Tea Party aligned Georgia Rep. Tom Graves (R), who castigates Washington for fiscal irresponsibility, reached an out of court settlement Wednesday after he was sued for defaulting on a $2.2 million loan -- which his attorney argued is the bank's fault for lending him the money in the first place.
Graves and his business partner Chip Rogers -- who is the state Senate's Republican majority leader -- took out a $2.2 million loan from the Bartow County Bank in 2007 to buy and renovate a local motel. The project soon went belly-up.
The bank, which has since failed and had its assets taken over, sued Graves and Rogers for defaulting. The two Republicans then countersued, "accusing [the bank] of improperly declaring the loan in default after reneging on a promise to refinance it at more favorable terms," according to Jeremy Redmon and Aaron Gould Sheinin of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution .
In June, Simon Bloom, the attorney for Graves and Rogers, argued in a court filing that the default was the bank's fault because it lent the pair the money knowing full well they couldn't pay. Bloom cited a deposition in which bank officials saw Graves and Rogers' financial records, and then had them sign personal guarantees so they'd "'have some skin in the game' presumably meaning a sense of personal obligation for the debts ... even though they clearly could not fulfill the obligation." Graves and Rogers said they were unaware of that particular filing.
The case was settled out of court on Wednesday, and a Graves spokesman called the case "fully resolved in an equitable and fair manner."