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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Cincinnati's YP CincyPAC In Public Records Showdown: COASTERS Use Courts To Snoop For E-Mails From Sharonville City Official


Political Feuding Seemingly Spills Into Courts 

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Lawyer Chris Finney, a power in the local anti-tax and small government group known as COAST, has filed a lawsuit demanding access to e-mails Sharonville's Economic Development Specialist Tammy Riddle supposedly sent to 28 people in the run-up to last fall's Cincinnati city elections.  Riddle is on the board of 
CincyPAC, which openly supports construction of a streetcar system in downtown Cincinnati.  Streetcars are anathema to COAST, which sees the rail project as a multi-million boondoggle.  The YP's have tended to see the streetcars as potential economic drivers that can revive the urban core.  They have prevailed over COAST in two citywide referendums.  CincyPAC is a political action committee of young professional founded in 2007.  Members tend to be progressives, but the group is not tied to any political party.  So far, the group has not emerged as a powerbroker in the city, although it is somewhat influential and has potential if it sticks together.  Clearly, it has gotten under COAST's skin.

So whose e-mails are being sought?  This is what the demand letter attached to the lawsuit says,

 "All electronic communications between Tammy Riddle and the following persons/e-mail addresses from January 1, 2010 to the present:  Shawn Baker, Michael Green, Doug Brandt, Katy Crossen, Patrick Quinn, Aja Roberto, Jameson Muth, Darren Tolliver, Evan Nolan, Myron Rivers, Tamaya Dennard, Tara Bonistall, Amber Burke Sprengard, Lori Adams, Beth Race, Trisa Wilkens, Catherine Smith Mills, Ashley Mills, Sean Butler, Rusdyn Lindsey, Chris Ostoich, Bobby Maly, David Dawson, Mark Schmidt, Rob Richardson, Margaret McGurk, Candace Klein."  (The Daily Bellwether is going to omit the e-mail addresses on commonsense grounds.)


Of course, there is more to the clash than streetcars, although the names make clear that is a key issue. Margaret McGurk, whose name appears on the list, is a former Cincinnati Enquirer reporter who probably no longer qualifies for the description young professional (sorry Margaret). McGurk, however, was a major player in the pro-streetcar campaign that so torqued off COAST. CincyPac was ripped earlier this year by Aja Roberto (who name is on the e-mail list), a former board member who quit claiming the CincyPAC endorsement process was rigged. She compared the YP group to a Soviet-style politburo. Then came a review of the strife in Ben Sherman's Cincy Voices, who took the view that Roberto seemed "likely just as “guilty” of being biased and partisan as any member of the Board of Directors currently sitting. At the very least, it draws into question any accusations of extreme bias coming from her corner."  Sherman also went on to note that the YP's endorsed just one Republican in the November Cincinnati City Council race, probably because the GOP candidates were out of touch with the group's core values:

"Yes, they did go from three Republicans out of seven down to one, but that could simply be due to the current composition of the group as opposed to what it was 2009, or the fact that, frankly, most of this years Republican candidates seem to have gone out of their way to oppose many of CincyPAC’s stated values. At any rate, it certainly doesn’t 
prove 'bias' on the part of the Board."

As for Tammy Riddle, she seems to be a solid public employee who has been sucked into a COAST lawsuit that, at this point, appears to have little public purpose except to try to dig up material that might (or might not) embarrass people who disagree with its ideology.  Riddle probably can send e-mails on the Sharonville computers about economic development matters (read streetcar) because her job involves economic development.  This is her Linked In profile:

"Working in economic development is rewarding because it is a hybrid of real estate development, finance, and business development. It fosters entreprenural spirit and provides opportunities to provide real value to businesses in a constantly evolving marketplace. I began my career in economic development working with communities and developers at Property Advisors, analyzing data and planning development projects, matching market-based demand with sustainable planning. Now, as economic development specialist for Sharonville, I've initiated the City's business attraction/retention strategies, manage City JV development projects, and lead business expansion and relocation projects; including structuring public financing, incentive negotiations, and public/private partnerships. Despite the lull in the market, Sharonville has seen much activity in business expansion, relocation, and new development. I am intrigued to work with more businesses as they embark on growth, in what is the ‘new reality’ of the business world."

