Wednesday, November 18, 2009

COAST Issues Taxpayer Demand to Pepper/Portune

over $13.5 million Banks attorney fee insider deal

while Commissioners confront elimination of promised tax rollback

The shameful case of wasted money and insider dealing at the Stadium/Banks project continues unabated.

Two sad chapters in this story are playing out not in the halls of the County Commission and the Ohio Supreme Court. Here’s an update:

· Prosecutor Joe Deters and Hamilton County’s Judges have criticized the contract of Ohio law firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease that has sucked more than $13.5 million from the taxpayers since 2002 for legal work on the Stadium and Banks projects. In October, Hamilton County’s Judges, who under Ohio statute are permitted to authorize such outside legal contracts, revoked the agreement, forcing a showdown between Commissioners Pepper and Portune and the judges. On Friday, the Commissioners filed a bizarre suit, with themselves acting as attorneys, against their own Judges at the Ohio Supreme Court. COAST has sent the Prosecutor a taxpayer demand letter seeking to sue the Commissioners over the continuation of the illegal contract. Under the letter, Deters either must sue the Commissioners himself or allow COAST attorneys to do so on his behalf. Portune and Pepper receive thousands of dollars in campaign contributions through their contacts at the Vorys firm.

· Also, this month, the chickens finally come home to roost on the massive over-spending in the stadium sales tax fund, including the recent massive over-spending on the Banks project. As COAST reported here and here, when the stadium sales tax was passed, a solemn promise made to the taxpayers was that 30% of the revenue from the ½ cent sales tax would be devoted to property tax reduction. Both Pepper and Portune have made explicit campaign promises to retain the rollback, not just as a matter of lower taxes, but as an article of faith with the voters.

Still, when confronted with the option of cutting spending or eliminating the sacrosanct rollback in September, Portune and Pepper opted instead to take on $5.5 million more in debt in the fund for just several months, making elimination of the rollback almost a foregone conclusion.

So, prepare to be screwed again by our liberal democrats on the Commission in the next few weeks.


  1. And yet you don't think it the least bit bizarre that the county prosecutor, charged under state law with representing the Commission before the courts, enters in an action in the court for the county without the knowledge of the very clients he's supposed to represent?

    I suspect the Commissioners will prevail because the ORC cited by both you and Deters clearly does not apply. And it would be very surprising if the state Supreme Court uphelds the actions of the prosecutor and the judges, acting without the knowledge of the county commission.

  2. I'm not going to lose a lot of sleep on rescinding the rollback. You could have put your money where you mouth was and joined Todd Portune in suing over the sweetheart lease given to the Bengals by your Republican pals on the Commission (or better yet have woken up and filed it yourself). That's what has put us behind the eight ball frankly.

  3. Watchdogs of democratic government, but quite frankly asleep when republicans move units out back door.

  4. "You could have put your money where you mouth was and joined Todd Portune in suing over the sweetheart lease..."

    - You mean the suit that Portune lost and lost badly? Yeah, everyone should have hopped on the bandwagon of that piece of crap.

    I suspect that Portune's legal genius will fail him again, and he will lose in court, again. If I was Joe Deters and I saw Todd Portune sitting at the table as my legal adversary in court I'd say a thank you prayer to god right then and there. Portune is a hack and a failure as an attorney.

  5. You're right, we never call out the republicans, we march right along with them. We are schills for the party.

  6. Bim Turke is Jeff Capell.

  7. Anonymous 5:33 is Caleb Faux. I have proof.

  8. Jason Gloyd,
    Maybe you haven't looked at COAST blog entries:
    Thanks Brad Wenstrup! Down with liberal Democrats! Thanks GOP! Specter dissapointing.....
    Where was all the anger 2000-2008? Tea Parties rule! Economy only a problem since Obama, whatever.

  9. Mr. Anonymous,

    Maybe YOU need to look at COAST's blog entries. I did a quick 5 minute search and found about a dozen COAST entries bashing fiscally irresponsible Republicans. The targets ranged from local Republicans, to State Republicans, to National Republicans. They even criticized, take a breath, George Bush!!! (see "Hell no to Bush Billionaire Bailout" below)
    But hey, whatever you do, don't let those FACTS get in the way of your irrational and uninformed hatred of COAST.

  10. I love Democrats. Nancy Pelosi is my dream girl. I cut Tim Burke's grass for him on the weekends, but providing cover for Todd Portune and David Pepper is my full-time job.


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