July 18, 2014
Steve Hall introduced the first piece of evidence to show an example of a decade of abuse heaped upon the plaintiff by the TEAM GOLIATH conspirators. He goes back eleven years using three emails written by Georgia State University Professor of American History, Chuck Steffen, Central Atlanta Progress’s Senior Project Director, Richard Orr and Central Atlanta Progress’s President, A. J. Robinson. In October of 2003 Professor Steffen put together a panel discussion to be held the evening of November 12. His email invites Central Atlanta Progress (CAP) to participate in “a panel discussion of homelessness, poverty, public space, and the ‘Let’s Do Downtown’ Initiative.’” (Mayor Shirley Franklin’s project.)
Steffen lists for Richard Orr the invitees thus far: Colin Campbell of the AJC, Rev. Timothy McDonald of Concerned Black Clergy, Senator Vincent Fort and Anita Beaty of the Atlanta Task Force. Steffen writes, “This would be a diverse panel to say the least. But it would bring together many of the leading voices in the issue of homelessness, and it would create a real dialogue at a critical moment when we most need it.” The Professor ended his email to Orr with the cordial close, “Speaking in behalf of the History Department and the larger GSU community, I do hope that CAP will accept our invitation to participate in the panel discussion.” Richard Orr never responded to Chuck Steffen; however, he forwarded the email to A. J. Robinson and to two CAP lieutenants, Paul Kelman and David Wardell. In this Orr email he wrote only, “Oh boy, here’s a hot one below.”
The next morning A. J. Robinson wrote the following e-mail to Richard Orr: “If we were to do something like this, there need to be ground rules otherwise it will just give these nuts a forum in front of the media and we lose…. Not sure we are the ones to discuss to discuss homelessness rather Sibley or Hardin or even someone from the Mayor’s office.”
Note: Always, CAP leadership chills to the bone at the thought of an open forum. Robinson operates, as he has written, “under a cloak of darkness.” An open forum suggests honest exchange. An open forum suggests the right for all sides to have a voice. An open forum suggests everyone can be heard. An open forum suggests a desire for justice. A. J. Robinson’s “these nuts” statement was written in 2003, over a decade ago. Scholars such as Larry Keating and Charles Rutheiser have shown Central Atlanta Progress to be exclusionists. And anyone who dares to oppose their Draconian policies is put into the “these nuts” category. A. J. Robinson said it best way back in 2003, “…there need to be ground rules otherwise it will just give these nuts a forum in front of the media and we lose.” This fear of being exposed by the truth was written a decade before CAP became defendants in a court of law, accused of tortious interference, racketeering and taking by fraud. In 2003 A. J Robinson avoided facing a panel discussion. Now, in 2014 he avoids at all peril facing a jury panel. Is it any wonder that Central Atlanta Progress and their fellow conspirators for four years have escaped going to trial? It’s no wonder at all; it’s the way the club works. But through it all, through it all the words ring out, “Give these nuts a forum in front of the media we lose.” Can’t unring that bell, “WE LOSE, WE LOSE, WE LOSE.”
If A. J. Robinson is anything, he’s a protector of his lair. My essay, “Justice for CAP” shows that CAP is a champion of and for justice. This great downtown giant stands for justice, every time. That is every time that those mean old NUTS gang up against CAP. Read my, “Central Atlanta Demands Justice–FOR Central Atlanta Progress” posted December 26, 2009.
James Wilson Beaty
July 17, 2014
July 14, 2014
Whatever happens in the months, perhaps years, that lie ahead, what happened on Friday, July 11, 2014, in Courtroom 5-E of the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia, will remain a RED LETTER day. Baker Donelson Attorneys Steve Hall and Bob Brazier have sought an opportunity to present evidence showing a long-time conspiracy to rid Atlanta of an emergency shelter for homeless people located in downtown Atlanta. It is the largest in the Southeast. A second goal of the conspirators has been to take the property, a 94,000 square foot building located on Peachtree Street. For the first time in four years, Steve Hall was able to present evidence. He filed with the Court a Brief consisting of 28 exhibits that contain a myriad of facts exposing the conspiracy.