The lawsuit is Case No. C1100734 in Hamilton County's 1st District Court of Appeals.  The hearing is set for May 29.  For now, the court says it won't put the case on a rocket docket for quick decision-making.   That looks like a bit of a setback for the COASTERs.   But lawyer Finney is a fighter with a reputation for holding his ground and not quitting.

53 comments:

  1. Is this using the court system for any point other than fighting? COAST, write a letter to her boss if you think she did something improper. Tsk-tsk

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  2. Way too many lawyers need work now. Public records are way to payday for some. Not all.

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  3. An e-mailer just passed this info along, which I am posting as a comment without revealing the source:

    "Well, isn't that special.

    "FYI, Rob Richardson, David Dawson, Mark Schmidt and Margaret McGurk were all co-chairs of Cincinnatians for Progress, which ran both the '09 and '11 anti-COAST-amendment campaigns. A couple others mentioned were active both years and several others were involved in '09 but not this year. Some I don't recognize at all, they may be active with CincyPAC.

    "Sounds like they are looking for another meaningless Laure Quinlivan type situation to honk about."

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  4. This entire affair is nothing short of an attempt by Finney and COAST to intimidate it's political opponents via the court system in order to silence them. IMHO the entire stunt that Roberto pulled at CINCYPAC was a well organized attack on that group by the right wingers. Roberto is a member of the Blue Chip Young Republicans (a group closely allied with COAST), and is engaged to COAST member & Cheviot Treasurer Charlie Norman. Look for Finney to use whatever dirt he digs up from Riddle's emails as the basis of further lawsuits against those members of CINCYPAC that you've named, and others.

    COAST will stop at nothing in order to silence it's opponents, and they would like to stop CINCYPAC's growing influence in Cincinnati elections in it's tracks. Finney is little more than a judicial terrorist who uses the so-called Justice System to further his own political agenda and line his own pockets at the same time.He's a conman and a shyster of the first order.

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  5. Fris Chinney's Large PosteriorJanuary 03, 2012 1:37 PM

    Well Roberto is a COAST member in true form. Like COAST Treasurer Mark Miller, who does not pay hs bills and has been sued many times as a result (his home has been in foreclosure twice), and COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd who lost his home in foreclosure last year, Aja Roberto seems to have issues with her own personal debts

    http://www.courtclerk.org/case_summary.asp?casenumber=06CV08428

    http://www.courtclerk.org/case_summary.asp?casenumber=06CV08428

    http://www.courtclerk.org/case_summary.asp?casenumber=08CV38039

    http://www.courtclerk.org/case_summary.asp?casenumber=C0600952

    Fiscal Conservatism at it's finest!!

    And Roberto is being presented by Finney's law firm in another matter, so the dots are coming together:

    http://www.courtclerk.org/case_summary.asp?casenumber=A1107740

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  6. I wonder how many fire stations were browned out to pay for Tammy Riddle's emails?
    #sarcasm

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  7. An interesting item in The City of Sharonville's response; they claim to have responded to COAST FOIA request and that they gave COAST whatever was or wasn't there. However COAST wasn't satisfied with what they received from Sharonville and filed a lawsuit. Interestingly the court denied Finney's request for a writ of mandamus, which would have compelled the City to complete COAST's request pertaining to the emails which Sharonville claims to have done). The case moves to a fuller hearing now, and Sharonville isn't rolling over for COAST, they have hired outside counsel, Lawrence Barbiere, to fight the case.

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  8. The lawsuit seems to only be about why the City of Sharonville did not respond to a public records request, which should be a concern of any journalist. His motivation or purpose, frivolous or otherwise, the request seems reasonable in its scope. Regardless, if the what the lawsuit says is correct, and I presume it is on the matter of fact regarding any response from city officials, Finney is right to sue. And as a public - much less any news gathering professionals or agency - we owe him a thank you for his dedication to enforcement of Ohio's public record laws. I fear Sharonville is not alone in its brazen disregard of one of Ohio's most important laws.

