The suit, filed in Contra Costa County Superior Court on Aug. 17, names Jerry Dellinger, Dustin Hanoum and the estate of the late Pastor Jerry Hanoum as defendants in the complaint. The OUESD is asking for payment of $87,074 in outstanding lease payments owed by MVCC for the district’s Almond Grove school site.
“This is a regrettable action,” said OUESD Superintendent Rick Rogers. “However, the three leaders of MVCC made personal promises to make the district whole, and I believe it is our obligation to hold them accountable and to their word.”
The lawsuit is the latest in a long and difficult history between the OUESD and MVCC. In June of 2008, the OUESD entered into an agreement with Mountain View Christian Center to lease the school as a church site and private school, but the group continually fell behind in its payments to the district and failed to make good on its financial commitments despite ongoing assurances that the money was forthcoming.
“We have made repeated attempts to allow the defendants to make good on their financial obligations to the district, and in the past we were told if we gave them a little more time, they would do so,” said Rogers. “Our patience and understanding have been exhausted.”
In January, Dellinger and the two Hanoums each signed personal guarantees to the OUESD in exchange for a promise to continue the contract through the original date of June of 2011 and for a reduction in the monthly rent. The district agreed to the new terms, but MVCC never made another payment after December of 2010. The suit seeks restitution for the back rent as well as attorney fees and court costs.
Calls to Dellinger were not returned and a previous phone number for Dustin Hanoum is no longer in service.
The OUESD lawsuit is only one chapter in the MVCC’s tragic story. In May, Jerry Hanoum, founder and former pastor of MVCC, committed suicide amid mounting allegations of financial misdealings, including a number of lawsuits, liens and bankruptcies. At the time of his death, Hanoum was being investigated for fraud in both Brentwood and Rio Vista. MVCC has since disbanded, as has Trinity Christian School, and under the law, Hanoum’s estate is now responsible for the pastor’s financial obligations.
“We have filed the action and we’re now in the process of serving them,” said district legal counsel Michael McKeeman. “We fully expect them to honor their personal guarantees on behalf of MVCC.”