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Colorado Springs Mayor facing lawsuits, accused of not paying bills for his restaurant

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - KRDO 13 Investigates has uncovered the Colorado Springs mayor is accused of not paying his bills. 

Yemi Mobolade is now at the center of two lawsuits alleging he owes nearly $100,000. 

Before Mobolade jumped into politics, he owned and operated restaurants in downtown Colorado Springs, including Good Neighbors Meeting House and Wild Goose Meeting House. 

His business partner was now convicted thief Russell Ware. 

Just weeks before Mobolade became Colorado Springs mayor in May of 2023, Ware pleaded guilty to stealing funds. 

Criminal court records in El Paso County say Ware stole money from a restaurant called The Well to fund payroll at Epiphany, which he opened in November of 2021. 

Back in 2022, Mobolade and investors say Ware also misused funds from the Good Neighbors and Wild Goose restaurants.

However, he was never convicted related to those allegations.

Mobolade was forced to leave his position at Good Neighbors when he became mayor, in accordance with city charter requirements that the mayor “shall not hold any other paid employment position during his or her term in office.” 

However, his departure didn’t go over so well with the investors of Good Neighbors. 

One of them tells KRDO13 that they encouraged him not to run, and instead focus on his duties that he committed to fulfill in the company’s Operating Agreement, but he declined their request and opted to run for mayor anyway. 

The lawsuits filed against the mayor and Ware, filed in January and February of 2024, accuse them of not paying their bills to Shamrock Foods as promised in a 2018 written agreement. 

The distributor is suing the pair for nearly $100,000, claiming in court documents that the two businesses "failed to pay for the goods.” 

The majority of the debt, $67,982.67, relates to Good Neighbors Meeting House. 

Another $28,813.47 relates to the Wild Goose Meeting House. 

In Mobolade's legal response to the lawsuits, he states that Shamrock's "claim for damages was caused by the actions or inactions of third parties over whom Mobolade had no control and has no control". 

That third party is Russell Ware. 

The response goes on to say that this third party "engaged in a pattern of fraud and deceit stealing funds from the Business". 

KRDO13 wanted to ask the mayor questions about these lawsuits directly, including how taxpayers can trust him with managing over a $900 million budget for the city. 

Despite several calls and emails, his personal attorney never responded. 

A spokesperson for the mayor's office didn't answer questions either, claiming the lawsuit didn’t involve city business. 

The spokesperson instead forwarded the request for comment to the mayor’s wife, Abbey Mobolade, even though Abbey has no official role in the operation according to the restaurant's operating agreements reviewed by KRDO13. 

Still, Abbey claimed she is currently managing cafe business along with other partners. 

Just like her husband’s legal response, Abbey blames Ware for the financial trouble. 

In response to KRDO13’s question about managing taxpayer dollars, she wrote, “Our family, our businesses, and others in this community have been victimized by a man who was supposed to be our partner. Many, unfortunately, can relate to this experience. We have learned a lot from this and believe we are stronger for having faced this adversity. We are not shying from it. We are doing our best to make it right." 

It's unclear whether this case will go to trial. 

The next hearing is scheduled for September 12. 

Along with his response to the lawsuit, Mobolade has also made a crossclaim against Ware to recover an unspecified amount of money. 

KRDO 13 Investigates reached out to Ware for comment, but he did not respond. 

Article Topic Follows: News

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Bart Bedsole

Bart is the evening anchor for KRDO. Learn more about Bart here.


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