Donita Guest ‘absolutely floored’ to get her instrument back

tporter@lsjournal.comJuly 24, 2013 

  • 3 Number of years it took Donita Guest to get her Roland AT-15 Atelier organ back after signing a consignment deal with Piersee Piano and Organ in 2010.

Donita Guest took the high road when discussing her feelings about her dealings with Piersee Piano and Organ owner Jack Piersee.

Piersee, who has been accused and subsequently sued for failing to uphold his end of several consignment deals involving vintage pianos and organs, entered into deal with Guest in 2010. He not only failed to sell Guest’s piano, but abandoned it all together when he was forced to move from the store’s original site at 354 S.W. Blue Parkway.

Guest was reunited with her $5,000 Roland AT-15 Atelier organ July 22 with help from the Missouri Attorney General’s office and Cassidy Turley Real Estate, which manages the property at 354 S.W. Blue Parkway.

“He was supposed to sell it for me,” Guest said of Piersee. “I would call and he would say, ‘oh, we will see about that, we will see about that.’ The he would say, ‘there’s just nobody interested in them right now.’

“Well, that’s one of the more famous organs. It’s not a big one, but it’s a very popular organ. I always thought that was kind of funny, but I trusted him.”

Repeated attempts to contact Piersee for comment were unsuccessful.

According to records on file with the Jackson County Circuit Court, Piersee was evicted from the property at 354 S.W. Blue Parkway in 2011 after failing to pay rent to HSM/WDC Pinetree, LLC, and was ordered to cough up $107,320.96 plus costs and restitution of the premises.

Soon after, Piersee moved the business to 806 S.W. Blue Parkway. According to court records, Southside Plaza, LLC sued Piersee for back rent and other damages, and in May of this year was awarded a judgment of $47,232.50 for back rent and other fees totaling nearly $25,000.

A Lee’s Summit resident, Guest said she was taken aback by the deception exhibited by Piersee, who has been hammered by media reports of his failed business dealings in the last several weeks. In fact, an article in the July 10 issue of the Journal detailing another Lee’s Summit resident’s fight against Piersee is what got the ball rolling for Guest.

“I can’t repeat the words if you are going to put this in the paper,” Guest said of her initial reaction to the original story. “My in-laws are the ones who told me about it, so I called the property manager and faxed him over the information because I have the consignment sheet. He looked at it and said he was sorry because he did not have it. He told me that there were still things in the first building, which is that building at 354 S.W. Blue Parkway. He said you can forget that because the IRS has taken that over and will not let anybody in there or do anything.

“He suggested that I call the Missouri Attorney General, which I did. I got a hold of a very nice lady up there and she said that’s not necessarily true. She took the information and called the property manager (Cassidy Turley) of that building and called me back in maybe a day and said yes, they do have your organ. I was absolutely floored. We made arrangements today (July 22) to go up there and pick it up. I guess I’ll keep it.”

A spokesman for Cassidy Turley said the property management firm wants to reunite rightful owners to their instruments that sit inside the property at 354 S.W. Blue Parkway.

The spokesman added the IRS is not in control of the building and that there are several steps owners must take to get their instruments back. Those steps include providing proof of ownership, signing a ‘hold harmless’ agreement dissolving Cassidy Turley of responsibility for damages to an instrument, and the owner has to pick a moving company and the moving company has to show a certificate of insurance.

A check of Missouri, the state’s online court system, shows three pages of litigation involving Piersee. In most of the 24 cases on file, Piersee is being or has been sued for breach of contract or failure to pay rent, among other financial issues.

Zephyr Properties manages the building at 806 S.W. Blue Parkway. The company has close to a dozen pianos on the property after the company took back possession of the building in June and is trying to get the instruments back into the rightful owner’s hands.

A property manager there advised consumers affected by Piersee’s failed consignment deals to contact them at 816-363-8018 or by email at zephyrproperties@sbcglob

As for the 354 S.W. Blue Parkway location, Guest said there are at least 20 to 40 instruments still waiting to be claimed. Consumers with instruments at the location are advised to contact Denise Vaughn of Cassidy Turley at denise.vaughn@cassidytu

“There are a lot of organs and pianos in there,” Guest said.

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