A dispute between Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and an interior designer he hired to outfit a condo at the new Four Seasons Hotel has intensified, with the contractor claiming that Loomis and his wife, Melanie, pressed a bogus felony charge against him.
The couple sued designer Shaun Smith and his company in December, alleging he failed last year to “perform interior design services and produce furniture for their home” in the posh hotel at the foot of Canal Street.
Loomis, Drew Brees and former Saints head coach Sean Payton all reportedly landed condos in the $530 million conversion of the former World Trade Center building. The luxury riverfront hotel, with private homes above the 18th floor, opened in summer 2021.
According to the couple’s lawsuit, Smith failed to complete the agreed-upon work on their unit overlooking Canal Street by February 2022. The couple wants him to cough up $73,000, plus legal fees, court costs and repairs.
But in a counterclaim filed on Wednesday, Smith alleges the Loomises carried out a threat to pursue a criminal complaint with Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto if he didn’t return about $140,000 that the couple had paid him up until his firing last summer.
Smith, 39, surrendered on Nov. 30 on a warrant alleging theft of $25,000 or more. He was jailed for 15 hours, the legal filing states.
Smith argues that the Loomises still owe him, rather than the reverse, to the tune of more than $50,000. He cited work including building out closets, painting, and purchasing art, rugs and custom-built furniture for the couple. He acknowledged missing the Mardi Gras deadline, blaming supply chain and labor troubles for delays that ran months after that.
In a Nov. 14 demand letter, the couple's attorney, Daniel Becnel, wrote that they'd been patient with Smith but “it is clear now that you had no intention of completing the work on their condominium and have stolen their money.”