Submitted by Roldo on Sun, 08/10/2008 - 09:39.

The medical mart/convention center deal is much worse than anyone knows.

Square Sanders & Dempsey’s managing partner Fred Nance gave a smooth, if shifty, accounting of what we can expect.

After he finished his presentation nearly the first thing out of his mouth when I started to question him that time was limited. I told him he took plenty of time, now it was our turn.

I’m not going to detail all he had to say here but just a couple of items.

He brought his financial advisor to the podium to explain to reporters that the County would borrow money, and then invest it and earn income for the County.

My immediate question, but don’t you also PAY interest when you borrow money? The bond borrowing would likely double the original $400 million cost (now $526 million). “Quite likely,” said the financial advisor, Tim Offtermatt, sports finance advisor for Wachovia Investments and a Gateway finance advisor, responded.

Nance then pulled him away, saying he would answer the question. His answer was if you buy a house at a price then pay the mortgage you still say the house was valued at the original price.

“But this is not a house,” I said to Nance. “It does mean that you are spending a billion dollars of public money, aren’t you? Aren’t you?”

Nance’s answer: “Over 20 years.” Yeah, but still a billion dollars.

I also asked Nance how many floors of the Higbee building MMPI would takes for its medical mart.

I was shocked when he said two floors, part of the first floor, now occupied by Greater Cleveland Partnership - sponsor of this site selection announced by Nance at Tower City - and a basement site.

Two floors? Where is the great economic impact of a medical mart on two floors at Public Square? The County will pay for the refurbishing of the space and Nance didn’t know the asbestos situation.

There’s plenty more and I’ll report it on Wednesday at site Cool Cleveland, Lakewood Buzz, the Cleveland Leader and What’s Up in Northeast Ohio.

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chicanery - it's clear as day

In answer to your question, "What's up in Northeast Ohio?" Chicanery would be the obvious answer. If not just chicanery, try these on for size: artifice, craft, craftiness, deceit, deceitfulness, deception, dishonesty, disingenuousness, disloyalty, dissimulation, double-dealing, faithlessness, fraud, fraudulence, guile, improbity, perfidy, treachery, unfairness, unfaithfulness, unreliability.

The only innocent answer must be that these guys all need to go back to basic arithmetic.

Only two floors of the Higbee building?!!!?? Is that all they need to leverage a behemoth replete with "gerbil tubes" inserted throughout the downtown? Hell, if that is all there will be to see as far as medical equipment the existing convention center should be just the right size.

If the FBI can't smell this... if they overlook this BAD SMELL, then we don't need to leave Cleveland, we need to leave the country.


Either Fred Nance is innumerate--innumerate:finance::illiterate:language--or, as you pointed out, just plain shifty.


However Fred's sad condition is diagnosed, it all has the same end result: it's misleading if not downright dishonest.


Susan, you seem to be having trouble grasping that Fred might not be not as talented as everybody would like us to suppose. Do you think he's where he is precisely because he isn't too sharp, too discerning, and perhaps a little lazy and gullible? How do we know whether he's dumb or deceitful?

Speaking of FBI. When's the

Speaking of FBI. When's the county kickback trial going to start?

Today's PD County In Crisis Commentary is revealing

The PD Crisis team, which is considerable, seems to have spoken with enough sources now to conclude this is a serious, longstanding investigation on a par with other FBI government corruption stings in Memphis and New Orleans, led by top FBI officials with local responsibilities... looks like we'll be world-famous for this one. No indication when the investigation will turn to charges, but I'm thinking big election year... probably before November. See the most indepth analysis in the PD of the PoolGate situation to date here.

Disrupt IT

Roldo, what is connection between Carney + Squire Sanders

Many years ago I knew a guy who's mother tried to develop an ice skating rink in the Xurbs, and it collapsed and there were all sorts of legal battles... this guy said ultimately his mom was up against Carney and the judge said he could never rule against Carney... and something about him "owning" Squire Sanders. When I said I thought the partners owned the law firm he said they don't actually own the shares of the firm but rather a share of the business activity, while they are there. If Carney has a powerful hold at Squire Sanders, and they do lots of our local bond work, and Carney's port authority has issued lots of bonds with them... what a mess. I can't imagine folks at these levels aren't under investigation, as well.

Any of this fit with what you know about Carney and Squire Sanders, and how the law firm is sturctured and owned? THis is especially imortant considering this, from the PD article "Cleveland port leader has potential conflict as lawyer"...

A lawyer expected to be named chairman of the Cleveland port Friday works for a firm that has received $2 million for its legal work on port-financed deals since 2000.

Michael Wager of Squire Sanders Dempsey says he's well aware of the potential for conflict of interest, as he takes the $15,000-a-year job as chairman of the board at the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.

He succeeds developer John Carney, who remains on the board.

Disrupt IT

There is no legal connection

There is no legal connection between Carney's law firm & Squire/Sanders that I know of, except that Wager is now a partner in SS&D and board chairman, succeeded John Carney. I assume SS&D is owned by its partners as other firms are.

Hah Hah Hah

 Subtract $ from Postively Cleveland.