Aaron "Bulldog" Dixon died in the Montgomery County Ohio jail from an overdose, days after being arrested. Did he die for our sins?

Streck’s house of horrors

I really shouldn’t have to be the one writing this story, that you now won’t read in the Dayton Daily newsless, because, if I broke the story- they can’t cover it.

That’s why you haven’t heard anything about the Kettering Schools corruption coverup, the Higgins appeal, and the story about Dr. Lolli retiring from DPS- and her illegally passed retroactive raise was days after I wrote about it.

It’s why the DDn didn’t write about the second pepper spraying of an inmate in restraints by then Sheriff Phil Plummer’s deputies didn’t make it for a 2 whole weeks after I released the story.

So, who cares if they now have to vacate a few cells over black mold in the jail? We don’t care about inmate safety, or that the jail is dangerously understaffed, or that apparently, they can’t even maintain a building properly. Just another excuse to waste tax dollars building a new jail to replace the relatively recent jail.

Too bad no one cares when an inmate dies of an overdose in the jail on Friday, January 13, 2023. His spouse, was also in the jail when he died. He’d been there since the 9th, so the question of where the drugs came from to kill him should be front and center.

But, safety in the jail isn’t something anyone really cares about in the region. We know that because there was no outrage when inmates in restraints were pepper sprayed at point blank range in the jail. Or the number of assaults within the jail from inmates on inmates to guards on inmates- it’s basically the Thunderdome.

If you are in jail, you aren’t human. Doesn’t matter you are “innocent until proven guilty”- you’re just fodder for the prison industrial complex.

It’s amazing that lawyers like Aaron Hartley, who’s been found guilty of assault, haven’t spent a night in the slammer. And, politicians and public servants seem to slide through safely.

But if you are a drug addict who’s had some minor brushes with the law, we really don’t seem to care about you.

Aaron W. “Bulldog” Dixon died in custody, while his wife, Tammy Rena Dixon was also in custody. Both are 52 and have records of run ins with the law, probably mostly connected to issues with addiction. Addiction isn’t a crime, it’s a medical affliction that can and should be treated by universal health care in this country, but it’s not.

We spend billions conducting a “war on drugs” that has no winners and lots of losers. While you may not think you are directly affected, you are. You are paying to keep this horrible system of “Criminal Justice” fully stocked with people who need help- not incarceration.

When will the story of Mr. Dixon be told to the whole community, and when will we start questioning our leadership for their failure to address this real issue. The answer is- it is apparently up to me, and the community can let their voice be heard at the next election.

Just a reminder, at any time, you, your loved ones, me, could end up in that jail, even without having committed a crime. I’ve been there.

We need new leadership in Montgomery County Ohio. All of it.

They have the blood of Mr. Dixon on their hands, and yet, they never have to face the music.

David Esrati introduces the Layoff Reduction Act- holding Corporate leaders accountable for employment

The Mass Layoff Act of 2023

Had I beaten Mike Turner, I would have been advancing this legislation in Congress. Instead, he’s still whining about classified documents in homes. For the record, I don’t care if you are Biden or Trump, having classified documents outside a secure area, should result in the exact same thing- go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200. That’s what happens to the average defense contractor in Dayton if they get caught doing it. I’m absolutely an equal opportunity prosecuter.

In the last 2 months, we’ve seen mass layoffs from big tech companies.

  • Alphabet- 12,000 employees
  • Amazon- 18,000 employees
  • Coinbase- 2,000 employees
  • Goldman Sachs- 3,200 employees
  • Meta- 11,000 employees
  • Microsoft- 10,000 employees
  • Robinhood- 1,100 employees
  • Salesforce- 8,000 employees
  • Shopify- 1,000 employees
  • Snap- 1,000 employees
  • Stripe- 1,100 employees
  • Tesla- 6,000 employees
  • Twitter- 3,700 employees

Sources: CNBC, and there’s even a layoff site now: layoffs.fyi

While all of you can say, well these are big companies and it’s a small proportion of their total employment, I’m going to suggest you think about these as Army divisions going into battle with generals having that many of their soldiers dying on the battlefield.

Just that list is 78,100 employees being casualties of incompetent, money grubbing CEO’s who are all grossly overpaid. Those CEO’s and their leadership teams are actually rewarded for “rightsizing” their companies.

It’s time to end this malarkey.