Key players operating “under the cover of darkness” range from as low as The City of Atlanta to as high as Emory University and its mammoth health care industry. Between the low and the high swarm the likes of Emanuel Fialkow’s Premium Funding Solutions, Inc., Central Atlanta Progress (CAP) and Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, Inc (ADID). These are the defendants accused of wrongfully and fraudulently taking the property owned by the shelter. Other charges include tortious interference and racketeering. The City of Atlanta enjoys “Sovereign Immunity” granted by a federal judge and cannot be sued for its part, although huge, in the decade-long conspiracy. See “Sovereign Immunity Protects The City Of Atlanta – – MOMENTARILY” posted October 20, 2011.
Incidentally, lawyers for ADID claim that that misbegotten creation deserves, like Atlanta, the protection of Sovereign Immunity. ADID’s money went to Atlanta United Way to pay Homeless Czar Debi Starnes for a year. The Special Master’s Report suggests that a jury should check to see if the Czar’s pay was bribery.
Two huge facts make this day special. First, as mentioned above, Steve Hall presented evidence of the conspiracy and named the conspirators. Since no evidence has been admitted for four years, perhaps the Court heard it. It was filed and read aloud in court. The second fact making Friday’s hearing special is the presence of cameras recorded the proceedings. WSB’s Richard Belser, having read Mathew Cardinale’s summary of the Special Master’s Report on the Summary Judgment, decided to investigation this law suit. Other media recording the hearing were WRFG and Cardinale’s ATLANTA PROGRESSIVE NEWS. Emory’s lawsuit has been filed in the Superior Court of Dekalb County. It should be noted that Emory’s part in the conspiracy is mammoth, and Emory weaves in and out of the evidence that points to long-time racketeering, planned fraud and tortious interference.
Hall’s Brief presented to the Court reads as follows:
IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF FULTON COUNTY
STATE OF GEORGIA
ICHTHUS COMMUNITY TRUST
METRO ATLANTA TASK FORCE FOR THE HOMELESS
METRO ATLANTA TASK FORCE FOR THE HOMELESS
FIALKOW, BCIC, CAP, ADID & PFS
HEARING, JULY 11, 2014
PLAINTIFF METRO ATLANTA TASK FORCE’S EXHIBITS
Tab 1 Robinson email to Richard Orr 10/3/03
Tab 2 Wardell, Robinson email 7/15/05
Tab 3 Robinson email to Sam Williams 7/20/05
Tab 4 Hassan email tp Sibley & Biswas 10/20/06
Tab 5 Wardell email to Robinson 11/17/06
Tab 6 Blackwelder email to Emory 8/1/07
Tab 7 Meeting notes re: funding Task Force 9/27/07
Tab 8 Orr email to Wardell 2/11/08
Tab 9 Orr-Starnes email, lice, WSB, AJC, FC Health 4/2007
Tab 10 CAP Executive Committee Minutes 11/12/08
Tab 11 handwritten notes 11/3/08
Tab 12 Sister Garety email to Diane Leavesley 11/12/08
Tab 13 Dinerman-Fialkow email 2/19/09
Tab 14 Robinson-Jones email 3/3/09
Tab 15 Robinson-Fialkow email 5/17/09
Tab 16 Robinson-Fialkow email 5/21/09
Tab 17 Robinson-Jones email 5/21/09
Tab 18 Robinson-Peterson email 12/14/09
Tab 19 William Burton-Robinson email 1/28/10
Tab 20 Fialkow Affidavit 6/17/11
Tab 21 Beisel-Fialkow email, Fialkow-Jacobs & Feldman email 1/22/10, 1/27/10
Tab 22 $900,000 Promissory Note 1/22/10
Tab 23 Jones-Robinson email 5/15/09
Tab 24 Robinson Burton & Jacobs email 8/26/09
Tab 25 Pridgeon letter to Bassett, DCA 5/16/07
Tab 26 Robinson-Orr email re: Baker Donelson 12/8/08
Tab 27 Orr-Robinsonemail re: Starnes funding, check, Wardell-Kellman email 7/23/08, 8/6/08
Tab 28 Fialkow-Peterson email 5/4/10
Note: These 28 exhibits touch only a smidgen of the mountain of evidence contained in the tens of thousands of documents and hours of recorded depositions taken from the conspirators. As far as the East is from the West, so far reach the width, breadth, height and depth of Team Goliath’s transgressions.
