Monday, June 26, 2006

The Meltdown Continues At The Cincinnati Empowerment Corporation


Critic says nonprofit in disarray
Second trustee to quit Empowerment Corp.

Cincinnati Business Courier - June 23, 2006
by Dan Monk, Senior Staff Reporter

Click the link above to find Dan Monk's latest article in the Courier.

A second member of the board has left the Empowerment Corporation.

"Stephanie Smith, a program officer for the Fifth Third Foundation, tendered her resignation June 20 in response to a real estate transaction involving Empowerment Corp. board member George Beatty and the agency's CEO, Harold Cleveland. Word of Smith's resignation came from Lamont Taylor, a executive who resigned June 13 in response to another Empowerment Corp. situation involving Dale Mallory, the brother of Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory."



On the 18th of June, this blog broke a story about a real estate transaction between Empowerment Corp CEO Harold Cleveland and Empowerment Corp board member George "Junebug" Beatty.

The shady transaction was the last straw for Stephanie Smith, who promptly resigned after finding out about it. "Smith declined comment, saying the agency's board will meet soon to address Cleveland's recent purchase of a building where Beatty is now a tenant."

"Taylor said these deals are symptomatic of an agency in disarray. "It's to the point where the board has to do the work of the CEO," said Taylor. "There's no direction. There's a pot full of money sitting over there. But the administration has let the West End control that organization for all these
years."

A pot of money indeed. And I would like to find out everyone who has been dipping their hands into it.

One disappointment I had was that the reporter never mentioned Genesis Redevelopment. Several key players have ties to Genesis, and it appears that history is repeating itself.

The article also talks about Empowerment Zone loans that are in arrears. One such loan from the E-fund program went to Theo Holmes. George "Junebug" Beatty was in charge of the E-Fund program. He approved a loan to someone that purchased his building where Junebugs Barbeque is located. This is the same property that Harold Cleveland closed on this month. Much like Mallory's contract, the details of these inside deals are withheld from other board members.

"It's a very uncomfortable situation," said Taylor. "The entire board does not know about these transactions that happen in the administration on a day-to-day basis."

Taylor said that was the case with Dale Mallory's consulting contract, in which the former West End Community Council president was paid $770 a week to forge ties between the Empowerment Corp. and communitycouncils in other neighborhoods.

"Dale never reported to me. He reported to Len Garrett," said Taylor, who pushed for an inquiry into the Mallory contract and in early June called for chairman Garrett's resignation. When Garrett refused to step down at an emergency board meeting June 13, Taylor resigned in protest.

The article doesn't stop there. The Empowerment Corporation also paid a campaign consultant for both Dale and Mark Mallory, Dan Phenicie. The Mallory Center for Community Development is also a recipient of EZ funds. You have to wonder just how many hands can fit in the cookie jar.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

People are running away from this. They want to get away as fast as they can. I don't blame Steph. Sounds like the West End Boyz have been running the show for years.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KUDOS Mr. Monk!
You are a true hero to shine your light on the EZ and all the Mallory Mafia pigs at the trough.
Of course we all know that Monk, Korte, Hirsh and a few city council members are on the hunt.
There is enough already out to have these headlines for months.
Tim Burke and the Mallorys have NO SHAME!
They don't have the grace to blush when they are caught red-handed.
And we wonder wht taxpaying middle class people leave Cincinnati? We wonder why low life scum sucking mouth breathing bottom feeders stay at the EZ/Mallory controlled trough?
D4S, turn the lights out when you are the last to leave this city.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monk's story confirms the Truth Squad is leading the way.
N8......mighty silent.
Dean....you gave a few props last week. Need a few more for the monk article.
Truth Squad gave you a bone on Thadius.....do some digging, he's on the chopping blck soon.
Thruth Squad is homing in on the Mallory's.
Memo to Junebug..... lead (Pb)poisoning is DANGEROUS.
Time for you to give a 45MM dose of Pb to D4S for his screwing up your EZ retirement.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The C.E.C. is breaking apart at the seems.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wouldn't that be seams?

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:30
SEEMS that you have too much time on your hands.
Were you a spelling major?

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's get back on topic.
Korte's back. What's his next front page story?
More EZ?
Voter fraud?
Criminal theft of WECC funds?
CityLink /EZ buying Thadius zoning vote?
Cleveland's many sins?
Phenicie/Norris EZ bill?
Tick tick tick tick
Tim Burke, tired yet?

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Screw this crap.
I'm moving to Mason.
Mark Stecher's place will be up for sale soon. Someone saw him attaching his garden hose to his car's exhaust pipe.
God told me his place will go cheap, maybe 600 large.
One less Cincinnati taxpayer.
Bye bye D4S!
Turn out the lights in 2010.

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Jimmy Carter said...

Dan Monk did a great job. Interesting that Taylor demanded Garrett's resignation and then stepped down when Garrett refused.

I think as this thing continues to break more and more people are cooperating with the media. Lots of CYA going on right now. I wouldn't want to go down with that ship either.

Garrett, Mallory and Cleveland aren't talking much through all of this. Hell, Cleveland is "speaking through his Empowerment Zone attorneys", which means tax paying Americans are probably paying $500 bucks everytime someone tries to get an answer out of him.

They are in big trouble. Burn baby burn.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is not an Easy task to give away wisely and effectivly"
An expert on tonight's news re:Buffet's multi Billion $ gift to the Gates foundation.
I thought about the high values and lofty goals of Gates and Buffet.
Then I think of Cleveland and Junebug and Dale thinking about all the clever ways they can steal EZ money. Why is Cincinnati circling the drain??? Look to the crooks at Ez and the old Genesis.
Turn out the lights Dale, you'll be the last one here.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Korte's back.
EZ story in Tuesday's paper????
I know I'll be looking.
tick tick tick
Tim you look too.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Carstairs said...