The mass layoff act will force accountability of corporate governance and protect workers. If a company lays off more than 50 people, automatically, any employee who is paid more than 10x the lowest paid laid off employee, has their salary reduced to the lowest paid employees salary for a year. All stock options, are revoked. Any stock sold in the proceeding year, is clawed back and put into the employees protection fund, to help fund all failed pension funds and extend unemployment benefits. Any employee holding more than 1% of the companies stock has to forfeit a percentage of their stock equal to the percentage of their layoff- if they lay off 3% of the workforce, they lose 3% of their stock.

No executive bonuses are paid for a period of a year to anyone making more than 10x the lowest paid employee.

No employees of the company are allowed to be awarded stock, or buy or sell stock for a year.

It’s time to end the casino like mechanics of equity markets, and to stop making the little people pay for these insane inequities. We need a maximum wage in these cases much more than we need a minimum wage.

The effect of 78,000 people being laid off isn’t just on the people who lose their jobs. This creates a ripple effect of problems for landlords, mortgage companies, schools where their kids go, communities losing tax base, etc etc.

It all comes back to Superman, “With great power, comes great responsibility” – and it’s time to hold the c-suite responsible.

Of course, this bill would never make it on the floor- because, well, all of congress is bought and sold for by these companies. So in addition, any company which engages in mass layoffs- the rights of their PACs to donate, their c-level employees to donate, must be stripped away for 10 years. This is easily achievable, since the first thing I passed in congress was a universal “donor registration system” requiring as much information as the “Voter Registration System” including tying every dollar donated to a social security number and employer.

We now return you to the reality of America today: where the rich, get richer and the rest of us get used and abused.

I’m not your congressman, yet, and I approve this message.

Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli is smiling because she got a retroactive raise in a meeting where the public couldn't comment

Elizabeth Lolli announces retiring- doesn’t even make the paper. Neither does her retroactive pay raise.

A letter from the Dayton City School District Superintendent:

January 10, 2023

To the Board of Education, DPS Staff, and the Dayton Community,

As I finish the final year of my contract, which ends on July 31, 2023, I wanted to take a few moments to reflect on my six years as Superintendent of Dayton City Schools.

I want to thank the board, staff, students, families, and community for helping DPS to finally raise its state rating above an F before the COVID-19 disruptions and again, after the pandemic in 2021-22. We have made key steps for systematic change and lasting progress. As I have said before, the Ohio Superintendent of the Year honor, just bestowed on me, recognizes not only my previous administrative work but also the road DPS is taking to quality. It’s a team award.

Together, with the support of the board and community, we have done important things for our DPS children, all of which help lead to better performance. It begins with teachers. Recent years have been hard, yet DPS teachers have stepped up. As a former professor, I’m proud we developed strong professional development that our educators embrace and use to improve student achievement daily.

Our educators have become innovators to face the challenges ahead: starting our new International School for ESL students; nearly doubling Career and Technical Education options; shaping River’s Edge School as a genuine Montessori School; initiating the Double Teaching model to help students catch up; and increasing the number of DPS College Credit Plus students by fifty percent.

With student health and mental health pressures increasing, DPS opened our first school-based health clinic with Five Rivers Health Center, created resiliency coordinators and added mental health counselors with Dayton Children’s, put nurses in every school, and deployed more counselors to every middle school. These are vital supports, proven effective in cities across the country, and working here.

As a former music teacher, I’ve been excited to see quality music education increase in every building and to field the All-City Marching Band at football games. And speaking of sports, we have completed a reorganization of the athletic department, added new sports programs and intramural options, improved athletic fields, and high school weight rooms.

All this requires the best use of local and state funds, and the appropriate allocation of pandemic assistance from the federal government and other outside sources. I am proud to say we have worked within budget and the financial state of our schools is strong because DPS is fiscally accountable.

As a result of all this, DPS is gaining statewide respect. With several superintendents, I was asked to help the Ohio Department of Education and Governor with state budgeting, COVID-19 recovery plans, and to provide advice on other educational matters. This work, as a representative of our students, educators, and community, is vital for students, and reflects well on our Dayton image. We now have a voice at Ohio’s education table.

When I came here, the mandate was to get DPS back on the right track. It is. Together, we have built a strong foundation for progress, and for new leadership to continue the DPS turnaround. The community owes our educators and partners in progress a debt of gratitude, and they certainly have mine. The DPS Board of Education now has sufficient time to choose our next leader.