James Wilson Beaty
July 14, 2014
July 13, 2014
The unfolding Beltline story has all the elements of high drama. First there’s the human element. We watch in amazement as two of our most prominent civic leaders, Mayor Kasim Reed and former Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Errol Davis, duke it out in the press. (“If APS wants to litigate it, by all means do so. Tee it up,” thunders the mayor.) Then there’s the institutional element. We learn that serious money troubles are afflicting our most powerful governing bodies, including not only the City of Atlanta and APS but also Invest Atlanta and the Beltline TAD. Finally there’s the visionary element. We seem to be confronted with a Faustian choice between two laudable civic goals, economic development versus public education.
What should we make of all this? I don’t think we will get very far in understanding the larger forces at play if we take the position that everything will be fine once cooler heads prevail. The Beltline issue is about much more than a few big egos jockeying for headlines.
Let’s take a step back and consider the larger context of the Beltline story. Over the last thirty years the U.S. has witnessed a seismic shift in the way cities govern themselves. Increasingly, urban governments see themselves as facilitators or brokers of economic development. Mayors, city councils, county commissions, and local development authorities provide incentives so that private business interests will undertake large-scale, infrastructural projects that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive. The incentive mechanisms are very complex in their details (tax abatements, tax credits, subsidies, and so forth) but easy to grasp in principle: they shift public resources to private developers in hopes that the public will reap benefits in the long run.
Here’s the rub. We live in a capitalist society, which means that every investment carries the risk of tanking, and this is especially true for huge infrastructure projects like the Beltline. No one understands risk better than private businesses, which is why they want government to absorb as much of it as possible.
And here’s another rub. Because we live in a capitalist society, the economy is subject to ups and downs. It’s been that way since the middle of the 1800s and will remain that way as long as capitalism is around. Financial downturns have become more frequent and more intense since the 1970s. So we all know (or should know) that anyone who makes a long-term, infrastructural investment on the assumption that the economy will always go up and never down is, to put it bluntly, a fool.
In 2005 Mayor Shirley Franklin and APS Superintendent Beverly Hall struck a deal requiring the city to make a total of $165 million in payments to APS in exchange for funneling tax revenues earmarked for public schools to the Beltline. The assumption was that APS would benefit in the long run, since property tax revenues (which fund local schools) would skyrocket as Beltline neighborhoods attracted new investment and property values went up.
Three years later came the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression, which revealed that the pie-in-the-sky financial projections underlying the Beltline deal were an illusion. Beltline leaders and their business friends now say, “How could we have known that the subprime mortgage crisis and the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy were just around the corner?” Our response should be, “How could you not have known that that for every boom there’s a bust?”
So let’s get back to the risk that is inherent under capitalism. There is nothing necessarily bad about risk. Indeed, most economists will tell you that risk fuels enterprise, innovation, and dynamism—all good things. The question is not whether risk is good or bad. The question is: in whose name is the risk taken? In the case of the Beltline, the risk was taken in the name of a public school system that is struggling to deal not only with the Hall cheating scandal but also with the massive resegregation of metropolitan public education since the 1970s.
And this leads to the final rub. The governing bodies that signed off on this deal are much less transparent, open, and democratic than they should be. This is no accident. Public-private partnerships have flourished over the last thirty years in response to another kind of risk—the political risk that voters, if given the chance, might refuse to support a highly speculative venture that puts the future of school kids at risk.
The next time one of these public-private partnerships pitches us a multi-million-dollar project in the name of the public good, we should ask “Who’s at risk?” If we don’t, we’re the fools.
