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Phoenix Ski Corporation Files Civil Suit Against Phipps

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A Haywood County company that lost its bid to build a cable lift ride at the State Fair is suing former Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps and a host of others.

The Phoenix Ski Corporation wants an undisclosed sum of money from Phipps and two of her former employees, Weldon Denny and Linda Saunders.

Phoenix Ski also is suing James H. Drew III, who won the contract to build the cable lift, along with several of Drew's family members, employees and companies.

The lawsuit said Drew got the contract because he gave Phipps at least $20,000 in illegal contributions.

Drew, whose family company also ran the Mountain State Fair midway for many years, pleaded guilty in state court in August 2003 to giving those contributions.

Phipps, Denny and Saunders also have pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws. Phipps is serving a four-year sentence in federal prison.

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