"Smith declined comment, saying the agency's board will meet soon to address Cleveland's recent purchase of a building where Beatty is now a tenant."

Truth Squad, West Enders, we need to find out exactly when this Board Meeting is going to take place & where. The contingent needs to be there front & center, with all supporters from other areas in the City. It'll be showdown time. I'm very interested in how this Junebug's choke & puke diner did the flippity-flop & landed in Cleveland's lap, er, portfolio.

"You have to wonder just how many hands can fit in the cookie jar."

Hands in the jar? Hell, there's whole bodies in that thing. It's as big as Coney's pool & they've all jumped in.

Again, the Truth Squad is the source for honest, breaking news & another round of applause for Monk. It's nice to see someone in this 'burg has the conjones to put the facts out there. Hopefully, he'll get to the Genesis link before it all busts loose. Great job again, everyone!!!

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Whistleblower archives.
Are they out of business?

Why Is This Man Smiling?

This week, everybody who was not surprised to see that Mark Mallory's Milk Chocolate Dough Baby was the Cincinnati Girly Man Mayor's choice for new city mangler, e-mailed an entry to the Whistleblower Limerick Contest.

The winner is Acting City Mangler David Rager, who says, "I sure hope they hire somebody soon, this place is driving me nuts!"

Dave wins an "I Didn't Want the Damn Job Anyway" T-Shirt, a big welcome home party from the folks at the Cincinnati Water Works when he finally returns, and a promise that he'll once again be acting city mangler after Milton Dohoney cashes his humongous severance check. His winning limerick is:

When Mark Mallory hires a new guy

Everyone else will wonder just why;

Whatever his lack,

At least he is black,

And the city can just go awry.

When Mark Mallory hires a new guy

And Council demands to know why.

It wouldn't help him a lot,

But he COULD say, "I forgot!"

And it wouldn't be a little "white lie."

(Dave was gonna say "just a little black lie," but he says that might be too edgy, even for the Blower!)

The first line of next week's limerick is:

"When a Masturbator becomes a new judge."

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody defends Mallory on the blogs. You would think he would at least have an occasional supporter. He has the family name, but after that you won't find any true supporters.

3:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The heavily endorsed Burke candidate has Tuesday coverage.
How can Timmie be head of the Board of Elections, Chairman of the Democratic Party, CityLink attorney to an Empowerment Zone siphoner and not refuse or recuse himself in matters of so many conflicts? The Ohio Democratic Party shows it keeps its own culture of corruption talking out of both sides of its mouth. Clean your house first.
Someone know anyone in the local party with a clue to how this continues to happen? Anyone there that can help?
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060627/NEWS01/606270357/1056

5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Korte's story on Cleveland's purchase of Junebug's building.

Agency director's purchase questioned
Empowerment member quits
BY GREGORY KORTE | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The executive director of the Cincinnati Empowerment Corp. has obtained ownership of a West End building where an Empowerment board member is a tenant, raising more questions about conflicts of interest at the federally funded development agency.

Property records show that Harold L. Cleveland took ownership of the building at 1800 Linn St. on May 26, after a previous owner of the property fell behind in payments on a $158,000 Empowerment Corp. loan. The sale price was $137,000 - more than twice the Hamilton County auditor's appraisal.

The three-story building is home to Junebug's, a barbeque restaurant owned by Empowerment Corp. board member George L. Beatty III.


Cleveland got ownership of the building through an anonymous buyer in a transaction brokered by attorney George L. Xanders. That same day, Cleveland applied for a 2.5 percent tax break for owner-occupants.

The previous owner was OFRP Ltd., a partnership controlled by Theotis J. Holmes. Holmes is also the partner of record in C and H Renaissance LLC, which received the Empowerment Corp. loan.

None of the principals in the sale returned phone calls seeking comment. But the transaction apparently prompted the resignation of a second Empowerment Corp. board member, and an attorney for the agency said he was "alarmed" by the sale.

Steven P. Goodin, the Empowerment Corp. lawyer charged with recovering potentially millions in overdue loans the agency gave to small, inner-city businesses, confirmed the Empowerment Corp. is trying to collect overdue loan payments from C and H Renaissance. All told, the agency loaned more than $2.4 million to small businesses. About 84 percent of that portfolio is behind in payments, he said.

"It's a classic Cincinnati political boondoggle, and it's going to end up in classic Cincinnati political finger pointing," said Goodin. He's the author of a strongly worded June 14 report to the Empowerment Corp. this month that found "troubling aspects" to the agency's $40,000-a-year contract with Dale Mallory - a candidate for state representative, former president of the West End Community Council and brother of Mayor Mark Mallory.

Board member Stephanie A. Smith, an assistant vice president at Fifth Third Bank, resigned after learning of the sale.

"While I felt that we were making positive strides to address our internal controls, this additional issue has caused me to re-examine my position on our ability to operate and function as a healthy and fiscally responsible organization," she wrote in an e-mail to Harold Cleveland.

Her resignation follows that of Lamont Taylor, the former board treasurer who left June 15.

Beatty is the brother of Howard Beatty, another Empowerment Corp. board member who is awaiting trial on aggravated murder charges in the shooting death of activist Kabaka Oba outside City Hall in April.

E-mail gkorte@enquirer.com

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Korte continues to peel back the layers of this stinky onion.
Mallory Mafia is always part of this stinky mess.
tick tick tick.
Tim Burke, we told you!

6:21 AM  

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