It has been an honor of my career to serve this community’s children and staff. The work and relationships will always be dear to my heart, I wish everyone well, and will forever be a Daytonian.

Sincerely,

Dr. Elizabeth Lolli

Superintendent of Schools

Why she got hired in the first place as superintendent will forever remain a mystery. Hired by her disgraced train wreck of a predecessor, Rhonda Corr, she managed to get put in charge without any in depth background investigation (the same is true for Corr). Grasping at straws, the board elevated her so as to put someone in charge quickly and move on.

Lolli has been a mistake from day one. You can read a bunch of posts on this site that fully describe the folly of Lolli. She’s cost the district tens of millions due to her incompetence, from insane legal bills, to multiple mistakes on HR, high turnover (if you don’t understand the costs of turnover in any organization, you are probably a DPS school board member), and enrollment drops, performance drops, and last but not least- failures in transportation. While the board seems to think her “team teaching” approach for grades 1-3 is “revolutionary” and somehow a great success, it’s pretty well known that decreasing class size improves results, and this is basically the same thing. About the only good thing she’s done is reinstate music programs in all schools (she’s a former music teacher). Other than that, this district would have been light years ahead had the toxic board with Adil Baguirov not passed over David Lawrence as an internal candidate.

This board is just as toxic. The performances at their epic long meetings should be monitored by prosecutors, auditors and ethics investigators as they just can’t seem to help themselves from self-indictment. In the reorg meeting on the 10th, it starts out with a discussion of why Jocelyn Rhynard wasn’t included in their normal round-robin calls to discuss board business/appointments reorganization. Then we have Rhynard again bringing up her sexual harassment complaint against Will Smith- who then says that the board has already wasted a ton of money on legal fees to investigate her claims.

This is almost as embarrassing as the meeting where I decided I was done trying to report on them regularly- the one where a DPS administrator was making a presentation about a $400K contract, showing slides that still had boilerplate text on them like “Your perfect title slide” and “Lorem Ipsum” and the board let her drone on- then voted to award the 3 year contract (which Lolli cancelled after 2 years). Had any of the board had an IQ bigger than their shoe size, someone would have stopped her, and said “It appears you aren’t prepared to present today, please come back when you are ready” and ended it.

The Dayton Daily newsless hasn’t reported this story- the next question is will the board hire some consulting firm for $30K to do a nationwide search to find candidates willing to come and takeover their shrunken, broken, failing district- or will they do the right thing and promote from within? The obvious choice is Lawrence again, but, obvious isn’t something this board understands.

At the end of the last 4 hour plus meeting, (8:50 pm) after everyone had gone home except the poor video people, they came out of executive session and gave Lolli a going away gift of a retroactive to August of last year 5% raise. This wasn’t on the agenda before the meeting- so they failed to give proper notice. Considering Lolli’s already double dipping, and making more money than she ever made on her first retirement, this just adds more insult to the injury already inflicted on the taxpayers by this incompetent superintendent. The fact that the public wasn’t made aware of this, not afforded the right to have public input, is criminal. That it’s retroactive to August anyway- this should have been brought up at the next business meeting. Dr. Pickett wasn’t there, and kudos to Joe Lacey who voted no (probably out of guilt for not hiring Lawrence 5 years ago).

The reality is, these people have zero respect for the public they represent, and should be removed from office.

Resoultion-Superintendent-Salary-Increase.docx-2

Superintendent Scott Inskeep kettering schools culture of corruption

Montgomery County Educational Service Center sued: Kettering Schools have some ‘splainin to do

Full disclosure: Lori Parks (nee Simms) is a wonderful human being who I’ve known for a long time. Bob Parks is one of the nice guys in my profession (advertising). I’ve been out to dinner with them, have competed with Bob on the same contract before (both of us lost), and I’ve never heard anyone say anything other than nice things about both of them.

In the Jan 6, 2023 Dayton Daily newsless, there is a story saying the Lori Parks is resigning from the Kettering School board.

Lori Parks, a 19-year school board member, retired from the panel effective Dec. 31 to focus on professional work opportunities, according to her Dec. 29 letter.

“As I move to the next phase of my life in real estate and contract work for a national non-profit, I do not have the time to commit to my position as a school board member,” Parks stated in the letter.

JUST IN: Kettering school board seeks to fill vacancy after longtime member steps down

What’s missing is a story the newspaper will later report on, after reading it here first- without giving credit to this publication.

