Esrati offers to settle case vs School Board and City on illegal school task force meetings

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Subashi and Wildermuth have billed the Dayton Public Schools $12,500 so far for Libbie Lolli and her boards ignorance of the Sunshine Laws. Click image above to download PDF

The School Board has spent $12,500 of their money defending themselves, to claim that they are entitled to have illegal secret meetings about closing schools in Dayton. The City, using their own attorneys has probably spent about a quarter of that.

There is no question that the task force was a public body, according to the judge, the evidence, all captured on video by David Esrati, is clear, that the task force did meet in their mobile yellow meeting room at the four schools, and the board HQ. All you need to do is watch the video.

So today, I extended the following offer to settle:

Settlement of Esrati vs City of Dayton et al

Hi Brian and John,
I tried calling Brian to make this offer- however his cell phone just disconnects when I call.
To date, the schools have spent $12,500 with Mr. Wildermuth to try to defend those without a defense.
I can’t guess what the city has invested.

Before we go to the expensive part, I’m offering to settle if the parties admit guilt, and that they clearly violated the sunshine laws in the school task force case, on numerous occasions.
First on Jan 9, with the meeting that ended up being cancelled.
Second on Jan 24, when both Mims and Al Hamdani claimed they didn’t have to do this in public.
And multiple times on the day of the tour- where I count Valerie, Meadowdale Elementary and Meadowdale High School, Wogamen and the HQ building- each as a separate meeting.
Basically- each stop of the bus.
Take those 7 violations- x $500 and then the question becomes is the organization liable or the individual violators?
If we just say the City and the School board are liable- it comes to $5K plus my court filing fees ($360)
If we do it per elected member of the task force- it comes to $10K.
Still, cheaper than the $12,500 the schools have already paid Mr. Wildermuth for this case.
And, cheaper than what the schools had to pay back to OHSAA in his other case that he “won.”

The caveat is, with their acceptance of guilt, the 4 elected officials (Harris, Al-Hamdani, Walker, Mims) would be referred to the Ohio Auditors Open Government Unit for evaluation on removal from office. Seeing that I’ve yet to find a single instance of a public official being removed from office in the State of Ohio for violations of the Sunshine laws, they should have nothing to worry about.

The Sunshine laws are here to protect us all, they shouldn’t be used by lawyers to put their kids through college. There is absolute evidence that discussions did take place on the bus, questions were asked, and video and audio recording equipment were banned, as well as non-compliance with notification of this event, and evidence that School Employees willfully suggested that communications not be conducted via email to hide these proceedings from public scrutiny. You will not win this case in court, or in the court of public opinion.

I am open to a counter-offer on the settlement amounts, however, let us be clear, that the average citizen wouldn’t have the capacity to fight this case, making it unlikely that I’m going to have invested this much time and energy and money, to allow you to be the only winner (Mr. Wildermuth).
The people of Dayton deserve better.
And I don’t take on battles that I will lose.

In the meantime, the case is scheduled for court on Aug 1, 2018

Why isn’t Chuck Taylor being charged with perjury?

Chuck Taylor is a Baliff in Montgomery County- who lied on the stand as the Dunbar High School Basketball Coach

Chuck Taylor is a Baliff in Montgomery County- who lied on the stand as the Dunbar High School Basketball Coach

At some point, someone has to start applying the law to members of the Monarchy of Montgomery County- and or elected folks.

Last year, I published the story of people getting pepper sprayed in restraints in the Montgomery County Jail– right after Sheriff Phil Plumer said it was a random occurrence. He lied. And not only is he still in office, the people torturing inmates still have their jobs, or were allowed to retire with a medical retirement. Phil is now running for State Rep.

Then I published clear evidence that School Board Member Adil Baguirov not only was ineligible to be on the board, but had also committed voter fraud, claiming a shit house as his place of residence for voting. It took a threat of a mandamus filing to get him to resign months later to get him out of office. He’s now planning on running for County Recorder.

