Dane County judge said Monday that the law is on the side of animal-rights activists who want to buy buildings next to the UW-Madison's primate labs and open a museum highlighting the cruelty they say happens at the labs.Charly argued -- unsuccessfully -- that it was not a contract because there was no consideration.
Budget Bicycle owner Roger Charly, who owns the property, cannot back out of an agreement he made to sell it to Dr. Richard McLellan, a retired California physician who is bankrolling the $675,000 purchase for the National Primate Research Center Exhibition Hall, Dane County Circuit Judge Sarah O'Brien ruled.
The buildings are directly between the Harlow Primate Psychology Laboratory and the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, a location coveted by animal-rights activists for its proximity to the labs.
In July 2005, Charly tried to back out of an agreement he made with McLellan and animal- rights activist Rick Bogle about eight months earlier and instead sell the property to UW-Madison for $1 million. Charly previously turned down offers from UW-Madison as inadequate.
...O'Brien pointed out, the university has condemnation powers and could seek to take the property for the public good. Bogle said he is worried about that possibility.Don't you think it would violate Bogle's free speech rights to use eminent domain to take the property now? (There's no sign that the university plans to do this, it should be noted.)
"If they do that now, it will be clear that they are trying to stifle debate," Bogle said.
But primate center director Joe Kemnitz said he is concerned about the effect the museum would have on his staff.
"If, in fact, they were able to do what they plan to do, to open the museum to attract other activists, that could be disruptive to our operation," Kemnitz said. "It would have a negative impact on the well-being of our staff."