Lori’s husband, Bob Parks, owner of “The Marketing Formula” (note – the site is a holding page) sued the Montgomery County Educational Service Center and the Kettering City School District Board of Education Monday, October 31, 2022 2:32:25 PM CASE NUMBER: 2022 CV 04947 over a no-bid contract that was granted to his firm to turn Kettering Schools into a “Destination District” for families for a total of $265,892.

Starting in February 2021, Parks met with then Kettering Superintendent Scott Inskeep to discuss Inskeep’s desire to make Kettering a destination district (hereinafter referred to as
“the Initiative”). Superintendent Inskeep’s desire was to attract families to Kettering City Schools based upon the quality of education provided. This, in turn, would help to grow KCS enrollment numbers.

The fact that Parks is married to one of Inskeep’s bosses (the School Board) should have been an instant red flag. In fact, Inskeep checked with counsel before proceeding. He came up with a way to skirt normal board approval- fund it with a “grant” from the Montgomery County Educational Service Center. Parks submitted to Superintendent Inskeep a proposed written contract titled “2021 LETTER OF AGREEMENT” dated March 8, 2021 and signed by Inskeep on Mar 31, 2021.

Now, going back to basic business law, once you have a signed agreement, and a payment, per a written document, you’ve accepted the terms and it’s a valid contract.

And, since the money started flowing, Mr. Parks had every right to believe that he was hired to do the work.

Parks had the nerve to ask for $37,910 due on the 10th of April 2021 from Kettering Schools. He also had a “Performance contract” with the Montgomery County Educational Service Center, signed by, you guessed it, Scott Inskeep, on April 1st 2021 for the same project for a total of $227,980 to be completed by June of 2023.

With 2 signed “Contracts” what could go wrong?

The lawyers tell us in the filings: Lots.

For those of you who want to play lawyer, you can read the entire case, because it’s already been dealt with and closed. Both the ESC and the Kettering Schools wasted quite a bit of money on attorneys to snake their way out of this contract. Both relying on the fact that unless you are Libbie Lolli and the Dayton Board of Education, you can’t spend tax dollars without board approval.

But, wait, on May 13, 2021, the MCESC board voted to enter into a contract with “The Marketing Formula” (Pg 31 of the binder attached)

Contractual agreement between the Montgomery County Educational Service Center and The Marketing Formula, Corp. to provide marketing and educational experiences to Kettering City Schools through the 2020 – 2021 school year in the amount of $66,346.00.

MCESC minutes of May 13 2021

Then comes back and forth with Kettering Schools about another contract to sign, and another invoice for $100,689 due Aug 8, 2021. And then $60,945 on April 11, 2022, with a note in the invoice mentioning that Superintendent Inskeep will be retiring on Aug 1, 2022 and that his retirement date means the project has to be finished 10 months in advance of the original completion date (which would require TMF to add additional staff to get it done).

Then on June 13 2022- another invoice for $17K – but, they are unsure if it’s to Kettering Schools or the MCESC.

At this point, the Kettering School Board Treasurer/CFO Mr. Cary Furniss, is sending an email on Aug 1, 2022 saying that the “Kettering schools is not continuing our relationship with The Marketing Formula effectively immediately. Note- this is Inskeep’s final day. And, Parks can call their lawyer at Frost Brown Todd if he has any questions.

Dang. All that money, and all those contracts, and communications, and yet, you’ve got to go away, NOW.

It would seem, that an inquisitive mind might wonder if Mr. Inskeep didn’t really “retire”- but, was going away quietly, after being caught in breaking the law. Just another case of corruption in Montgomery County being swept under the rug.

Parks was ready, and on Aug 18, 2022, he sends an invoice to Furniss for another $48,400 for a cancellation fee, per the Mar 8, 2021 agreement and then files in court.

