Sunday, June 18, 2006

Harold Cleveland buys Junebug's building

Plenty of stuff stirring in the comments section, good work and keep at it.

I want to address one item I read tonight. I was surprised by the bold audacity.

Harold Cleveland bought the building housing Junebugs restaurant in the West End. Junebug used to be on the board of directors of the Cincinnati Empowerment Corporation, in which Howard Cleveland is executive director. Howard Beatty was on the board until he gunned down Kabaka Oba right in front of City Hall. He was appointed by my good friend Dale Mallory.

Anytime you have dealings like this you have ethical questions. As a board member, Junebug could have voted for giving Howard Cleveland a raise. Conversely, Junebug could have urged the board to fire Cleveland. Being on the board has power.

Deals like this just muddy the waters in an already murky situation. Is their payback or quid pro quo? Who knows? Given the track record of those involved, I don't have a lot of faith in the process. Inside dealing was at the heart of the Genesis Redevelopment scandal and the situation today is begging the same types of questions.

You have to give them credit for working the system. Harold Cleveland probably makes 130-140k a year plus expenses, just to give away money. And Junebug is no stranger to the public spigot. He was in deep in both Genesis and the Empowerment Zone. He used his position to get his wife a job there. His brother the hitman was on the board at both Genesits and the Empowerment Zone. He used city funds for the Parktown Café. He is a master at this game.

And where is the Cincinnati Herald on this? Dan Yount, I am calling you out.

Dale Mallory is cutting checks four months after being impeached. The executive director of the Cincinnati Empowerment Corporation is buying the building housing Junebug’s restaurant. And all this has happened after the public spotlight has been on them for months. Are these people really untouchable? They certainly are acting with impunity. You would think they would take some time off and relax, but apparently siphoning your tax dollars if a full time job.

I have to admit that even I am impressed.


Blogger westender1000 said...

Wooo Hoooo
Korte has the lead FRONT PAGE top of fold headline again in today's Enquirer!

Local news

Cincinnati.Com » The Enquirer » Local news » Mallory's bills 'troubling'

Last Updated: 5:20 am | Monday, June 19, 2006

Mallory's bills 'troubling'
Mayor's brother asked to repay some money; he says no
Dale Mallory's bills to a federally funded anti-poverty program "raise some troubling questions" about how the Cincinnati Empowerment Corp. hires and monitors its consultants, including possible conflicts of interest, lawyers for the agency said in a report.

They recommended that Mallory, a Democratic candidate for state representative and the brother of Mayor Mark Mallory, repay taxpayers for time he billed the Empowerment Corp. for work related to the West End Community Council, where he served as its president.

The lawyers' review of Mallory's billing statements was prompted by a story in The Enquirer last week, reporting that Mallory billed the Empowerment Corp. for hours he spent on Citylink, the proposal for a Bank Street social service center.

Mallory's support for the project cost him the presidency of the community council. An anti-Citylink faction ousted him in February.

In their report, attorneys Steven P. Goodin and Gregory J. Berberich said Mallory probably did nothing illegal.

There were four times, however, that Mallory's bills for working on community council business "cannot be justified," the report said.

The lawyers recommended that the corporation ask Mallory to repay fees for 8¾ hours, or about $225.

Mallory, who worked 30 hours a week for $770 for 13 months, said Sunday that he doesn't plan to return the money.

"If the Empowerment Zone signed off on it - and if the city signed off on it, because they were all turned into the city for payment - if they had a problem, they should have dealt with it back then," he said. "They're beating a dead horse. I'm tired of it. I'm moving on to running for state rep and talking about real issues." The report to the Empowerment Corp. board - stamped "confidential" and obtained by The Enquirer - proposed three policy changes to "implement hard-learned management lessons" from the Mallory episode:

Adopting a policy against hiring elected officials - or candidates for elective office - as independent contractors. "The potential for conflicts of interest, or the mere appearance of a conflict of interest, is simply too great," Goodin wrote.

Mallory's contract began in April 2005, and he filed petitions to run for office four months ago. He said he hasn't billed the Empowerment Corp. since May.

Establishing an independent panel to monitor the awarding of contracts. "In a community as small as this one, it is unrealistic to expect that all independent contractors will be complete strangers to the board. Nonetheless, the board cannot appear to be giving its contracts to its friends," the report said.

As president of the West End Community Council, Dale Mallory appointed members to the Empowerment Corp. board.

Allowing the Empowerment Corp.'s chief executive officer to direct independent contractors. "There is some indication that Mr. Mallory reported directly to different board members during his contract period. At times, this lack of a chain of command created real uncertainty as to the precise nature of his efforts on behalf of the CEC," according to the report.

The board member who worked most closely with Mallory - meeting with him at least 84 times, according to an Enquirer review of Mallory's billing statements - was Chairman Len Garrett. He did not return calls seeking comment.