I posted on March 12, 2018 that video existed showing that Chuck Taylor, the rookie Dunbar Boys Basketball coach, lied on the stand. No investigation was started by the prosecutors office. He hasn’t been fired by Dayton Public Schools, even though they just had to pay $50K to the Ohio High School Athletic Association for their legal costs and apologize to other schools and get smacked with even more sanctions- including no post season play for Dunbar.

Let’s also remind people that School Board Member Sheila Taylor also works for Dayton Municipal Court with Taylor- and that she advocated for his hiring by DPS, and voted to go on this wild goose chase court case along with the rest of the board. A board that seems to protect it’s hires and bad hires more than the kids they are supposed to serve.

What’s worse, is this liar works for Judge Dan Gehres, every day, administering an oath in court to poor folks, who would be thrown in jail for lying to the court. He still has his job.

But- now that it’s “Front Page News” in the Dayton Day-Old news, (in this case- month old)- will anyone step up and do their job?

Let’s define perjury: “the offense of willfully telling an untruth in a court after having taken an oath or affirmation.
synonyms: lying under oath, giving false evidence/testimony, making false statements, willful falsehood”

And, Ohio Revised Code:

2921.11 Perjury.
(A) No person, in any official proceeding, shall knowingly make a false statement under oath or affirmation, or knowingly swear or affirm the truth of a false statement previously made, when either statement is material.

(B) A falsification is material, regardless of its admissibility in evidence, if it can affect the course or outcome of the proceeding. It is no defense to a charge under this section that the offender mistakenly believed a falsification to be immaterial.

(C) It is no defense to a charge under this section that the oath or affirmation was administered or taken in an irregular manner.

(D) Where contradictory statements relating to the same material fact are made by the offender under oath or affirmation and within the period of the statute of limitations for perjury, it is not necessary for the prosecution to prove which statement was false, but only that one or the other was false.

(E) No person shall be convicted of a violation of this section where proof of falsity rests solely upon contradiction by testimony of one person other than the defendant.

(F) Whoever violates this section is guilty of perjury, a felony of the third degree.

Effective Date: 01-01-1974.
Source: Lawriter – ORC – 2921.11 Perjury.

Yet, there it is- in the paper.

Dunbar varsity coach Chuck Taylor filed an affidavit March 2 swearing that the player at the center of an eligibility dispute “was not involved in the (Jan. 10) altercation” that the Ohio High School Athletic Association said led to him being ineligible.

Then in a March 6 court hearing, Taylor, who is also a bailiff for Dayton Municipal Court, said he went above and beyond to make sure he had it right.

“I probably watched that video 50 times just to make sure — I value my integrity — just to make sure that kid was not on the floor,” Taylor said in his March 6 testimony.

But after new cellphone video was submitted, both OHSAA and Dayton Public Schools acknowledged last week that the player did, in fact, leave the bench and go into the fight.

“The player was seen in the videos in the fight,” DPS Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said Thursday. “I’m not going to speculate on whether or not someone was not telling the truth.”

Taylor did not respond to multiple messages seeking comment for this story.

Taylor had testified March 6 that he passed the player, referred to in court as “John Doe,” immediately outside the locker room, away from the court, near the start of the brawl.

Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Krumholtz called Taylor’s account “the unrefuted explanation” that was key to his decision.

Last week’s joint press release from DPS and OHSAA clearly mentions Taylor’s impact in the case, quoting directly from the judge’s ruling: “The court further found, ‘thus, as Coach Taylor testified, John Doe was already in the locker room hallway before the fight broke out.’ ”

Asked whether the new brawl video clearly showed Taylor and the key “John Doe” player on the court at the same time, OHSAA officials said they had not looked for that specific detail, and would need to watch the videos again to answer.

Asked whether the player was only in the brawl for a few seconds, and could have quickly then gone into the hallway, OHSAA spokesman Tim Stried said it was longer than that.

OHSAA Executive Director Dan Ross viewed the new video and photo evidence with DPS staff.

