In Cleveland, public corruption indictments leave Forest City unscathed, but lucrative land deal remains "a head-scratcher"
Today some indictments came down, but the developer--shades of the Ridge Hill case involving subsidiary Forest City Ratner?--seems unscathed.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on the indictment of Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, a man who once declared "I'm not an angel, but I'm no crook... I'm not doing anything different than any other public official does."
The article stated:
In 2000, Dimora ballyhooed the purchase of contaminated Cleveland land that, after a decade and millions of additional tax dollars needed for environmental cleanup, is finally set to house a new Juvenile Justice Center. He said then that the project would create 200 jobs.Indeed, it's a real head-scratcher. It's not even part of the 139-page indictment. Another Plain Dealer article reported that the overall investigation continues.
The deal has always been a head-scratcher. The county's interest in the land was known, but a subsidiary of real estate developer Forest City Enterprises bought it at a county auditor's sale for about $400,000. Then, months later, the county bought the property back for $2.75 million.
On the day the deal was signed, Campbell, according to an audio recording of the meeting, marveled that a project in limbo for years took off after Dimora became a commissioner.
"It's being Italian," Dimora replied then. "You make people an offer they can't refuse."
Federal agents sought documents related to the project when they raided his office in 2008.
One reader commented:
Any of those found guilty should be prosecuted and punished. It looks like Forest City made out better than anyone in this crisis, why aren't they charged. Surely a piece of property going from $400,000 to $2.3 million so quickly isn't just good business!!!!!!!!!!!! You can't convince me that legal campaign contributions cna allow something so blatant!