Montreal hit with another lawsuit over Formula E

No matter how much everyone in Montreal wants to forget about Formula E, it looks like the failed race will continue to haunt the city.

A businessman and promoter who says he had a deal in place in with Formula E and l'Association des véhicules électriques du Québec to organize the race in Montreal is suing the City for $3 million, the same amount he estimates he would have made by organizing the race over the course of the now canceled three year contract.

According to court filings, Alexandre Choko claims he was given the run around by former Mayor Denis Coderre and that the administration wrongfully awarded the event to evenko, even going as far as circumventing rules in place regarding the awarding of public contracts.

Choko said he had meetings with Jean Todt, President of the governing body of motor sport (FIA), in Monaco in May of 2015 where he signed a deal with Formula E to promote an event to Montreal. Over the next several months the businessman said he tried to have a meeting with Denis Coderre to talk about the race, but claims he was often rejected or never called back.

Last year Choko told the Journal de Montreal, during the same time as he was waiting to speak with the City, he had gone as far as approaching potential partners and speaking with a firm to conduct a feasibility study in order to find out in Montrealers even wanted to race to come to town.

The lawsuit says Choko was shocked to learn in September 2015 that a second promoter had shown interest in organizing the E race and he was possibly being pushed out. 

One year later, the City and Formula E officials announced evenko would be tasked with promoting the race, without ever meeting with Choko.

Earlier this year, Montreal's former inspector general Denis Gallant found Denis Coderre hand-picked evenko, and used the non-profit group Montreal it's electric (created to organize the race) as a way of getting around the rules for awarding public contracts.

Gallant's report in May said that evenko was not even interested in being a partner for the event and that it was Coderre who approached the private promoter.

The city is also being sued for more than $50 million, all over the race and its cancelation.

The firm overseeing the bankruptcy of Montreal it's electric (PwC Canada), is asking the city for more than $33 million to pay the non-profit's creditors, while Formula E Operations Ltd. (FEO) is suing Valerie Plante and the city for $21 million in damages as a result of the cancellation of the contract that would have brought the race to Montreal in 2018 and 2019.