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  9. I agree with Joe.

    The issue Roberto had with CincyPAC was that they lied about the membership making the decision about endorsements. The unelected board decided to "weight" their own votes much heavier than the other members without informing the other members that this was the case when they were taking their money. The board ignored every request for some evidence that the unelected board informed their membership that the board members votes would be the deciding factor.

    It was certainly dishonest of them and they shouldn't have thrown Roberto under the bus simply because she blew the whistle.

    CincyPAC raises very little money and has little influence. They aren't progressives, they are just Democrats. There is a difference!

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  10. Joe,

    Your response is beyond bizare. To the filings In the suit, sharonville did in fact respond to the FOIA request, however Finney Was not satisfied Which their response, presumably because he didn't find what he was looking for. Furthermore, you seem to habr overlooking the very subject of the story, which is Finney/Coast's abuse of the legal system In order to intimidate their political adversaries. Why do you think that Finney was searching for those specific emails in the first place question? He is on a fishing expedition trying to turn up anything with which he can use me as the basis for legal action against Cincypac and or its member. Pull your head out of your ass Joe.

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  11. My head is now out of my ass. Thanks.

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  12. Conservative DeadbeatJanuary 03, 2012 4:36 PM

    Was 4:29 written by Aja herself or another Coast stooge?

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  13. Hey 4:29, didn't COAST raise less than $200 to campaign for Issue 48?

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  14. I think that it is important for readers to realize what is happening here. Coast filed a Freedom of Information Act request for information about certain emails that might have been sent by a government employee from their City owned email account. The City of Sharonville fully responded to that request, and turned over what they found: nothing. There were no emails that matched the descriptions in the request. Chris Finney would not except that answer and filed for relief with the court. The Writ of Mandamus that Finney was seeking would have granted him the extraordinary powers to search through the City of Sharonville's email servers himself in order to find the emails that he alleges to exist. This is nothing short of outrageous, the City has fully answered Finney's request, but Finney insists the emails are there and that the City is lying to him about them. Finney is exhibiting the same kind of disturbing zeal as Captain Quigg when insisted that someone with a duplicate key to the USS Caine's wardroom icebox was responsible for the disappearance of those strawberries. Both Quigg and Finney are mental cases who should be kept from causing anyone else further harm.

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  15. Thank you legal observer for explaining the issue in English.

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  16. So if the court had granted Frivolous Finney's request it would have been like a search warrant, a license to snoop around in Sharonville's electronic records and snoop around for god only knows what kind of personal information about one of their political opponents. Glad the court told Finney to take a hike.

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  17. The suit was only filed after Sharonville failed to respond to the public records request. Had Sharonvile responded there would be no suit. I guess Bill Sloat and liberal fools like "Fris Chinney's.. (Aka loser CincyCapell) are ok with governments ignoring legitimately filed public records requests as long as it suits their political sensibilities.

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  18. Chris Finney looking at public records of a government employee is snooping, but CincyCapell looking through andposting public records to make private citizens look bad is laudable.
    Hypocrites.

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  19. Eli from CaliforniaJanuary 04, 2012 12:09 AM

    Aja, my princess of the universe, broke my heart before she met her new fiancee, COAST kool-aid drinker, Stormin' Charlie Norman.

    Thankfully I taped my 1st date with her for the world to see.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuSD8iZC2Bk

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  20. Coaster DeadbeatJanuary 04, 2012 1:17 AM

    li, that was EPIC!!

    Anon 11:33/38/Mark Miller,

    They are public records freely accessible to anyone. If you, Aja and Jason Gloyd don't want your dirty laundry read aloud then you should pay your bills like the rest of do and you won't have anything to worry about.

    Sharonville alleges in their answer to the lawsuit that they did in point of fact fully comply with COAST's FOI request. However Finney could not accept that there were no emails from Riddle concerning CincyPAC to be found, so he wants a license to snoop into into Sharonville's electronic records himself. Sorry charlie, but the court didn't see it Finney's way and denied his request for an writ. That's life in the big city.

