'Your livelihood and your future are meaningless'

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 08/31/2009 - 08:18.

After reading the story in today's Cleveland.com, "Owner of razed Cleveland warehouse still fighting city, Precision Environmental over lost vehicles", about a second Frank Giglio in Cleveland - this one on the East Side - named Michael Ayers, who had his property condemned, stolen and destroyed under the direction of the Cleveland Building and Housing Department... and add Mary V. Rayford, owner of a property at 9805 South Boulevard... and it is clear there are multiple parties in Cleveland who should be in a class action lawsuit against the City of Cleveland and its conspirators. From Cleveland.com, but not to be considered a reliable record of facts, as is it a pay-to-play corporate newspaper... which weaves in the idea Ayers deserved what he got coming... reminding me of Cleveland's Art of the Day

Cleveland razed his condemned warehouse four years ago. The building -- a crumbling, asbestos-filled eyesore on East 40th Street -- deserved it. That Ayers does not dispute.

But workers hired to remove asbestos from the structure helped themselves to a fleet of old work trucks Ayers had stored in the complex and sold the vehicles as scrap metal for $200 cash.

Ayers, 58, says the vehicles were in an adjoining building not slated for demolition. He filed a lawsuit in 2007 against Precision Environmental Inc., and added the city as a defendant several months later, arguing that the workers stole the vehicles.

A judge threw out the lawsuit, citing a statute that grants governmental entities immunity from civil prosecution and saying Ayers did not have enough evidence to prove his case.

From what I have seen of public records, decisions about what property to demolish are actually made by a Land Assembly Team including academics from Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve Univeristy, so it seems they should be included in these lawsuits....

Page 24: Land Assembly Team

  • Frank Ford – Neighborhood Progress, Inc
  • Jennifer Grasso – Neighborhood Progress, Inc
  • Kermit Lind – Community Advocacy Clinic, CSU, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
  • Justin Miller – CSU law student
  • CDC staff
  • Michael Schramm – Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, Case Western Reserve University

Page 25: What does land assembly team do

Meet to identify properties needed for new development or blighted properties

Discuss tactics for acquisition

  • Direct negotiation
  • Receivership
  • Bank donation
  • Encourage city to inspect, condemn, demo
  • Let tax foreclosure take its course and let it go to land bank

In the Cleveland.com article about Ayers it is reported:

Ayers filed an appeal on his own in July but said an attorney recently has agreed to represent him the rest of the way on contingency. He's relieved to have some assistance, he said. Fighting the legal battle has become a full-time job.

"With this immunity statute, it's like they're saying, 'Your livelihood and your future are meaningless,' " Ayers said. "I'll bet you right now this same thing is happening to somebody else. But nobody fights it, because they don't think they can win. Well, I'm going to fight it."

Clearly, Ayers and other Cleveland property owners know the truth about what has happened to them, in this uncaring and greedy community, and deserve their day in court, outside of the corruption of our pay-to-play mainstream media and city government. Frank, Mary and many others clearly need the help of Ayers' attorney, whoever that may be.

Time for our citizen journalists of this community to investigate these matters further.