published Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Chattanooga Council hears about Champion’s Club contract


by Cliff Hightower
Champion's club, a city-owned tennis club off Lupton Drive, is suspected of conducting private business after a city audit uncovered the violations.
Champion's club, a city-owned tennis club off Lupton Drive, is suspected of conducting private business after a city audit uncovered the violations.
Photo by Ashlee Culverhouse.

Chattanooga’s recreation director said today the city is trying to work out a contract in which a professional tennis professional at the Champion’s Club could still receive extra compensation.

“He will be a city employee,” said Greta Hayes.

The Champion’s Club, located in the Lupton City neighborhood, came under fire from a city audit recently that showed the club’s manager — Orlando Lourenco — was using city employees on the property while he ran a private business.

Lourenco gives private tennis lessons and operates private tournaments at the club and has pocketed the money. Parks and Recreation officials said he could because of a contract set up 11 years ago, but the audit found the contract ran out in 2003.

Parks and Recreation officials are now scrambling to find a way to keep Lourenco and compensate him as well.

The council was briefed on the situation today during the Parks and Recreation Committee meeting.

For more information, read tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

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