it received federal funding for the road expansion project, according to the complaint.


JUNE/2016  SECOND RALLY  MOVE INTO NEW OFFICE

 

 

http://wavy.com/2016/05/30/judge-says-city-of-virginia-beach-treated-dentist-unfairly/

http://wavy.com/2016/05/30/judge-says-city-of-virginia-beach-treated-dentist-unfairly/

Judge says City of Virginia Beach treated dentist unfairly

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A judge says a local dentist has been treated unfairly by the City of Virginia Beach.

Dr. Allan Bergano says he was low-balled by the city to move his practice to make way for the widening of Witchduck Road.

U.S. District Judge Henry Morgan says the city hasn’t been fair to Dr. Bergano and needs to be.

In 2014, Virginia Beach bought Dr. Bergano’s building, where he has been a dentist since 1983, and told him to move.

In July 2015, Dr. Bergano signed a lease for a new building and submitted a customary expense of relocation and buildup of new office to the city.

In August 2015, the city offered $25,000 for relocation, then later withdrew that. Other dentists got between $280,000 and $520,000 to relocate, but the city claims that was because those dentists had buildings that were destroyed. Dr. Bergano did not need to move, according to the city.

On August 20, 2015, the city informed Dr. Bergano, who has already committed to a new lease elsewhere, that he is not entitled to relocation funds, reversing their 2014 position.

The Human Services Department has moved into the building. Dr. Bergano says that move has brought inmates, homeless people and other people with severe issues into his dental business climate. Security guards now patrol the property. Bergano thinks this is no place to have a dental office.

On June 1, 2016, Dr. Bergano will move to a new site at his own expense.

“I just want to be treated like my colleagues, fairly, and I am not being treated fairly,” Bergano says.

Bergano wants Virginia Beach to pay him at least $400,000 to move his business. Today, there is no money on the table.

“I feel like they want to make me the poster child for future dentists, or other small businesses that have to move. They will be tough on them, and not pay a single dime,” Bergano says.

In an April 7 motions hearing, U.S. District Judge Henry Morgan told the City Attorney Mike Beverly: “You’ve got a citizen of the City of Virginia Beach who has been practicing dentistry for 30 years. He was treated very unfairly by the city.”

“The city has an obligation to treat Dr. Bergano fairly, but the city also has an obligation to the city taxpayers and not to give Dr. Bergano something that he is not entitled to under the law,” Beverly told WAVY News.

Judge Morgan continues: “The question is, can the city avoid that with some technical defense and say that he doesn’t have a cause of action even though they treated him grossly unfairly?”

“This is what we’ve been saying all along.  Dr. Bergano has been treated unfairly by the City of Virginia Beach, and all he is looking forward to is to be treated as fairly as his colleagues have been,” says Bergano’s attorney, Brian Kunze, from the firm Waldo & Lyle.

Other doctors that had to move were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Judge Morgan tells the city to settle, then shuts down Beverly: “The city ought to settle the case with the plaintiff, but the city ought not be treating people like this unfairly, which is what they’re doing.”

According to the transcript:

MR. BEVERLY: May I respond, Your Honor?

THE COURT: (Judge Morgan) No.

10 On Your Side’s Andy Fox asked Beverly whether the line of statements from the Judge that will hear the case is bad news for him.

“We trust Judge Morgan will give us a fair trial once the city presents its side of the case,” Beverly responded.

This is really important for the city because Judge Morgan is hearing the case.

On Wednesday, Dr. Bergano moves his business to his new office at his own expense. Dr. Bergano’s family and friends will rally at the old business that day at 4:30 p.m. to protest what the city has done.

 

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