Georgia State University
FULTON COUNTY CLOSES 150 EMERGENCY BEDS FOR HOMELESS WOMEN AND CHILDREN AND EVICTS 17 HOMELESS FAMILIES WITH DISABILITIES
We at the Task Force had 99 women and children in our lobby at Peachtree Pine last night, July 11, 2014. And Fulton County closed 300 beds of shelter space, at their own admission and without public notice, within the last two months. (Springdale shelter for women and children with 150 spaces, and Jefferson Place shelter for men with 150 spaces.) Fulton County then evicted 17 formerly and now newly-homeless families with disabilities from the County’s “Permanent Supportive Housing Program.” NOW, Fulton County, as of Thurday, will give the Salvation Army funding to HOLD all SA’s emergency beds (the only free beds they ever have) for THEM — meaning of course, for the women and children THEY (the County) displaced from THEIR shelter and housing programs which they then closed down. Keep in mind that these funds are not creating any NEW BEDS for the folks waiting already for beds, but are “covering” for the beds that Fulton County closed down.
Mind you, any emergency and or transitional and permanent spaces that are available daily HAVE to go to the women and children who are already waiting for them, sleeping wherever we can find space for them. NOW, those people who were on their way towards stability and permanent housing with FULTON COUNTY have been sent BACK into the emergency shelter “system,” which is shrinking as we speak. With the privatization of nearly all the formerly “public” housing, and with no new housing being developed that is affordable for families who should pay no more than 30% of their income — 30% to minimum wage down to 30% of a disability check or 30% of TANF, FOOD STAMPS, etc., the opportunities for homeless families are rare to non-existent without permanent subsidies.
What is a mother to do if she and her six children, two of whom are under two years, are homeless and there is no available shelter space? She will sleep at the Task Force on mats until we are able to find bed space for her and her children at another facility. And then when she is eventually “fortunate” enough to get a placement, what then when she has used up her 30-or-fewer days there, and she still doesn’t have sufficient income to afford market rent, and no permanently subsidized housing is available? What is a mother to do? What she will do is return to the Task Force at Peachtree-Pine, if she hasn’t taken refuge with someone who has housing, and she will NOT qualify for any of the facilities she has “circulated” through because there are so many others needing those spaces who have NEVER used them before. Now, is she on her way to being called “chronically homeless”? Or worse yet, non-compliant, or even worse, put on a do-not-serve list? What is a mother to do?
— Anita Beaty, Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, July 12, 2014
“Is this a great country or what?” my favorite movie quote, from Night Shift.
March 25, 2014
Matthew Charles Cardinale, Editor, ATLANTA PROGRESSIVE NEWS, published March 23, 2014, “Special Master Sees Possible Torts in Homeless Task Force Lawsuit”
(APN) ATLANTA — Special Master Frank Strickland, who was appointed to make conclusions of fact and law, and recommendations, to Fulton County Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall in the lawsuits concerning the business community and City of Atlanta’s well-documented conspiracy to sabotage the Metro Atlanta Task for the Homeless, has issued an order that is quite favorable to the shelter.
The 96-page order, “Special Master’s Order on Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment,” dated January 25, 2014, obtained by ATLANTA PROGRESSIVE NEWS, is significant because it entertains the possibility that a jury will find facts sufficient to support many of the Task Force’s tort claims and other claims.
The Defendants in the case include Emmanuel Fialkow, the Benevolent Community Investment Company, Central Atlanta Progress, Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, and Premium Funding Solutions (PFS). [Emory University—also an apparent member of the conspiracy—is a defendant in a separate suit filed in DeKalb County. A separate federal lawsuit against the City of Atlanta was previously dismissed, largely on grounds of sovereign immunity; however, the City was still clearly a part of the conspiracy at issue.]
As previously reported by APN, the Task Force claims—and there is extensive evidence to support—that over a period of several years, the Defendants engaged in a multi-pronged conspiracy to deprive the Task Force of public and private funds, and to force the Task Force into foreclosure.
This conspiracy included approaching private and public funding sources to discourage them from funding the Task Force; and approaching the Task Force’s private lenders to encourage them to sell the shelter’s mortgage notes to entities connected with the conspirators, only to then foreclose upon and attempt to evict the Task Force.
While the Special Master granted Summary Judgment for Defendants, essentially recommending that some of the Task Force’s claims be dismissed, several claims survived the summary judgment round, meaning that the case will likely go to a jury to make determinations of fact.