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  21. But will Aja still be able to be a Princess/Goddess in Charlie Norman's $99,000 Cheviot "Palace"?

    http://bit.ly/wSWhd3

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  22. Bill,
    As a frequent reader of your blog I'm saddened that you've allowed it to become a forum for personal attacks instead of a forum for vigorous discussion of legitimate issues. I'm trying and failing to figure out what any of these things have to do with the original content of your post, which is interesting and worthy of discussion. Please don't allow your site to devolve into another Enquireresque comment section anonymous pissing match.
    Sincerely,

    Bob Alpern

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  23. CincyCapell's neighborJanuary 04, 2012 12:15 PM

    If I was CincyCapell, who is on here posting and reposting anonymously and under fake names, I'd want to spend all day and night on the internet too. THIS is what he has to go home to every night.

    http://www.hcso.org/publicservices/inmateinfo/InmateDetails.aspx?JMSid=1449715

    She's even more horrifying in person. It's been blissfully quiet around here since she got locked up.

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  24. I actually feel sorry for Charlie. He'll be trying to please the Princess/Goddess while she continually reminds him that she settled for him.

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  25. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuSD8iZC2Bk

    SUCKS TO BE AJA!!!!

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  26. Of course, CincyCapell's wife is only the start of his problems. As a registered sex offender who else could he expect to marry but a drug addicted criminal? You thought nobody would find out about your illegal activities with underage children because it happened in another state didn't you?

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  27. Forward ConservativeJanuary 04, 2012 1:45 PM

    I wouldn't want to have to please that needy Princess either Charlie. My condolences.

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  28. CincyCapell,
    Get in touch. I think I have a TV show that you can appear on. I can be reached at to_catch_a_predator@yahoo.com.

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  29. Forward ConservativeJanuary 04, 2012 2:05 PM

    You know what would be a real hoot? To submit a FOIA records request for Charlie Norman's City of Cheviot email account and computer to see what COAST related emails has sent from his email account and to see what websites he surfs and what comments he makes from his City computer & internet connection. I bet that the Citizens of Cheviot would like to see how COASTer Charlie spends his days when he's supposed to be working for the City.

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  30. Sean Baker's probation officerJanuary 04, 2012 2:42 PM

    Shawn Baker sure has a lot of time on his hands these days. I guess that's what happens when you're the leader of an irrelevant political action committee. Maybe someone should do a FOIA records request on his rather lengthy arrest record. Mugshots might spice this blog up a bit.

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  31. Deadbeat Democrat, IncJanuary 04, 2012 8:59 PM

    "Riddle probably can send e-mails on the Sharonville computers about economic development matters (read streetcar) because her job involves economic development."

    Campaigning for the streetcar in Cincinnati is not an economic development issue for the City of Sharonville.

    A public employee is not permitted to campaign for or against a ballot issue while on taxpayer time. Period. Even if the issue in question was a ballot issue for a Sharonville streetcar, she is legally prohibited from using taxpayer resources or her taxpayer funded work time to campaign for it.

    A note to those who are making personal attacks about other people's financial situation - I don't think you want to go there. Go through the Clerk of Courts website and see what Jason Riveiro, Caleb Faux, and Cecil Thomas have been up to. Democrats don't seem to do very well at paying their bills.

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  32. Backward ConservativeJanuary 04, 2012 10:28 PM

    8:59-the ony thing that you forgot in your diatribe is that The City of Sharonville did in fact complete the FOI demand, and there were no such emails. and I've never heard Jason Riveiro, Caleb Faux, or Cecil Thomas spout off hypocritical statements about 'the dangers of debt' or 'fiscal conservatism' while not paying their own personal debts at the same time. Mark Miller and Jason Gloyd do it every day.

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  33. Deadbeat Democrats, IncJanuary 04, 2012 11:32 PM

    Jason Riveiro, Caleb Faux, and Cecil Thomas are reckless in their public lives and reckless in their personal lives. If you elect them, irresponsible fiscal policies will ensue.

