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Monday, November 15, 2010

Hamilton County Judge Nadine Allen Victim of Cincinnati Newspaper Smear: Enquirer Info About Bail Bond Ruling In Dispute

 Newspaper Blames Dem For GOP Scandal
 [UPDATE: Full text of Jugde Nadine Allen's letter to Enquirer Editor Tom Callinan that demands a retraction.  See below.]
CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A Cincinnati Enquirer story Nov. 15 about the unfolding bail bond scandal in the Hamilton County Clerk of Court's Office tries to shift blame for the $2.1 million mess from GOP officials to a Democratic Common Pleas Court judge.  But the newspaper's reporting doesn't appear to stand up when measured against public records easily available in online court filings.  In other words, the Enquirer swallowed hook, line and sinker a Republican contrived effort to discredit Judge Nadine Allen.  The GOP spin looks to have made the Gannet Co. Inc. newspaper so dizzy it fell down on the job.  Judge Nadine Allen intends to hold a press conference today -- which is an unusual move for a judge -- to point out gaping holes in the Cincinnati Enquirer's story.   Here's what The Daily Bellwether has gleaned so far:

The Sunday story by Reporter Kimball Perry said $2.1 million in forfeited bail bonds has been uncollected by the clerk's office.  It said Hamilton County is going to have to refund $105,000 to a bailbonding company because Judge Nadine Allen set aside a forfeiture last month.  The story said the county doesn't have money available to pay back the bonding company.  The story -- and this is really the guts of the slam against Nadine Allen -- reported the $105,000 forfeiture had been distributed to police and prosecutors.  Truth is, that never happened.  Court records show the county had a lien against the bonding firm and the criminal defendant who jumped bail.  The lien represented an unpaid debt that had been on the books for three years.  If the county had distributed the money, there would not be a lien because legal procedure requires the lien to be cancelled when a debt is paid off.  It would be massive incompetence for the clerk's office to maintain liens against people who had cleared their debts.

Here's the Enquirer version with the disputed statements in bold face:

"In 2006, Ismial Salaam was arrested and jailed on drug charges.  A judge set bond at $105,0000.  A bond agent posted that bond.  Salaam was released and told to show up in court.  Instead, he ran.  A judge ordered the $105,000 forfeited on June 12, 2007.  That money was given to the prosecutors and the police department that arrested Salaam.

"Salaam then was arrested in June 2009.  When he was brought to court, his bond agent asked for the return of the $105,000 bond.  Common Pleas Court Judge Nadine Allen agreed on Oct. 6 and ordered the money returned to the bond agent.  'The money's spent,' [Assistant Prosecutor Mike] Florez said.  'I don't know how you're going to get it back.'"

Lien For Bail Bond
However, there is nothing to show the money has been spent.  In fact, the records indicate it was never collected.   You can look at the lien that was pending for three years.  Additionally, The Daily Bellwether has a Nov. 19, 2009 computer printout prepared by the Clerk of Court's office that lists uncollected bail bond liens.  The $105,000 is shown as an open debt.  That means the money wasn't given to the police and prosectuors as the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.  And it means that the Cincinnati Enquirer --  for some reason -- wrongly tried to make Judge Nadine Allen a player in the scandal.

[UPDATE: 2:43 pm -- Judge Nadine Allen has just finished her press conference.  She is demanding a retraction and public apology from the Cincinnati Enquirer.  The lawyer for the bail bonding company, Bradley Hoyt, was present and said that no money had been distributed to the police or prosecutors.  Hoyt said no money had been collected from the bonding company by the clerk of court's office on the forfeited bond, therefore nothing was available to distribute.  Hoyt said he had not been contacted by anyone from the newspaper prior to the story's publication.  He said the portion of the story that referred to Judge Nadine Allen contained inaccurate information.  The judge was drafting a written demand for the retraction.  Her letter was addressed to the Cincinnati Enquirer's editor, Tom Callinan.  In the letter, she says that the newspaper had damaged her reputation as a judge and published information with a "reckless disregard for the truth."   She did not say she was considering legal action, but the wording was stern and could open the doors to a possible defamation claim.]