Board Treasurer Lamont Taylor resigned from the board Friday, saying Garrett "kept the board in the dark" about the contract.

"I really feel like Dale did what he was directed to do," Taylor said. "If all these things have taken place at the direction of the chairman, I have no confidence in him."

The Empowerment Corp. is a nonprofit group set up by the city in 2000 to distribute what was intended to be $100 million in federal aid to nine inner-city neighborhoods through the Clinton-era Urban Empowerment Zone program.


6:32 AM  
Anonymous watchdog said...

I wouldn't get too worked up about the legal transfer of property ownership between known associates. There are plenty of legal reasons why this might happen. Stay focused on the real crimes - billing taxpayers for meetings Dale was required to attend as WECC president and cutting checks after being impeached.

What is the status of the investigation into the funds?

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Blanchard said...

This is baffling. Today, Junebug's building isn't listed on the MLS. Could be a mistake, but I know I verified that it was an active listing before I posted yesterday. Irregardless, wasn't it just several weeks ago that the Law Dog's sign were removed and replaced with Remax Signs?

MLS history shows that the property was listed in March of 2005 and expired on October 1st, 2005. Asking price $175K.

None the less, Harold Cleveland is the proud owner as of June 5, 2006.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Taxpayer said...

I am with Watchdog. Those checks are a big deal and Dale can't get around that.

I would expect an update at the next community council meeting, which happens to be tomorrow night. Maybe someone here can give us a preview.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Taxpayer,
The WECC meeting is 7pm Tuesday.
Shirley, Maggie, Killins and KB have all worked with the police/sherrifs on this. The detailed investigation continues. Come on down and ask away! I'm sure they will give you a full report.
The WECC is now open and transparent. No secret Dale BS. Ding dong the witch is dead!

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

meeting @ Linciln Center

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Memo to Truth Squad, fans & researchers: You know N8 will be there with his bullhorn. Direct from his Section 8 dope crib down on Northside's famous Crack Alley.

Not that any of you will need any help because you've got the bases loaded, I just might have to cruise by & watch the action.

Tuesday 6/20, 7PM, Lincoln Center. Gotcha!

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today's editorial below.
A few errors...100,000 sq'not 10,000. Also D4S hasn't done jack for the neighborhood. Fannie must have begged them to throw the boy a bone.

Dale Mallory should mend ethical lapse
Dale Mallory appears to have been playing all three sides of a relationship between the Cincinnati Empowerment Corp., West End Community Council and Citylink - a dance that while apparently legal does not represent the kind of open and transparent conduct we have a right to expect from our civic leaders.

He had a contract with the empowerment corporation, a federally funded anti-poverty agency, which he used to lobby for Citylink, a proposed community social service center, which was opposed by a majority on the West End Community Council, of which he happened to be president. As president of the community council, Mallory argued for Citylink, but his support for the 10,000 square-foot project over the council's opposition led to his impeachment as president in February.

Lawyers for the empowerment corporation have said the bills for about eight hours of work submitted by Mallory "raise troubling questions" about how the agency hires consultants and potential conflicts of interest. The time in question apparently was for work he did with the community council while he was its president. As president of the community council, he also appointed members of the empowerment corporation board - the board that then hired him as a consultant.

The empowerment corporation ended Mallory's contract and asked him to return about $225. He said he won't return the money and said raising such questions are "beating a dead horse."

That's the wrong line for Mallory, now running for a seat in the Ohio Legislature, to take. Mallory may have seen his work in supporting Citylink as part of economic revitalization, but his leadership in the community and as contractor for the empowerment corporation should have remained separate to avoid any conflict of interest.

Mallory, a lifelong West End native and brother of Mayor Mark Mallory, has a lengthy history of community service there, advocating economic empowerment and anti-poverty efforts and mobilizing citizens to fight crime.

A good first step to correct "the appearance of impropriety" related to billing questions would be to acknowledge the discrepancy, repay the fees and move forward with issues that he can frame as the November elections approach.

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Tim Burke,
We told you Dale would continue to haunt you. Since that warning:
1)Business Courier's Monk tells of Dale's theft of WECC funds.
2)Korte's front page EZ story and the "mugshots".
3)Yesterday, another front page story about questionable EZ invoices.
4)Today's editorial slams Dale on Ethics.
Tim, this is only the beginning.
The media has enough dirt on Dale to run a front page story every week for the rest of his sorry assed life.
Do everyone a favor and take him off the ticket.
your friends from,

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Tim Burke,
We told you Dale would continue to haunt you. Since that warning:
1)Business Courier's Monk tells of Dale's theft of WECC funds.
2)Korte's front page EZ story and the "mugshots".
3)Yesterday, another front page story about questionable EZ invoices.
4)Today's editorial slams Dale on Ethics.
Tim, this is only the beginning.
The media has enough dirt on Dale to run a front page story every week for the rest of his sorry assed life.
Do everyone a favor and take him off the ticket.
your friends from,

2:20 PM  

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