Submitted by Roldo on Wed, 09/02/2009 - 12:43.

Cuyahoga County taxpayers now have “contributed” some $68 million for the proposed Medical Mart project. I guess all the great needs of this area have been superseded by special interests again.


Let’s not talk about the Great Recession or people’s needs. Let’s just satisfy Tim Hagan, Jimmy Dimora and Peter Lawson Jones and their desire for a building project – The Tim Hagan Convention Center and Medical Mart. Or should I say the desire of special interests that the three represent.


The $67,975,153.04 was collected by a quarter-percent increase in the sales tax. It was voted without public input. It took effect in January 2008 and runs for 40 years! This tough economic year for Cuyahoga County accounted for $25.8 million in revenue as of the first eight months of 2009.


The Plain Dealer recently in a peculiar sentence told of some expenditures from this $68 million:


“So far, the County has paid the company (MMPI) $1,333,000 to meet with potential contractors, though the company is not required to provide detailed invoices,” the sentence read.

That’s convenient. You mean you send someone one-and-a-third million dollars but don’t require proof of how the money is used?


In a county afloat with FBI agents that seems a rather peculiar way of doing business.


It’s especially strange when later in the same article Jeff Applebaum, hired to write a “new” contract between Cuyahoga County and MMPI of Chicago, declares, “I want to make sure that every dollar the county expends is put to optimal use. You have to see where the dollars are going.” (Applebaum was hired despite the fact that the County paid Fred Nance of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey $750,000 to essentially do the same thing, I thought - broker a deal with MMPI. I guess they just wanted to keep Nance occupied.)


I agree with Applebaum on transparency but he didn’t return a telephone call to find out how the two – no invoices from MMPI and knowing where dollars are spent – squares with him and County officials.


Taking MMPI at their word alone doesn’t strike me as transparent or wise.


Could some of that money have gone to Hagan’s buddy, Chris Kennedy of MMPI? The Kennedy family friend got the contract without a bid. Could other MMPI executives be paid from this account instead of their regular business?


I’ve seen it happen before.


 When the City of Cleveland gave a $7-million repayable (after 20 years) grant to a Forest City offshoot for a renovation of the Halle building, salaries of Forest City executives showed up on receipts for the Halle project.


For example, one executive had 30 percent of his salary of $230,000 charged off against the city money. Another executive paid $340,000 a year would have part of his salary for each of five years charged off against the Halle account at a percentage from five to 10 percent a year. (No wonder the project had a $10 million overrun, which meant that the city’s supposed share of profits equaled zero and never went above that figure.)


Isn’t it time for total transparency for this project as it starts to rev up? Isn’t it time that the Plain Dealer as the paper of record here insist on seeing the records? And not wait 10 years for the next FBI probe?


Let’s get this one right and not have another Gateway.






( categories: )

Archiving PD comments-Medical Mart

Panic: No you are wrong. The city of Cleveland is involved in every aspect of MedMart. The county is also involved (taxation via DiMora's sales tax increase) as well as the Port Authority for financing by the sale of public bonds. Cleveland via council's push to provide City owned land and special tax abatements were integral in getting this project pushed through. Read the stories in the paper's archives and most article point to the MedMart's point person which is Jeff Applebaum. He works for the City as an outside legal consultant, he works for a local law firm. I think all of these people including MMPI owe us an explanation!
How's the leasing going at MedMart? Five hundred million for an empty building. Med Mart makes the management team at Solyndra look like they knew how to run a business. What the heck its not their money.

Posted on Sabra Pierce Scott joins the dishonor roll: editorial on October 04, 2011, 8:19AM

Tutorial for those interested.
This is important: Doan Pyramid Electric was sold to a group of employees (no details availablejust stated in articles) from Forlani and his other partners who have stayed out of the limelight. The new company is owned / managed by Mike Forlani's right hand man Mike Joyce. There are other "owners" of the new company and all of them are loyal and long time employees of Mike Forlani. The word is several of the "new owners" are tied to this investigation.
1) How did the owners buy this very large business?
2) Did Doan Pyramid then Zenith do the electrical work at the Louis Stokes project.
3) Seeing that the City about a year ago awarded to Zenith via MMPI and Turner the 40 plus million dollar design build project at MedMart that was steam rolled through before DiMora left don't you think we should look at that job too?
4) If I sound crazy, then have the lawyer Mr. Applebaum counsel to the City of Cleveland on the MedMart project why he requested affidavits from the "owners" of Zenith about having no relations with Mr. Forlani then if this is proved false what do we do?
5) This company and its owner has been mentioned in court documents and articles being connected to the scandal at CMHA, Siemens, Metro, Port Authority, DiMora, Neiheiser and other places BUT with all this known the council pushed the approval for the stokes project. The same logic went at Med Mart.

I am convinced THEY all knew what was going on, they all knew who was doing it and now they all are waiting (and hiding) for the ax to drop. I hope all the guilty pay.

Posted on Sabra Pierce Scott joins the dishonor roll: editorial on October 03, 2011, 10:40PM

Great comments today..its a shame the story was quickly moved to the nether regions online. It should be part of county in crisis but so should have Med Mart contractors choices and the sewer district crimes.
Unless you follow this daily the contractor named in this story is just another name but do your own research and see that he is tied to almost every person indicted, linked or is convicted. The evidence is in dozens of articles and 100's of posts. I hope that the gloves come off if he and his gang at Zenith are indicted. A full accounting of the affidavits that convince Applebaum the lawyer for Cleveland to push their contract through per Turner Constructions nod. It's a true shame that a great deal of the facts and signs have been in available to this paper. I do not think it is because of an oversight that the sugar coated stories are still being printed, it is out being too friendly with the corrupters and too afraid of their lawyers.

PD Port Authority ties to Veterans Affairs 120 million of tax dollars (Thanks, Jimmy) Article: http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2011/08/federal_prosecutors_subpoena_d.h...
The forty MILLION dollar contract to Zenith (formerly known as Doan Pyramid) for Med Mart article in the PD:
If the affidavits signed and relied on are proven to be lies? What are we going to do folks?
Who's head will roll when the news comes out possibly that the new "owners" of Zenith are being indicted with their boss BE10.
I hope the cash or the bond is in place because if after all this scheming the whole thing will crumble down.

or will Cleveland just turn their heads as they have done a thousand times before and allow this to continue. A shrug of the shoulders and a surprised look from them at the podium "If we only knew this was going on". This time we can yell back at them at said YOU did know what was going on and it YOUR fault for hiring a company knee deep in a FBI RICO investigation. It makes me sick to write all of this because according to these stories the county, port and city officials "possibly" pushed 160 million in work to a group of individuals AFTER they were raided.
Insanity that is a simple way of explaining all of their logic and actions.