“Dr. Ross … said that we don’t plan to pursue legal action against Chuck Taylor or other DPS personnel,” Stried said. “The court could pursue action, of course, especially since Chuck Taylor is employed by the court.”

DPS spokeswoman Marsha Bonhart said Friday that Lolli would not answer this news organization’s further questions about the case, saying, “she feels everything has been said.”

But questions remain about the “corrective measures”

Lolli said DPS has already taken, as well as the personnel changes that she said will be effective for next school year. And there are questions about the fate of Taylor, after Lolli said it was “yet to be determined” whether he will return as coach.

Questions not asked:

Recognizing players: Taylor testified that he was only able to identify three jersey numbers of players in the video of the fight. He said he had numerous others watch the tape and asked them, “tell me what numbers you see,” with similar results. Early in his testimony Taylor said he was able to identify people while the brawl was actually happening.

“It’s a brawl or melee. I see parents, players, administrators and community, kids from the school, on the court fighting — everybody landing punches,” Taylor testified.

But he was never asked on the stand, by either attorney, which players he recognized by face or by physical build — either during the fight itself, or on the video later.

What did the key player say: Neither DPS nor OHSAA would comment on whether they asked the player himself if he had gone onto the court for the fight. But testimony suggests OHSAA did not ask. In court, DPS attorney Brian Wildermuth pressed OHSAA staffer Ben Ferree twice on that issue, demanding to know why he had not asked the player if he left the bench.

Ferree said it would have been a waste of time, suggesting he would not have gotten reliable information.

Despite having challenged OHSAA on the issue in court, DPS would not answer whether they themselves had asked the player about going into the fight — or whether he lied or told the truth if they did ask.

Judge’s key wording: Krumholtz, in a crucial part of his ruling, wrote that “as Coach Taylor testified, John Doe was already in the locker room hallway before the fight broke out. As such, John Doe was not in violation of Rule 10-5-5 … (and) was an eligible player …”

But Taylor only testified that he knew the player’s whereabouts after the fight broke out, not before. Taylor said in court that he was inside the locker room drawing plays on the chalkboard when the fight started and only came into the hallway after he heard the commotion of the fight under way. On cross examination, OHSAA attorney Steven Craig asked him, “You say you passed (the player) in the hallway once the fight had started?” and Taylor answered, “Yes, sir.”

Asked last week about the discrepancy on the timing, Krumholtz declined comment, saying through his bailiff that “a court can only speak about any case through its decisions.”

Source: New video refutes coach’s testimony – Dayton Daily News

If we don’t see Chuck Taylor charged with perjury, and removed from both the coaching job, and his job as Baliff, as well as his being responsible for reimbursing DPS for the legal costs associated with this case, it’s time to call in the Department of Justice to start a Racketeering case against the people in office in Montgomery County and at the State level.

At some point, when, as a country of laws, we stop applying them equally to those in power, as to those without, we stop having a functioning government.

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This is how much they’ve wasted to protect themselves when they were wrong. Click to download PDF

One other issue. I asked for the bills of Subashi and Wildermuth concerning this case and my case over a month ago. I have the bills for my case, over the illegal secret meeting bus tour of schools to close, showing DPS has paid Wildermuth:

CUMULATIVE FEES TO DATE: $12,435.00
CUMULATIVE COST TO DATE: $49.70

The costs for the Dunbar case are significantly higher, yet they have not provided them.

The incompetence and illegal behavior must be stopped.

 

Incompetence at all levels of Dayton Public Schools

Dayton Ohio Dunbar High School Basketball program deflatedTo recap: Under the previous school board, In November of 2016, there was a major violation of sportsmanship when Dunbar played an ineligible football player, and tried to throw a game to Belmont. It was bizarre and obvious that something smelled at DPS.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association investigated, and pushed for the district to fire District Athletic Director LaMark Baker. The board instead gave him a 2 year contract. OHSAA imposed three years of sanctions and oversight of the district and a $10K fine.