    Which is it? Did Sharonville not respond to their public records request, as you've alleged, or did Sharonville respond with at least some level of information, as you've also alleged? If you knew the facts of the case, which you don't, you wouldn't be this confused.

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  34. Had you read Sharonville's response to the complaint (which I have), they state that they have fully and completely responded to Finney's FOI demand. The court must have agreed with them , as it denied Finney's request for a writ.

    As to 'reckless personal and professional lives', nobody has been more reckless than COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd, he of the repossessed home, and Mark Miller, serial liar, tweeter and chronic deadbeat whose house has been in foreclosure twice and has a slew of lawsuits against him for nonpayment of his debts too long to list here.

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  35. The actual timeline:

    Public records request was filed.
    Sharonville sat on in for months.
    Lawsuit was filed.
    Only then, did Sharonville respond.
    I do not know precisely what that response was, and nobody else seems to either.

    And if you're the expert on personal responsibility, maybe you can teach Cecil Thomas, Caleb Faux, and Jason Riveiro how to pay their bills. Why can't Democrats pay their obligations?

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  36. COAST HYPOCRITESJanuary 05, 2012 1:34 AM

    If you do not know "what that response was" then you do not and cannot possibly know the "timeline". You're pulling your statements out of your ass, in other words.

    I'll teach those dems once you teach the deadbeat Coasters Miller, Gloyd & Roberto all about paying their bills, personal responsibility and hypocrisy.

    Why don't Coast members pay their obligations?

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  37. Were the comments made about Cincycapell made in jest or does someone have some legitimate information? The personal attacks are uncalled for.

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  38. Those comments ar just a desperate attack by a COASTer. No basis in reality whatsoever.

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  39. Why don't Democrats pay their obligations?

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  40. I may be settling, but at least I'll have someone to pay my bills.

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  41. I feel it is wrong to state the guy is a registered sex offender, his wife is a drug abuser and something else in regards to underage children. I guess some on here would state he brought it on himself by listing others public records. Difference is, no one has listed any links to his or his wife's alleged criminal activities.

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  42. It would be hard for the Coast crowd to know any dirt about CC since they have absolutely no idea who the Guy is.

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  43. if coast knew who cincycappel was they would have already published his or her name all over the internets. it's just more empty mudslinging from the losers at coast.

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  44. I always thought the guy was an acquaintance of Portune's. I know there is/was a cappel on some committee along with Portune in regards to the PBS fiasco.

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  45. Jeff Capell is a conservative Republican who is working with Portune to implement a ticket tax to help with the stadium fund shortfall. CincyCapell is an anti-Semitic, racist liberal who hides behind the real Jeff Capell's name because he's too embarrassed to use his own name. It's not that hard to keep the two straight.

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  46. Awww, Jeffy has his delicate widdle fee-fees hurt.

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  47. CincyCapell, your wife is in the news again.

    http://news.yahoo.com/wild-elephant-kills-three-nepal-080606639.html

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  48. The Princess GoddessJanuary 05, 2012 11:48 PM

    I could have had a hot hunk like Eli, a big house in Beverly Hills and a glamorous life. But I guess that I'll have to settle for life in the $99,000 Chateau Cheviot instead. {{sigh}}

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  49. Forward ConservativeJanuary 05, 2012 11:50 PM

    God, how am I going to keep this spoiled, needy Princess Goddess happy on my small salary?? {{sigh}}

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  50. Oh, how I wish I had a wife who weighed less than 200 pounds.

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  51. And in that small dumpy house in that shitty neighborhood?

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  52. CIncyCapell is a cofirmed pedophileJanuary 08, 2012 10:30 PM

    Every single thing stated about CincyCapell in this blog is 100% true. He does have a criminal record as stated, and his wife is in fact a crminal drug addict. If it's not true, let him disprove it. He can't. Glass houses, throwing stones, yadda, yadda, yadda.

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  53. CincyPac President Shawn BakerJanuary 08, 2012 10:31 PM

    Please don't post those bleary-eyed mugshots of me taken after my many, many DUI's and drug arrests.

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