Colorado Springs mayor denies allegations he failed to repay debt, places blame on former business partner

Jess Hazel/KRCC News
Colorado Springs Mayor Yemi Mobolade speaks about his plans for the city after being sworn into office on Tuesday, June 6, 2023.

Colorado Springs Mayor Yemi Mobolade denies allegations that his two coffee shops failed to repay debts owed to a food distributor.

Two lawsuits from Shamrock Foods Company state Mobolade’s Wild Goose Meeting House and Good Neighbors Meeting House failed to repay bills amounting to nearly $29,000 and nearly $68,000, respectively, in 2018.

Shamrock, which operates in 13 western states, is asking for full repayment of the amounts plus interest and attorney’s fees.

Mobolade, through court responses from his attorney, Lyndsay Ressler, denied wrongdoing in the claims. He instead placed blame on his former business partner, Russ Ware, with whom Mobolade is a co-defendant in the case. 

“Ware engaged in a pattern of fraud and deceit, stealing funds from the business,” reads a crossclaim from Mobolade’s lawyer. Another business where Ware was a part-owner, the Latin-fusion restaurant and music venue Epiphany, closed in 2022 following allegations Ware had “misused” funds. 

Mobolade faced questions about his connections to Ware during his campaign for mayor. 

“When I confronted my business partner and reported to law enforcement officers and handled that, I was protecting our residents from this person that not only hurt me but hurt all these other people,” Mobolade told KRCC during an interview in 2023. He also said he’d split ties with Ware. 

Mobolade left his involvement in the two cafes after his election last year, as required by the city charter. The two businesses are currently being run by the mayor’s wife, Abbey Mobolade.

The mayor’s office declined to comment on the lawsuits. Neither the Mobolade family nor Ware immediately returned requests for comment.