Old board also gives former Superintendent Rhonda Corr a 3 year contract. She hires Dr. Venita Kelly and Marsha Bonhart at $90K ea a year to run PR. Corr puts Bonhart over Baker.

Board kicks Corr to the Curb in November of 2017. Board has new composition after Dr. Adil Baguirov resigns because David Esrati threatens mandamus action for his removal, since on Election Day, his voting registration has moved to Vandalia district. Esrati had made a case in April of 2017 that Baguirov didn’t live in the district- no officials investigated or acted. Now Rev William Harris is on Board. They put Corr on paid admin leave- promote Dr. Elizabeth Lolli to acting superintendent, this was caused because the investigation into the EEOC claims by Dr. Markay Winston uncovered credible evidence that Corr was less proficient than the stellar performance review that the board had just given her.

New board takes over in January- already has a PR debacle thanks to Lolli and Dr. Burton announcing the potential closing of schools without doing proper PR management. All schools discussed are on the West side. A task force is set-up prior to the board being seated- and Mohamed Al-Hamdani is appointed co-chair- before he has taken office. Task force tries to meet in secret, fails, then has secret meeting bus tour- Esrati files a lawsuit.

End of January 2018, Dunbar and Thurgood JV basketball game erupts in a bench clearing brawl at end of game. Rookie Dunbar Coach Chuck Taylor gets punished for calling a parent names. Thurgood sits all players for mandatory 2 game suspension. Apparently, Dunbar doesn’t.

In playoffs, Dunbar’s failure to enforce suspensions causes them to forfeit at playoff game for an ineligible player. This puts Thurgood into the playoffs. Lolli, who is now superintendent, with a huge pay package, and three year contract- without having to apply, without the job being opened up, or the district doing proper due diligence, now has brilliantly bad idea to sue OHSAA to get Dunbar back in the playoffs and kick Thurgood out.

They spend at least $50K with Subashi and Wildermuth to file suit and have a court decision. Court rules for DPS, Dunbar wins 1 game, loses the next. None of the players ever serve their 2 game suspensions. No one on the board seems to think this is a bad idea.

Sources tell esrati.com that OHSAA has been provided video that proves Coach Taylor committed perjury in his testimony, alerts DPS. Demands an apology,  repayment, and some kind of remediation to the ongoing problems. DPS votes to increase budget by $50K to Subashi and Wildermuth, which is either to cover payment to OHSAA or to continue to fund costs of ongoing lawsuit with Esrati, after they lose the first round argument that the task force is a public body subject to the Sunshine Laws. BTW- Esrati is representing himself. The Board and City had had up to 5 different lawyers working to beat him.

An emergency meeting called this morning to discuss:

The purpose of the meeting shall be to discuss new information about the OHSAA court case involving Dunbar High School. The meeting will include an executive session to:

  • consider the appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion, or compensation of a public employee, or the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee; and

  • Confer with an attorney for the school board concerning disputes involving the school board that are the subject of pending court action.

Attorney Brian Wildermuth was there. They met for almost an hour, came out and Harris made an announcement that they had made some decisions, that things hadn’t gone the way they wanted, and hinted that changes would be forthcoming.

“The BOE has been updated on the “Dunbar basketball situation” while the new information is not what we would like to hear, we acknowledge the need to accept it and move forward. The superintendent is making some changes within the structure of the athletic department and we support those changes. It is time to move forward in the Dayton Public Schools in all areas and departments.”

DPS staff attorney, Jyllian Bradshaw has been absent through most of this on maternity leave. The board has been dependent on a bunch of different law firms in her absence including Brickler and Eckler, which did the investigation on Winston’s complaint.

In this time frame, Wildermuth was also handed a defeat in the appeals court on the termination of former Treasurer Craig Jones. So this means that they are on the losing side of 3 cases so far.

