Fulton County EDC sues city glove firm

GLOVERSVILLE – The Fulton County Economic Development Corp. is suing the principals of a city glove firm for allegedly defaulting on a $200,000 loan the company secured through the agency in 2009.

The civil lawsuit was filed Monday in state Supreme Court against: Grandoe Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Eric Friedman of 18 Hearthstone Drive, Gansevoort, Saratoga County; Richard Zuckerwar of 268 Washburn Hill Road, Gloversville; and Kent Friedman of 30 Whistler Court, Saratoga Springs.

The lawsuit states that $42,306 on the Grandoe loan was due as of July 25. The EDC is requesting a trial and is demanding that payment, plus late fees, additional interests and costs and disbursements that include attorney’s fees.

The EDC remains the corporate loan component for the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth.

CRG President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Reese said Friday the EDC been a loan partner with many businesses in the area over many years.

“We are not as stringent as a bank, as far as payment, because we try to work with companies in the county that have jobs and investments,” Reese said.

In the case of Grandoe, located at 74 Bleecker St., Reese said it is his understanding the firm has already been sold to glove manufacturer Totes-isotoner.

“We’re just trying to get our money back,” Reese said.

Eric Friedman couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. No one responded at the business when it was contacted Friday.

Reese said the EDC remains as the loan component of the CRG and the Crossroads Incubator Corp. remains the real estate component of the CRG, although the CRG has indicated that both corporations are due to be dissolved.

The lawsuit – filed by EDC attorney J. Gerard McAuliffe Jr. of Johnstown – says Grandoe Corp. delivered a promissory note dated Feb. 25, 2009, when it entered into a loan with the EDC. The suit says the defendants entered into the loan agreement with the EDC, promising to repay the loan. But court papers state Grandoe “has defaulted under the promissory note by failing to make the payments due” the EDC.

The Grandoe website in June announced changes with the company, which at the time began to sell assets of the business to Totes-isotoner, another glove manufacturer.

“We are pleased to announce that the Grandoe, Cire and Smartdogs brands have recently become part of the Totes-isotoner family of brands,” the website said.

Eric Friedman said at the time that the sale may lead to layoffs of some of the 30 employees at Grandoe later in the year, although the business was still in operation.

The company – located on Bleecker Street and Grandoe Lane – produces leather gloves, ski gloves and footwear for major department stores, specialty apparel chains and independent specialty stores throughout the United States and Canada.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

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