[UPDATE: 11/16/10, 9:49 AM --  Here's the letter Judge Nadine Allen has sent to Cincinnati Enquirer Editor Tom Callinan that demands a retraction:   

"Tom Callinan
Editor & V.P./Content & Audience Development 
The Enquirer/Cincinnati.Com
312 Elm Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

"Dear Mr. Callinan,

"I write to you in response to your November 13, 2010 article, “Bond agents owe $2.1M,” reported by Kimball Perry.  I request a public apology and retraction of the clearly false and misleading statements.  The statements have caused damage to my reputation as a Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge. The article contained reckless statements that were made without regard for the truth.
"The article states that, 'A judge ordered the $105,000 bond forfeited on June 12, 2007.'  It goes on to falsely claim, 'That money was given to the prosecutors and the police department that arrested Salaam.'  This claim is false.  No money was ever collected and no money was ever dispersed to the Prosecutor or the police department.
"The article singles me out, stating that, 'Common Pleas Court Judge Nadine Allen [...] ordered the money returned to the bond agent.'   Again, this statement is false.  No money was ever collected and no money was ordered to be returned to the bond agent.
"A simple review of the court records would have revealed that:
·        No cash was deposited with the Clerk of Court by the bond agent, the bond agent’s insurance company, or the defendant;
·        No cash or funds were disbursed to the Prosecutor’s office or the police;
·        Dale Bernhard of the Hamilton County Prosecutors office stated, on the record before Judge Allen, that none of the forfeited bonds had been collected or disbursed.

"The Enquirer’s decision to single out me while not mentioning the other judges that have relieved a bond looks like an effort to smear my good reputation.  Additional research would show that since 2009 at least three other Hamilton County Common Please Judges have relieved this same bond agent and insurance company of bond forfeiture judgments.  I am willing to provide you the name of the other Judges, if you're interested.
"I eagerly await the retraction and a public apology.
"Judge Nadine Allen
"Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas"

So far, there does not appear to be any word from the newspaper about what action, if any, it will take.  I have asked the judge to keep me posted.  Stay tuned.]


  1. Who is responsible for auditing the Clerk of Courts? Surely these transactions many dating back several years would be reviewed by a competent auditor. This entire mess should have been uncovered and reported in a competent audit. Could Hamilton County have it's own Cuyahoga County graft system in place? As the corrupt individuals in Cuyahoga County discovered, sooner or later you your corruptness will be discovered.

  2. Poor Patty Clancy. Greg Hartmann stuck her with the whole pile when he left for the Hamilton County Commission. Hartmann wasn't really ever interested in the clerk of court's job. The Republican 4th Street Gang put him there. He is really from Texas, the Houston area. He is a carpetbagger in reverse. Patty inherited a lot of Hartmann's problems, which he did nothing to solve. Hackdom at its worse.

  3. The Enquirer reported this morning that Mark Twain once said it was edited by idiots. Assuming that the Enquirer report about Mark Twain is correct, this episode involving the judge proves Mark Twain's point. Another strange thing about the Enquirer: Today's story about Twain's autobiography talked about Twain in Cincinnati, and not much about the autobiography, which is on the best seller lists. Twain didn't write about Cincinnati in the version that is out now. I think the Enquirer is making stuff up to fill its pages.

  4. Poor Patty, bull!If she wasn't involved in this there would be a special prosecutor brought in. Patty knew for 14 months and allowed those bondsmen to continue making their own powers. If she was honest she would have called in the proper authorities Last September of 09. She's involved in this just as much as the bondsmen and should be charged accordling

  5. Why did they not collect the money from Mr Jr Spisak's insurance company, because there was no insurance company. He's another one involved in her letting people make their own powers. Now hes packed up and left own. Poor Patty

  6. Dusty Rhodes and his minions should have caught this before it grew into such a fiasco. How many other problems has he and his crew failed to uncover? Could there actually be individuals on the take at the Hamilton County court house?

  7. That's what happens when journalists and newspapers fail to do their due diligence when following a hot story. Sometimes they get too excited to run the story that they don't question its validity.