And the Kettering Schools fire back:

A School Board Is The Only Entity That Can Enter Into Contracts For A School District
R.C. §3313.33 states that “[n]o contract shall be binding upon any board unless it is made or authorized at a regular or special meeting of such board.”
The Ohio Supreme Court has held that a principal has no authority to bind a school board to a contract. Wolf v. Cuyahoga Falls City Sch. Dist., Bd. of Educ., 52 Ohio St.3d 222, 223 (1990). Furthermore, the Supreme Court noted that a superintendent could not bind the board to a contract when the board had not authorized the contract pursuant to R.C. §3313.33. (Id.at 224). The Supreme Court also found that the “representations of the superintendent, even if based on conversations with individual board members do not, as a matter of law, meet the statutory requirements… .” (Id.).
The Second Appellate District has also stated that a contract is not binding on a school board unless it is made or authorized at a regular or special meeting. Tirpack v. Beavercreek Bd. of Educ., 1992 Ohio App. LEXIS 3969 at 5-6 (2nd App. Dist. 1992). Specifically, the Second District held that an implied contract is not binding because it was not approved at a meeting of the school board. Accordingly, it is black letter law in the state of Ohio that no contract exists with a school district unless the school board has approved the contract at a regular or special board meeting.
Separately, a contract is invalid if a school board’s fiscal officer does not attach a certificate confirming sufficient funding exists for the contract. R.C. §5705.41(D)(1). The statutory requirement is that no political subdivision shall make any contract or give any order involving the expenditure of money unless there is attached a certificate of the fiscal officer that the amount required to meet the contract has been lawfully appropriated for such purpose. R.C. §5705.412 also provides that no school district shall make any contract or give any order involving the expenditure of money unless there is a certificate signed by the treasurer and the president of the school board and the superintendent.
R.C. §5705.412(B)(2). At no place in the Complaint does the Plaintiff allege that either of these statutory requirements have been met with respect to the letter of agreement.
The Complaint contains no allegations that the letter of agreement is actually a contract between Kettering and the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff does not allege that they complied with R.C. §3313.33 and that the letter of agreement was authorized at a regular or special meeting of the School Board. The letter of agreement cannot serve as an implied contract either because the Second Appellate District has specifically held that an implied contract is not binding unless it is approved by the school board at a regular or special board meeting.

Finally, the Plaintiff does not allege that the letter of agreement contains a certificate from the School District’s Treasurer, President of the School Board or the Superintendent certifying that the amount required to meet the letter of agreement has been lawfully appropriated. Accordingly, because there is no contract between Kettering and the Plaintiff, Plaintiff’s claim for breach of contract against Kettering must fail.

Pg 96-97 of attached filings

Now, astute reader, if you remember my biz law 101 – you need a signature and a payment and that pretty much means you have a valid contract, why is Park’s the bad guy here? (Other than the fact that his wife was on the Board and shouldn’t have been doing business with them because it would look stinky?). Anyone who signed a check, engaged in emails with The Marketing Formula, was guilty as sin- and should be getting tossed in the slammer for spending public money on what they claim is an illegal contract.

Did Mr. Furniss not know that there wasn’t a legal contract? And, when did the school board find out? These are the kinds of question that raise this whole mess into the realm of the FBI and DOJ coming in for a “Culture of Corruption” investigation. The amount of money in play here is greater than the amount that got former Dayton City Commissioner Joey D. Williams sentenced to a year in prison, Roshawn Winburn to 6 months (that he never served) and Clayton Luckie for 4 months. Of course, the local small businessman, Brian Higgins got 3 years in the Federal Pen for mail fraud for an amount between $85K and $125K. Is it only Black men that get prosecuted?

Now, considering this reporter isn’t paid to do the investigations for the Feds, the Schools, the Taxpayers, or anyone else, there’s a whole bunch of secondary rocks that need to be turned over to get to the bottom of this.

This isn’t the first time that these County “Educational Service Centers” have been used as a way to wash funds in the breaking of the law. Bellbrook Sugarcreek schools got caught doing a similar thing with levy funds(update- I’m unable to find mention of this in the indictment of the Superintendent Doug Cozad by the state) by their junkyard watchdog, John Stafford. Here’s the state indictment:

21CRB0111-State-of-Ohio-vs-COZAD

There, the superintendent, Doug Cozad, got to keep his job while taking an Alford Plea agreement, where he accepted a single count of Dereliction of Duty and all the other charges were dismissed.

The lack of oversight on these “Educational Service Centers” is epic. But, the story of how these quasi-government organizations have grown in power and cost, as a haven for white double dipping retired superintendents is a story for another day.

The facts need to be set straight: Inskeep, much like Libbie Lolli with Hoodigate, both expended tax dollars without approval by their elected bosses, the School Boards. Both, should be under indictment. The treasurers who knew these funds were expended, without approval, should also lose their licenses and be held personally liable. (Instead, Inskeep is running a suicide prevention non-profit in Cincinnati) And the local media, that missed this story, should be forced to report it, while giving credit to your favorite local independent journalist who digs into the backstory of seemingly innocuous press releases to give you the real story.

