Hells Angel Sues Over Olympic Fee
Hells Angel George (Gus) Christie, who carried the Olympicflame during last summer’s torch relay, filed suit Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court challenging how officials have distributed the $3,000 he paid to enter the run.
Christie, of Ventura, noting that the outlaw motorcycle club “has had some experience with the courts before,” said he personally drafted the legal papers suing the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee and Special Olympics Inc., an international charity benefiting mentally retarded children, which is headed by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in Washington.
Christie stamped each page of the lawsuit with a red seal that is the Hells Angels’ trademark--a winged skull.
Christie has tangled with Shriver over her refusal to pass along his $3,000 entry fee to a chapter of the Special Olympics in Pottstown, Pa. His lawsuit seeks to force her to hand over the money.
All the fees collected for the cross-country run were set aside for charities specially designated by the runners. Christie, who collected $3,000 from his biker buddies to enter the race, earmarked his donation for mentally retarded children in Pottstown after their mothers heard he was running and wrote him in praise of his interest in the retarded.
Christie said he never expected to end the relay in a dispute with the sister of the late President John F. Kennedy. He said he had resorted to seeking “an alternative writ of mandate” when Shriver “stonewalled” passing the money on to Pottstown.
He said Shriver has refused to return his phone calls. Instead, the lawsuit says, she has written “flowery” letters that “basically say . . . ‘don’t bother us anymore.’ ”
Shriver was not available for comment Tuesday, but Ethel Pacheco, an assistant to Special Olympics executive director Robert Montague, said, when informed of the lawsuit: “Oh, no! You realize it’s a nuisance. I’m sorry to hear that.”
In her first letter to Christie in March, Shriver said that if he could prove that he had designated the money for Pottstown, she would request that the money be forwarded. Then she wrote in May advising Christie of a longstanding policy under which donations to the Special Olympics are distributed on a 50-50 basis between Washington headquarters and state chapters--not given directly to local chapters.
She said Christie’s $3,000 had been divided between headquarters and the state chapter in Pennsylvania, adding that the mentally retarded children in Pottstown have benefited and will continue to benefit through the state’s largess.
“They seem to be evading the issue,” Christie said.