KANSAS CITY, Mo.
Bank of America Corp. has sued U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, his wife and their Kansas City company for more than $1.5 million the bank says it is owed from a 2002 loan.
A petition filed last week in Jackson County Circuit Court names the Democratic lawmaker, his wife and the Cleaver Co. The lawsuit, which was first reported by Kansas City blogger Tony Botello, said they failed to make payments on more than $1.3 million borrowed for a car wash in suburban Grandview.
The petition seeks unpaid principal of roughly $1.2 million, plus interest of $240,000, late fees of more than $54,000 and $12,000 in other fees. The bank said interest is accruing at the rate of $158 a day. In the suit, the bank also sought the appointment of a receiver to operate the property.
Calls to a Cleaver spokeswoman Thursday afternoon were not immediately returned. Bank of America attorney Joseph Trad said it was against bank policy to release information to the media.
During Cleaver's 2004 congressional campaign, unpaid taxes on the car wash for 2002 and 2003 became an issue. As of 2005, the car wash was operated by someone else, although the congressman still owned it.
Cleaver is a former two-term Kansas City mayor who is serving his fourth term in the U.S. House for Missouri's 5th Congressional District.