2022CV04947_Binder

For the record, this isn’t the first story about questionable no bid contracts going to ad agencies where public officials enriched the friends and family that I’ve published. County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman’s former assistant, John Theobald, got involved in a no-bid public health campaign that he steered to the “Wilderness Agency” that did her campaign work. After my article appeared, Theobald resigned, got put on the Montgomery County Veterans Service Commission, and announced he was now the “Chief Operating Officer” of Wilderness and a Co-founder (the business began 3 years before he steered the contract). No legal action was pursued by anyone for this seemingly gross ethics violation.

US District Court Judge M. Thomas Rose

The truth, the half truth, and nothing closely resembling the truth. The Higgins Appeal.

If you watch any legal procedural on TV, you’ve heard the words that you swear before taking the stand, “Do you swear that the evidence you shall give to the court in this matter shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” This is a story of anything but the truth.

The sad thing about newspapers today, is for the most part, they don’t have the resources to tell the full story. A legal appeal on a federal lawsuit might get a short mention, if any at all, and usually as part of another related story. The days of having reporters sit through entire trials only come with sensational cases, not the ones where one local businessman is railroaded by the feds after he unknowingly helped the FBI in a sting operation.

Full disclosure- Brian Higgins is a good friend of mine and former client. I’ve known him since 2008 and did work for him starting in 2010. I knew about some of the things as they happened, and found out more once Brian shared his discovery with me (this is not supposed to happen). It was through the discovery- and personal accounts from Brian and other friends, that I pieced together much of what happened, and how former Dayton City Commissioner Joey D. Williams became an FBI confidential human source on 10/02/2015- and was allowed to stand for re-election in 2017 with an agreement to step down if re-elected (which he did in 2018). This is real election fraud, and the kind no one is talking about (although George Santos may become a poster child for that term.)

The trial of Brian Higgins was more about what Judge Thomas Rose let into evidence and what the jury was allowed to be told, than what was really going on. The jury never knew that Brian Higgins introduced the FBI informant, Mike Marshall to Dayton City Commissioner Joey D. Williams and Dayton business and technical assistance administrator Roshawn Winburn so that the four of them could go into the demolition business and make a fortune tearing down the blight of Dayton. The jury never knew that Marshall and Higgins weren’t just citizen and contractor ripping off an insurance company, that they were working together to make themselves rich. Context matters. Anyone can play a secretly recorded 10 second clip over and over in court, and without knowing the whole back story, it can have a very different interpretation.

And Judge Rose made sure the jury not only didn’t know any of that, but, at every turn, handicapped Higgins from getting a fair trial. At least, that’s why the University of Michigan Law School Federal Appellate Litigation Clinic has stepped in to appeal Rose’s mishandling of this case, which ended up sending Higgins to prison for three years.

Unfortunately, appeals are mostly limited to what was in the trial, not what was edited out. This makes reversing a decision even harder. A local attorney who specializes in appeals told me that less than 2% of cases get overturned/reversed. That’s usually why appeals don’t make big news in the paper, that, and they take forever to resolve. In the meantime, the person convicted, often stays in prison (Higgins was recently transferred from the Federal Pen in Colorado to Terre Haute Indiana) while waiting for judges to act.

What makes this case newsworthy is who is filing the appeal. The UM law school only picks a few cases a year to try, and they look for ones that are legally significant. In this case, much of it has to do with the critically important level of support offered to an indigent client facing the full force and unlimited resources of the Federal Government. Our legal system has a foundational principle of “if you cannot afford one, a lawyer will be provided to represent you.”

The case, Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335, was In 1963, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court established that the Fourteenth Amendment creates a right for criminal defendants who cannot pay for their own lawyers to have the state appoint attorneys on their behalf.

https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/372/335/

In the Higgins case, which was made more complicated by the Judge and the Fed’s maneuvering to keep their complicity in the matter (the Federal sting) away from the jury (which was uncharacteristically all white) there were several key lapses in judgement made by Rose- a jurist well past his prime and more than ready to be put out to pasture. Internal fights in the Federal Courthouse have his massive portrait in his own courtroom looking over his shoulder, sitting by itself, instead of in the main courtroom with the other judges. Word is senior local jurist, Walter H Rice, won’t let it be there- and since the whole building is named after Rice (which is somewhat odd, because he’s still alive) what he says goes, goes.