What the Special Master’s ruling also means, is that, if the jury decides that the Task Force’s factual claims are true, then the law is already on the Task Force’s side to support their requests for relief.
The Special Master’s Order cites from numerous emails, depositions, and other parts of the evidentiary record, to illustrate the plausibility of the Task Force’s claims.
The Task Force’s claims likely to advance to a jury include:
(1) The Task Force’s claim for injunctive relief, preventing PFS from attempting to take possession of the property.
The Special Master denied PFS’s motion for summary judgment on this claim, noting that the Court must determine who has legal title to the property before deciding whether or not to grant injunctive relief.
“The Court has made it abundantly clear that PFS’ request to dispossess the Task Force will not be ruled on until title is determined and thus has already enjoined PFS from acting upon Ichthus’ foreclosure,” the Special Master wrote.
(2) The Task Force’s claims to quiet PFS’s title.
The Special Master wrote, that giving the Task Force the benefit of all reasonable doubts and favorable inferences, “the record shows the evidence that the Task Force held the title before the foreclosure and that foreclosure may have been wrongful.”
“The determination of the wrongful foreclosure claims will dictate the resolution of the quiet title claim….If the wrongful foreclosure claim is decided in the Task Force’s favor, the result may be the cancellation of any instruments held by PFS or Icthus, thus quieting title in favor of the Task Force,’ the Special Master wrote.
(3) The Task Force’s claim that defendants’ intentionally interfered with the relationship between the Task Force and its lenders.
The Special Master finds there are genuine issues of material fact for a jury to decide regarding Defendants’ apparent conspiracy to interfere with the relationship between the Task Force and its lenders.
(4) The Task Force’s claim of intentional with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs’s funding of the Task Force.
The Special Master finds there are also genuine issues of material fact for a jury to decide as to the conspirator’s efforts to get the City of Atlanta to write a letter—containing what the Task Force says are false claims—to DCA, seeking that DCA cut off the Task Force from funding.
(5) The Task Force’s claim of intentional interference with funding from Dan Cathy of Chic-fil-A restaurants, of the Task Force.
As previously reported by APN, there is extensive evidence that the conspirators met with Dan Cathy as part of a deliberate strategy to convince Cathy to cease funding the Task Force. The Special Master finds that these claims should go to a jury as well.
(6) The Task Force’s wrongful foreclosure claims certain Defendants.
The Order reveals new, shocking information about the conspirators’ efforts to sabotage the Task Force.
First, the order reveals that Ichthus purchased the property at the foreclosure sale for anywhere between 1.3 million dollars less, and 7.2 million dollars less, than the property was worth.
Second, the order reveals that Fialkow may have engaged in a campaign to deceive the Task Force regarding its willingness to work with the Task Force to avoid foreclosure, in order to prevent the Task Force from legally objecting to the foreclosure itself.
According to the order, the evidence shows that Fialkow met with Task Force Board Member Bob Cramer to state that he wanted to work with the Task Force to avoid foreclosure. Based on these statements by Fialkow, Cramer convinced the Task Force not to contest the foreclosure. However, Fialkow admits that he never intended to work things out with the Task Force.
“In particular, the record shows evidence from which a jury could conclude that (1) Mr. Fialkow controlled Ichthus; (2) Mr. Fialkow, Ichthus, BCIC, and PFS were working in concert to effect the foreclosure; n(3) fraud or misrepresentation occurred that induced the Task Force not to attempt to stop the foreclosure sale; and, (4) the foreclosure sale resulted in the Property being sold for a grossly inadequate price,” the Special Master wrote.
(7) The Task Force’s bad faith claims against the Defendants.
The Task Force claims bad faith on the part of the Defendants, and seeks attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation. The Special Master rules nthat these claims should go to a jury.
(8) The Task Force’s claims for punitive damages against the Defendants.
The Task Force also seeks punitive damages against the Defendants, which the Special Master also rules should go to a jury.
On the other hand, the Special Master granted summary judgment for the Defendants, essentially dismissing the Task Force’s claims of racketeering, defamation, and tortious interference with certain funders.
