Johnson Stacks Deck
For SSPF… for Love
FOR YEARS, there have been efforts by hard-working and seriously-dedicated city officers to document the myriad hazards at 66 Franklin Street. Over the last DECADE the City’s files are filled with Code Violations, negative Engineering Inspections, warnings from Fire Officials, and urgent Complaints from Public Safety experts.
There were SO MANY SAFETY CONCERNS that a DEMOLITION HEARING was requested...BY THE CITY... and the Hearing was held on SEPTEMBER 3, 2010 before Judge James DOERN.
On that day, Judge Doern ISSUED a SIGNED DEMOLITION ORDER and presented it to THE CITY... as per the CITY's request. VICTORY for THE CITY!!!!!
As expected, SSPF challenged the Demolition Order with an Appeal. So a Hearing was held before Judge JEFF WAIT on OCTOBER 6, 2010. Now, just like you see on TV, THE CITY was certain to DEFEND their HARD-WON DEMOLITION ORDER by bringing in a bevy of important WITNESSES-- Code Enforcement & Building Inspectors & Engineers & Fire Officials & Public Safety Spokesman and City Attorneys...right?
And like the Charter Change fight, the Mayor would surely not hesitate to hire OUTSIDE legal expertise to DEFEND the Demolition Decision that was celebrated by TWO offices—The MAYOR’s Building Inpectors AND the PUBLIC SAFETY officers. If ever there was a time for a VIGOROUS defense of a city VICTORY, THIS was the CASE…right?
Well guess what--
On the Hearing date, only ONE person showed up from the City.... and that was Assistant City Attorney Tony Izzo. All alone.
JUDGE WAIT was so stunned by the one-man turnout that he remarked on the transcript that he thought the CITY’s move was
“a little odd.”
The REASON that no City Official showed up is that they had all received orders from HIZZONER to NOT SHOW UP. They were all TOLD to sit in their offices and offer no testimony, to make ZERO EFFORT to defend the City's valid DEMOLITION ORDER.
This made for many happy SSPF blue-bloods who vociferously support the Mighty Mayor. And it made for a VERY happy SSPF attorney who faced no certified experts. The Owner has been forced to spend THOUSANDS in the two-year fight to RESTORE the original VICTORY for the Safety-Oriented city.
That victory came on March 12, 2013 when Supreme Court Justice Thomas Nolan ruled "Here, the administrative record compiled was extensive, if not massive, and contained substantial evidence and provided reasonable basis for the conclusion that 66 Franklin Street's structural failure and overall deterioration posed a danger to public health, safety, and welfare."
So did the Mayor choose to leave City Residents at risk from an unsafe structure that would be gone if not for the Mayor's interventions? So was the Mayor/Lawyer… who spends freely to contest every legal LOSS… was he actually WALKING AWAY from a legal VICTORY???
Here's a link to help navigate the file of the Legal Process--
COULD the mayor have intervened inappropriately by insisting that no city officials testify against the interests of the SSPF? And might he have received funds from SSPF members for crippling the City’s legal argument? Or does mayor Scott simply “like” the SSPF?
COULD the mayor have denied the advantage of outside legal assistance to the City to allow the SSPF to face the weakest city defense? And might he have received funds from SSPF members for his crippling the City’s legal argument? Or does mayor Scott simply “like” the SSPF?
COULD the mayor have arrogantly abandoned the city’s hard-won Demolition Order and left the city’s fight to a private individual? And might he have received funds from SSPF members for his crippling the City’s legal argument? Or does mayor Scott simply “like” the SSPF?
COULD the mayor have appointed the SSPF Director to his 13-member Planning Commission as a Thank You in political payback? And might he have received funds from SSPF members for giving them a seat at a very important table? Or does mayor Scott simply “like” the SSPF?
While I CAN track donations to the mayor’s campaigns, I can NOT match the individuals against the membership of the SSPF… because the SSPF has refused to provide a list of their members.
SO considering the Court proceedings of October 6, 2010... is anyone still so certain the mayor has allowed the SSPF to beat the city in Court without “sacrificing his honor, integrity and soul?” And in those same Court proceedings, do you believe the mayor’s actions showed “nothing nefarious” as victory was hand-delivered to the SSPF? And do you still look at the mayor’s “do-not-testify” instructions and “see no Mayoral involvement at all”?
I am most thankful for all the sources in City Hall who spoke openly and angrily as they were forced by the mayor’s edicts to abandon the work they do with such dedication and commitment. I share their sincere disgust and I will protect their wishes to remain anonymous.