The UM students make 6 claims of where Rose went wrong, without ever getting to use any of the information that I’ve shared with you about the bigger picture in the case.

The first is that Higgins and his attorneys (yes, plural, at one point, since this trial was growing in complexity because of the complicity of the feds in railroading Higgins, Rose granted Higgins a SECOND attorney to help in the case) had a tortured relationship. One that took a bizarre twist when Higgins was voluntarily sent off to a Federal Prison for a mental “competency exam” for 68 days because his lawyers felt he didn’t understand what this case was about.

Higgins, was convinced it was the Feds trying to silence him for asking questions about a contract for mortuary services in Chicago– where a convicted child molester won his old contract, and not about mail fraud. After being returned and found competent to stand trial, there were 2 different requests for new representation saying that the trust required in a client attorney relationship was broken beyond repair. Rose turned them both down.

The second major issue the students raise was that Rose refused to provide an expert for the defense to counter the Feds expert on forensic accounting of Higgins multiple accounts. The Feds used a huge power point deck and their expert testify at length about the sources and uses of funds, and Higgins lawyers were effectively hogtied to respond without an expert of their own. In the second part of this expert witness fail, was that the one witness that Higgins was allowed to hire, wasn’t allowed to address half of the issues in his findings. It was sort of like asking a doctor to come into an ER to face a dying patient from a car wreck, and telling him that he can only treat the wounds on the outside of the body- ignoring any injury to internal organs. Needless to say, in both cases- the patient/defendant dies.

Just as much as what was not allowed into the courtroom, Rose also is being questioned in the appeal for allowing other prejudicial evidence to be admitted and shared with the jury that wasn’t necessarily related to the case. Higgins had other legal issues and entanglements that weren’t relevant to the mail fraud case the government was pursuing that made him look like a dirtbag. While many of us may sit as a guest at a wedding, when the pastor asks if there are any reasons that the couple shouldn’t marry, it’s not cool to bring up random facts like the groom has herpes or the bride used to work as an escort. Yet, the feds got to enter plenty of evidence discrediting Higgins, and the defense didn’t even get to point out that the mortgage company that was claiming that they’d been screwed was operating with a totally different name because they had destroyed their own reputation and had been prosecuted by the feds for screwing the public. Yes, their “expert” was allowed to testify, without his culpability in the matter being questioned at all.

The last part of the defense argument was that even after letting the Feds steamroll Higgins, Rose then used the wrong method to calculate the damages in the case, which basically amounts to housekeeping rules. The real damage according to the UM brief is that taken together, what Rose spent 7 days in court doing, amounted to a kangaroo court- where Higgins was a helpless bystander in a drive by shooting where Rose was the driver and the Feds were his gunmen.

Sadly, the real crime in this whole mess, the one where multiple public employees and politicians were engaged in a “culture of corruption” where demolition contractors were buying contracts and public policy at will to enrich them all, hasn’t been fully prosecuted.

The Feds have stonewalled my efforts to get the evidence, tapes that were played to the grand jury , of former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley engaged in this dirty business. The fact that the City Manager, Shelley Dickstein, in all her glorious incompetence, still has remained at the helm, although ultimately, all contracts the City Commission and Williams would approve, including the ones to “United Demolition” went through her and her staff.

To be clear and sum things up, when you have an insurance policy on your home or car, or valuables, and you file a claim, the insurance company can’t tell you what to do with the money. Unless, you are Brian Higgins.

The fact that the policy wasn’t bought by Higgins, and the house wasn’t technically even owned by Higgins (it was in his X-wife’s name) the fact that the insurance company was dealing with Higgins on repairs instead of the Mortgage company that had placed the insurance and had already foreclosed on the home, is really a story of insurance and mortgage company incompetence and the Feds trying to keep Higgins from spilling the beans on what really happened in the “Culture of Corruption” which now may be including the Feds as much as City Hall if you take the big picture view.

Because it costs money to access court documents in the Federal Court system, I’m publishing the brief and the additional info. I’m not wasting my money on getting the Fed’s request for an extension and delay. The fact that this case will be tried by students, who are on a school schedule should expedite matters more- but, since the Feds are still covering up the real corruption case, expect delays to continue.

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