Sarasota, Florida -- The owner of Sanborn Studios calls uses the term "outrageous" to describe Sarasota County's charges his company did not create jobs required under an agreement.
"We created over 200 jobs told the county we did even though we didn't have to do anything according to the paperwork we did what we said we were going to do," said Ken Sanborn, speaking out for the first time in three years.
He said the county's actions are "outrageous."
Sanborn Studios says it is suing the county for ethics violations and to recover millions of dollars lost due to the county's attack on its reputation.
Sarasota gave Sanborn $650,000 to set up shop in 2010 and promised to create 117 jobs in three years, paying an average of $72,000.
The county's suit says the studio owes the county $2,992 for each job it says Sanborn's did not create.
"They have done everything in their power to undermine a business instead of what a county should be doing which is helping facilitate new business and help new businesses grow," Sanborn said.
The countersuit filed at the end of business day Monday sues Sarasota County for breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, slander of title, disparagement of property, trade libel and injurious falsehoods, tortious interference with contractual relations and intentional interference with an advantageous business relationship. Other charges include the county violating its own ethic rules and state ethic codes.
READ: Sanborn's countersuit
"They have ruined my reputation and they have created a tremendous amount of aggravation," Sanborn said.
Due to the pending lawsuit county commissioners are limited in their response.
But Sarasota County Commissioner Carolyn Mason says she is surprised Sanborn filed a countersuit. She stands behind the agreement the county made with Sanborn Studios in 2010. "In agreement is an agreement. We'll see," says Mason.
Sanborn says the incentive grant the county gave Sanborn Studios did not require the studio to provide proof it created those jobs.
Since 2010, Sarasota County has revised its incentive grant contracts. The county now requires businesses to create the jobs first before receiving any grant money.
Here is some background in this case: