Ideastream- Noble Rd Update by Nick Castele

Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 04/28/2019 - 09:35.
Thank you Nick Castele for your recent coverage of the on-going crimes committed by the Cuyahoga County Land Bank.  I am sure that the timing of the upcoming trail had nothing to do with the sudden realization to provide some coverage at Ideastream.  I am writing this on Sunday - my day off from work. The HR record at my place of employment will show I have been harassed by Tony Brancatelli and Jim Rokakis for writing about the land bank and demolitions at the website 
I hope you will take some time to read the extensive coverage by Eric J Brewer.  I am excerpting from the article, "Illegal Noble Rd Dump Operator Headed to Trail in 2019," to help the local media understand the tentacles of this corruption:
The trial is scheduled for June 24, 2019 in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas and has been assigned to Judge Sean Gallagher.  DeWine wants Riley and Beynon to pay $10,000 a day in fines for every day they were in violation of state laws that prohibitted illegal dumping.  EJBNEWS obtained a copy of the letter DeWine’s office is sending to potential witnesses.

Illegal Noble Road dump operator headed for trial in 2019

EAST CLEVELAND, OH - Witnesses are starting to receive notices from Ohio Attorney General Richard Michael DeWin...

Recalled ex-Mayor Gary Norton, Council President Thomas Wheeler and current Mayor Brandon King rigged the ordinance enactment process laws found in Title 7, East Cleveland’s charter, ordinances, and councils rules to deliver the GE site to Riley in 2014.

Norton, Wheeler and King pushed council to pass Resolution No. 11-14 delivering the property to Ohio Rock, LLC for $125,000 as an emergency.
(Note the property was in the East Cleveland Land Bank)

the “city” transferred the title of the property to 1705 Noble Road Properties, LLC on May 1, 2014; the $10 title transfer was made by Norton in violation of the landbank ordinance without a resolution or council approval.  Landbank properties must remain in the city’s name for two years until the intent of the resolution is fulfilled or else it reverts back to the city.  Council controls a city’s property.

Transfer Date: 5/1/2014 2:35:00 PM
AF Number:
Parcel Deed Type Vol / Page Sales Amt Convey Fee Convey No Multiple Sale / No of Parcels
673-01-011 Quit Claim Deed / $125,000.00 $500.00 302898 0 / 1

1705 Noble Rd Properties was incorporated by attorney Michael George.
You will note that Michael George also incorporated the company affiliated w/ Christine Beynon - which you mentioned at the end of your Ideastream interview w/Michael McIntyre at 26:54 minutes. "I was not able to really see hard evidence of this business arrangement that they had with the land bank until I was able to go through Christine Beynon's bankruptcy filing.."


History Of East Cleveland Dump Site; "What We Keep" Co-author

What one personal treasure will you keep forever?




Company Number
Incorporation Date
1 April 2014 (about 5 years ago)
Company Type
Ohio (US)
Registered Address

United States

Inactive Directors / Officers

MICHAEL E. GEORGE, incorporator

I asking that your coverage should note this arrangement and seek to interview Michael George, who I am sure has been contacted by the Ohio Attorney General.  Your coverage seems to exculpate the Cuyahoga County Land Bank by implying that this is all on the Ohio EPA for not checking the permits for "It was EPA's job..."

Million-dollar Dump in East Cleveland

Nick Castele

The cleanup of Arco Recycling cost Ohio taxpayers $9.1 million. But that’s not the only way the public was caugh...

From your recent coverage:

After RCI Services, Riley was involved with a second land bank contractor called American Metal and Wood Salvage, according to land bank contracts. Bankruptcy records list Christina Beynon as the owner of both AMW Salvage and Arco Recycling. She is also a defendant in the attorney general’s lawsuit.

In total, RCI Services and AMW Salvage received about $3 million to knock down more than 360 structures, taking rubble from most properties to Arco, according to land bank records.

I would also ask your coverage to credit Eric J Brewer for the lion share of effort needed to get the Noble Rd dump cleaned up.  There are many fingers pointing to a failure of local government, but you need to credit Eric J Brewer for getting the Ohio EPA - one, to shut down the dump and two, to get it cleaned up.  He is not saying anything now - because he is going to be part of the trail.  
I am local government representatives because Dan Brady - you continue to fund this outfit.  It is a criminal enterprise.  My own personal skin in this game started when I noticed demolitions happening in Old Brooklyn-Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods, WHILE "Land Bank" guru Jim Rokakis controlled the council person he installed -Merle R. Gordon. Overnight demolitions that obviously put quick money into someone's pocket. The media will never attempt to unravel these arrangements, because it is so hard to identify one person to blame at the local government level for this failure to prevent fraud and corruption. 
As Brewer points out- original illegal transfer of the Noble Rd site to the 1705 Noble Rd Properties - will probably hold the City of East Cleveland liable for all of these crimes committed by the Land Bank incorporated operation:

Norton and Riley’s criminal acts of deception voided the resolution and automatically reversed ownership iof the Noble Road property back to the city.  But King, who became mayor after Norton’s recall in December 2015, took no steps to close the dump, enforce the resolution that instructed Riley and Beynon to redevelop the property or to have the ex-mayor’s illegal acts investigated and prosecuted. 

Noble Road resident Harry Drummond, whose wife, children and grandchildren breathed in the deadly toxins the dump spewed into the air for nearly 4 years, told EJBNEWS he saw King enter and leave the trailer where Riley operated his office after residents complained.  King publicly-announced after his quick meeting with Riley that the dump was legal and safe.

The intentionally vague structure and oversight of the Cuyahoga County Land Bank, allows it to constantly shape-shift to avoid investigation by the Cuyahoga County IG Mark Griffin and in this incidence w/the Noble Rd dump, shift blame entirely to the City of East Cleveland. I am also Cuyahoga County's Mary Louise Madigan, because in 2017, Jerry Strothers uncovered that George Michael Riley enjoyed special accommodations while he lived in Cleveland Cuyahoga County Land Bank - Land Banking at a profit for those well connected - | REALNEO for all .
Local media - should mine the content that is unfortunately now only accessible via the Wayback machine:


Phones really ringing off the hook about this video – 44112News


It should also be noted that the Cuyahoga County Land Bank currently holds 416 properties in EAST CLEVELAND. And they are trying to unload them as fast as possible...with whole streets like Brightwood being transferred. 


Cuyahoga County Land Bank - Land Banking at a profit for those well con...

I will archive all of this at REALNEO and I hope that justice prevails in the trail. There are several names that should also be TAGGED on every story about the Land Bank, as the late Jerry Strothers understood in his coverage - Tony Brancatelli, Jim Rokakis, Gus Frangos, Cheryl Stephens, Brandon King, George Michael Riley, Christine Beynon, Michael George.
( categories: )

Trail on Arco headed to bench trail in 2021

The trail on Arco dump operators has been moved from jury trail to bench trail. I do thank Nick Castele for reporting -  I recently asked him to continue his investigation:

Thank you for responding - your coverage reveals that Attorney Michael George incorporated both Arco-1705 Noble Road Properties, LLC and American Metal and Wood Salvage, Inc.  Does Ideastream plan on just ending the investigation there?

Land banks in other parts of Ohio are operated with accountability and submit 990s that can be publicly reviewed. The Cuyahoga County Land Bank serves a function in extreme cases where there is no private solution to a problem, but in Northeast Ohio it has become a mafia operation with illegal demolition contractors and the fly-by-night operators. I hold the local media responsible for not questioning this operation and the operators - Rokakis and Frangos - who have a history of exploiting poverty and circumstance by selling liens of African American home owners, while letting their friends - like Christine Beynon and George Michael Riley - get away with poisoning residents in the Noble Rd part of East Cleveland. The media knows that this outfit is complicit and that certain favored individuals like the George Group and Ginmark get a pass on not paying taxes. Joe Pagonakis has helped to expose some of this story, but his entire station is running propaganda to sugar coat the Land Bank and it has to stop. WVIZ/PBS ideastream® is not helping either, but the recent story is now archived and it will have bearing on the continued investigation.
Will you investigate how Michael George is related to the George family - who had $394K wited out on the Carlyle property by the Land Bank in 2017?  Jerry Strothers also reported that George Michael Riley lived in the Carlyle building (courtesy of the Land Bank?).  The Land Bank also wited out $20K on a W 25th St property owned by the George Group.
I would ask you to follow up.

From Crains:  Abandoned nearly eight years, the former Swingos on the Lake – the popular restaurant with unbeatable lake and downtown views – will soon be home to a new lakefront eatery thanks to the vision of local restaurateur Tony George.

Located on the ground floor of the Carlyle on the Lake condominium complex, the building has been vacant since the iconic restaurant closed its doors in 2009.  When the property fell into forfeiture after no bids were offered in foreclosure, the Cuyahoga Land Bank stepped in.  “With more than $300,000 owed in back taxes and significant condo association fees in arrears, the prospects for redevelopment were waning,” says Gus Frangos, the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s President and General Counsel.  “It’s a wonderful space that had been sitting vacant for a very long time.  We needed to find a way to ensure the property was returned to productive use and out of the hands of a speculator who could sit on the property, keeping it off the tax roll for years to come.”

After taking control of the property in late 2016, the Cuyahoga Land Bank began to put out feelers to local developers. After much discussion, George, who recently took over operations of Crop in Ohio City and also owns the Harry Buffalo chain and Barley House among other eateries, agreed to acquire and redevelop the property. Part of the agreement included a specification that George immediately begin paying the Carlyle Condominium Association Fees, which run several thousands of dollars per month, and real estate taxes once the sale is finalized.

The developer is currently working with his architect to assess the space and plan for the new restaurant and is confident he can return the property to its former glory. “We are investing more than $1.5 million in demolition and renovation, furniture, fixtures and equipment” says George.  “We’re in the demolition phase, and if everything goes as planned, we will be open by December.”

Although the concept is being honed, George is focused on ensuring it fits with the demographic of the area.  “We want to make sure we have the right concept that works for the building and its residents, for the city and for us.”

“The Cuyahoga Land Bank is a great mechanism for situations like this where a property sits vacant for years accumulating significant delinquent taxes,” says George.  “I can honestly say that if the Cuyahoga Land Bank didn’t get involved, we (nor anyone else) would NOT have touched this property


BENCH TRIAL SET FOR 05/04/2021 AT 10:00 AM.

Unraveling Land Bank in East CLE

Eric has taken down a number of articles he wrote pertaining to the Cuyahoga County Land Bank in East CLE.  I hope it means that racketeering charges are being filed against Rokakis, Frangos and their ilk.

Taxpayers screwed by Land Bank

 Marc Dann - these ARE not Goood People - and now Ron O'Leary sits on the Board of Revision : see


The land bank then gave the property, valued at $144,500 in county records, to a private company which paid nothing for it. And taxpayers recovered none of the $68,089 in taxes and interest owed to them, money that could have gone to roads, schools, and emergency services. 

“The government can take properties through public domain. That’s been the law for decades. But there’s never been an occasion where the government has been allowed to take a property without compensating the owner for its value,” said former Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann, who represents Feltner in the case.

Creative Commons License


Yesterday - I spoke at the 10/17 Metroparks Board Meeting about this very topic -abuse of media and real estate schemes capitalizing on trail development. 

It was certainly no accident that Clevelanddotcom yesterday released two articles relating to the towpath - one by Steven Litt and one by Robert Higgs:

Metroparks awards $6M to build Wendy Park Bridge connecting lakefront to...

Cleveland Metroparks commissioners Thursday awarded a $6 million contract to build a bridge providing a critical...


Cleveland considers economic incentives for development in Tremont with ...

The package could be approved as soon as Monday by City Council, helping to provide financing for 130 new apartm...

Scene magazine also released an article about the troubled real estate in Maple Heights.  I posted my complaint about the article at LinkedIn.  To date - it has more views than any other post I have submitted. 
Cuyahoga County's taxbase, supporting our parks, schools, and libraries, has been hijacked by the same political operators (Rokakis-Frangos-Brancatelli) who caused the subprime mortgage scandal, drove African-Americans out of their homes with tax lien sales, depreciated and decimated most of East Cleveland with flipping and demolitions to benefit developers-- and who also poisoned East Cleveland residents with the Noble Rd. dump site. And, Cuyahoga County is still SELLING tax liens:
I am asking the Metroparks Board of Commissioners to petition Cuyahoga County Council members to SHUT Down the Land Bank and the racketeering that is going on in Cuyahoga County.  It does not benefit the Metroparks and it is destroying our tax base.
It is also leading to criminal activity in-and-around areas that are speculated for development.  I will post just one example--of a property located adjacent to the recently completed Phase One of Canalway Lakelink trail connector to the Lake -- this is happening all over Cuyahoga County:
Transfer Date: 1/29/2019 11:34:00 AM
AF Number:
Parcel Deed Type Vol / Page Sales Amt Convey Fee Convey No Multiple Sale / No of Parcels
008-28-061 Quit Claim Deed / $523,854.00 $2,095.60 434346 0 / 10
Grantee(s) Grantor(s)
Other Parcel(s) 005-24-104 013-03-087 138-20-038 142-07-028 110-05-041 110-05-042 130-16-104 139-06-017 116-15-028

Laura A McShane




I posted my concerns at LinkedIN about Land Bank operating in Maple Heights.  To date it has the most views of any of my posts:


The tone of this article is not good - as pointed out by other comments. Dropping point-of-sale inspections only sets up a repeat of the flipping that resulted in Slavic Village. Not a surprise, some of the same dirty players are involved. Why is Slavic Village Development Corporation working in another city, when their HUD funding through the Cleveland City Councilman Tony Brancatelli is FOR CLE - not Maple Heights. It is long past due, for the Attorney General to investigate Tony B and his Slavic Village CDC emails. He also chairs the Land Bank, which should NOT be witing out debt for the city of Maple Heights, which already struggles to fund services. Whose outstanding liens were let go under the former County Treasurer Jim Rokakis - and the now departed Cuyahoga County Fiscal Agent Dennis Kennedy? Finally, if a resident does not work and does not understand insurance and how to maintain a home - they SHOULD not own a home. Never fear -- CHN Partners is part of the CDC/Land Bank racket and they have restructured to absorb NHS - ran into the ground by Michael Cosgrove - disgraced former head of Cleveland's Community Development Department.