As for racketeering, the Special Master found evidence of bribery, but stated that at least one additional predicate act was necessary to rise to the level of racketeering. The Task Force also alleged wire fraud. The Special Master found the wire fraud claim was not raised in the initial complaint.
In the Task Force’s recent motion to Judge Schwall, asking Schwall to adopt the Special Master’s recommendations, the Task Force asks Schwall to find that the wire fraud claim, and thus the racketeering claim, can move forward, because the complaint adequately put the parties on notice as to the racketeering claim and it was not necessary to claim specifically wire fraud in the complaint.
As for the defamation claim, it was barred by a one-year statute of limitations.
It is not immediately clear when Schwall will rule on the Special Master’s recommendations, but the Task Force is ready to go to trial.
“If we try this case it’ll be over in ten days probably. I suspect it would be a two-week trial. We just want to get there,” Steve Hall, an attorney for the Task Force, told APN.
Matthew Charles Cardinale
Note: If you are encouraged or even over joyed by this Special Master’s recommendation, don’t be. Calm down. Ask yourself a few questions? Is this conspiracy in the greater Atlanta area? Are the accused located in or around downtown Atlanta? Is this the neighborhood where State Legislators permit a Tax Collector to make millions off shady foreclosures? Is the “sovereign immune,” fraud laden Atlanta City Hall connected to this conspiracy? Is snow-white Coca-Cola U a leading conspirator? When have plantation folk like CAP and ADID ever faced a jury? What was the Judge’s name? Is this Summary Judgment really dated January 25, 2014? Does “well-documented conspiracy” amount to a hill of beans? Does connecting the dots put Dan Cathy, Manny Fialkow, United Way, CAP, ADID, Debi Starnes, Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs at City Council, Alan Harris, Boxcar Ferdinand, Horace Sibley, Mercy Housing, Sister Jane Garety, Rector Hoare, (that’s HOARE with an e) and A. J. Robinson under the covers in the same bed? Birds of a feather do….
A seasoned lawyer told me yesterday that there was a Judge in Memphis just after the Civil War who never signed one single court order. I said how can that be? My lawyer friend said he didn’t have to sign anything; he’s the Judge. The Memphis Judge was a Yankee and he didn’t value the opinion of those Rebels around him.
A second prominent lawyer told me many moons ago, “Son, if it’s JUSTICE you’re seeking, do not go to the court house. Go to the bank; there’s justice there if you have lots and lots of money. Then you’ll be treated fairly.”
Forget everything; remember Charles Dickens: “It is better to suffer a great wrong than to have recourse to the much greater wrong of the law.”
James Wilson Beaty
March 25, 2014
January 28, 2014
Chapter 17 of I Samuel in The Hebrew Bible tells the account of David’s killing GOLIATH. The story has it that David as a shepherd boy volunteered to meet the Philistine giant in a valley between Socoh and Azekah. David is armed with five smooth stones and a powerful slingshot. Everyone knows what I Samuel 17:48-50 reports: “As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.”
The story continues with David’s using Goliath’s sword to decapitate the nine foot giant. The shepherd then raises the dead head in a gesture of gleeful victory. Imagine if you will a different version with a completely different ending.
David gathers five smooth stones from the brook and places one of them in his powerful slingshot. The shepherd boy approaches the battle line to meet the champion. Suddenly to David’s right, a spear-carrying Israelite soldier runs toward him at top speed. It’s Jonathan, David’s closest and most trusted friend. Jonathan shouts, “I’ve come to help.” David thinks, “What courage, what a man, what a friend!” Jonathan lifts his spear and thrusts it through David’s heart. The loaded slingshot and the shepherd’s bag in minutes become drenched in David’s blood. Not unlike Pontius Pilate and Lady Macbeth, Jonathan for the rest of his days cannot wash David’s blood from his hands.
It is learned immediately that someone, somehow from GOLIATH’S army had gotten to Jonathan with threats that he could not withstand. The Jonathan version above did not occur in the Hebrew Bible. However, this sorry saga is business as usual in the real world where “friends” are no strangers to treason and where sometime friends know well the craft of betrayal. Others in David’s camp believed that Jonathan for unknown reasons simply had taken leave of his senses.
James Wilson Beaty
January 28, 2014