Wild was not the city's solicitor at the time of the sale and said she would have to look into it further before she could answer questions about it."I have no interest in discussing it," Atiyeh said when asked about the land deal. In November 2011, as Pawlowski tried to get the city's hockey arena project off the ground, Atiyeh sued to challenge the city's ability to threaten eminent domain on property owners in the arena block.
A few months later, in April 2012, he filed a lawsuit, challenging the constitutionality of the NIZ law, which has since spurred the rebirth of downtown Allentown.
Atiyeh abandoned the project, declaring, "I'm not going to spend two or three years fighting a mayor and a city that has a vendetta against me."But the fighting picked up again in late 2013, over a contract inked by Pawlowski and City Council to allow Premier Media, later called Clinton Street Allentown Media LLC, to build billboards on underused city properties.
Allentown officials said the deal could earn more than $1 million for the city over the life of the contract.
A year before that, Atiyeh was suing the city to stop the fledgling downtown tax district known as the Neighborhood Improvement Zone from moving forward.