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FORT WORTH -- Prime Prep Academy has sued the Fort Worth church that kicked the troubled charter school out of one of its buildings last week.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Tarrant County civil court, seeks to keep Charity Church leader Fredrick Mays and his associates from coming onto school property. Click here to see the full filing.
Last week, Fort Worth police were called to the campus at 4400 Panola Avenue after Mays allegedly disrupted classes and evicted students and staff and changed the locks. He claimed the school owed $18,000 per month in rent. The school moved into an adjacent building owned by someone else on the same block.
NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sander and business partner D.L. Wallace founded Prime Prep two years ago. The high school campus is in Dallas; the elementary campus is in Fort Worth.
In its agreement with the State Board of Education - which granted the charter to Wallace to open the school using taxpayer money - Prime Prep stated it would pay no rent to Charity Church for at least three years. The school opened in 2012.
Wallace resigned as head of Prime Prep last fall amid allegations of financial mismanagement and nepotism. Wallace has denied wrongdoing. The Texas Education Agency is investigating, but has taken no action.
According to Tuesday's lawsuit, after Wallace left, the new administration - headed by former Dallas school trustee Ron Price - discovered the school had been paying $18,000 per month in rent to Charity Church.
"Charity Church used an unauthorized and apparently fraudulent second lease to strong-arm the schol into paying over $108,000 in rent that it did not owe," the suit states.
The lawsuit also says that Wallace is a former corporate officer of Charity Church. Wallace did not return a phone message Wednesday.
Mays and Charity Church also could not be reached Wednesday.