    - Richard Struve

  8. Another republican smear on a Democrate

  9. what I don't understand is why after Ms. Clancey, John Williams and Kevin O'Brien admitted they knew Ronald Trimble was getting people out of jail using fake powers that he printed his-self, why was he allowed to continue to write these bad bonds for 14 months. After all this stink and Ms Clancey and buddies looking like fools. WHY is he to this day still writing bonds. YES he wrote another one 11/13/2010.WHY,WHY? Those people ought to be as-hame of their selves. Isn't this like printing checks out of the computer. If someone did that they would charge them with a felony and put them in jail. Why is he allowed to continue stealing from the taxpayers by writing this bonds, he should already have been barred from the Justice Center. WHERES the ODI, Why have they not done anything about this situation, I, told them about this last MARCH of 2010 and they have allowed this to continue. Maybe they are too busy chasing people who pass out business cards to stop crimes from being committed. Wheres the State Attorney Generals Office. WHY is still going on when everyone in Hamilton County knows and should be out raged. Is this is a joke or a bad dream. John Williams said their intention was not to put anyone out of business,but why do you keep helping them commit crimes. The Clerks Office should be prosecuted. When are the proper authorities going to step in and STOP Ronald Trimble, because the Clerk's Office isn't going to do anything about it. Or maybe it's Christmas time and they need the bribes to buy Christmas presents. Everyone reading this should call the Ohio Department of Insurance Fraud line614-644-2658 and make a complaint. The State Attorney General Office should be called too. Stop him, Ronald Trimble and the Clerk's office

  10. Now more people should come out of the woodwork and tell what they know. For 5 years the Ohio Department Insurance has known and things have been reported to them and they told her to stop sending information tp them. I though they were here to investigate the fraud and they were committing the fraud theirselves. Do you think they are still investigating 5 years later. We gave them information 8 months ago and nothing happened. What's the problem are they on the take too. Or maybe it's because they are all republicans

  11. When did Kimble Perry ever let the facts interfere with a good story?

  12. It's Kimball Perry, not Kimble. Word is circulating about some shakeup coming at the ENQY. Rumor is Editor Callinan soon to be gone. Not sure if resig or push. May be volunatry departure. This Nadine Allen thing could be the capstone on his time in Queen City. Hah!! Anybody know anything about editor leaving? Please chime in.

  13. Callinan appears to be telling people selectively that his days as the Enquirer's pretend editor-in-chief are over. He was a no-show at an editors meeting Monday and has been acting furtively. This has everything to do with the demise of the Enquirer and its out-of-town ownership. Also, Callinan going through the motions of leadership for seven years while collecting a salary that the paper can no longer afford. Marge Buchanan should end the charade and admit that she's been the real editor all along. If she doesn't, Callinan's successor -- Rick Green perhaps -- is destined to be driving Miss Daisy every day.

  14. Nadine Allen is one of the better judges down there and she should sue

  15. The ODI,clerk's offic, individual clerk's and the various bondsmen should pay attention to this because there is going to lawsuits filed against all of them. The little game is over. Just because you operated with the protection of the clerk's office for years, it's coming to an end

  16. Rick Green isn't packing up his bags and whistling Hang On Sloopy for a trip back to Ohio and the Enquirer's newsroom. He almost died from a heart attack the last time he worked at that sweatshop. But who knows? He might be the guy if/when Callinan ever leaves. Has the judge ever gotten her apology from the newspaper? Sounds like she deserves one.

  17. First of all this is really about the bonds companys fighting with each other. Trimble & Spisak did not print fake bonds... Every bond that is given to the clerks office is backed up by a Insurance Co... This is all about one Bondsman getting her license revoked by the department of Insurance and she is pissed..... She is still in the business, still making money in bail she always has been and always will. She needs to keep her mouth shut and move on. Its all about greed and they are ruining it for the good Bail Companys out ther and there are alot of good reputable Bonds people that do alot of good for the communites

  18. They did write bad bonds, Trimble for sure, do you watch Tv Todd Portune told it his self on Sunday November 14, watch it maybe you'll get a lesson in what really happens. The next shop will be all about he bad bonds. I have an e-mail from the insurance company that says"if he's writing any bonds they must be fake because Trimble has no powers". But live in your dream world and see it on TV. I guess you think the tapes are fake, when he said "I've been doing this for years"and "I've done this 100 of times." What about the other quote"I can manipulate the system". Then the best one yet "they trust me(clerk's office) but they aren't stupid. When the 20,000,000.00 lawsuit is filed next week, there will be a new press conference.,Which good companies, the one that prints them in their back room. Just remember your words when the FBI comes in and arrests them.

  19. At least she's not going to jail like the crooks and as she said all the lies just made her a millionaire when its over with

  20. Just keep up the good work with the lies, more to sue for. There will be about 6 more lawsuits filed, but as my mom said "you can't get blood from a turnip" I hope the sheriff don't sell your house at foreclosure, because then I can sue for it. Not that its worth anything, you owe more than its worth.