After the meeting adjourned this morning, I went up to Dr. Lolli and confronted her on why I had to listen to PR Chief Marsha Bonhart on a personal phone call for almost the entire length of time that they were in executive session. She didn’t respond, looking absolutely aghast that I would speak to her. BTW- the board voted last meeting to not renew Dr. Kelly- but kept Bonhart. I don’t allow my employees one hour personal calls while on the clock- apparently Lolli does. It’s not as if there isn’t a lot to do to fix the PR problems of the district.

While Bonhart gabbed, internal auditor, Randall Harper tried to get work done on his laptop during the exec session. Bonhart didn’t even have a laptop with her.

I have video of Bonhart’s call, it’s just not worth sharing.

Sources have said their will be a joint press release in the coming days, where DPS acknowledges their mistakes, apologizes to OHSAA, announces that DPS will reimburse OHSAA for their legal fees, and that structural changes have been made in DPS.

Here are our informed guesses of what may happen:

  • Mark Baker resigns as District Athletic Director. May continue employment in the district at another position so as to not pay yet another contract off.
  • Chuck Taylor is not renewed as a basketball coach. He also retires as a bailiff in Dayton Municipal Courts. No further charges are brought.
  • Dunbar gets yet a third athletic director, as current AD is non-renewed.
  • New District Athletic Director no longer reports to Bonhart, but directly to Lolli.
  • Dunbar basketball program is put on watch by the OHSAA for three more years.

Predictions, DPS enrollment drops by another several hundred after his latest show of incompetence. Board is too stupid to sue Subashi and Wildermuth for bad legal advice, and continues to pay them ridonkulous sums to try to make up for the Board and Lolli’s incompetence.

I win suit on task force violations of sunshine laws in case scheduled for court on Aug. 1. I collect $500, board has spent tens of thousands to defend their illegal actions, I appeal to Ohio Auditors open records unit to have Mims, Al-Hamdani, Walker and Harris removed from office. They don’t do anything. I file a lawsuit to force Ohio to enforce their own damn laws, and 2 years later- all are removed from office.

UPDATE

12:17 pm complete text of joint release

News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association
Executive Director Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D.
www.OHSAA.org | twitter.com/OHSAASports | facebook.com/OHSAA
For Immediate Release- April 26, 2018
Contact – Tim Stried, OHSAA Director of Communications, [email protected]
Dayton Public Schools and OHSAA Announce Closure to Dunbar Basketball Incident
New evidence leads DPS and OHSAA to same conclusion in aftermath of court case

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dayton Public Schools superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Lolli and Ohio High School Athletic Association Executive Director Dr. Dan Ross have announced closure to the case Involving Dunbar High School boys’ basketball during the 2017-18 season.

In March, Dayton Public Schools filed a lawsuit to block the OHSAA’s decision to remove Dunbar from the boys’ basketball tournament for using an ineligible player, which stemmed from Dunbar not suspending junior varsity players who left the bench during a fight in January. The issue was whether one player, who later participated in a varsity tournament game, left the bench during the fight. The court sided with Dayton Public Schools, stating: “In reviewing the record upon which OHSAA based its decision, the Court finds that OHSAA’s decision is not supported by reliable, probative and substantial evidence.” The court further found “thus, as Coach Taylor testified, John Doe was already in the locker room hallway before the fight broke out.” However, after the Court’s ruling, new evidence came to light, showing that the student-athlete left the bench and went into the fight.

DAYTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS STATEMENT

“I would like to thank Dr. Ross and the OHSAA for working with us to find the truth in this situation ,” Lolli said. “It is concerning that individuals with information about the incident did not feel comfortable coming forward before the court hearing. We owe an apology to Bishop Fenwick High School, Thurgood Marshall High School and the OHSAA, We have taken corrective measures to address the situation. We appreciate the OHSAA’s cooperation and compassion during this situation. We know that removal of Dayton Public Schools’ membership In the OHSAA was an option.”‘

OHSAA STATEMENT

“I was a superintendent for a long time, so I understand what Dr. Lolli has been going through with this,” Ross said. “Our staff was convinced by the evidence we had in making our original decision that the youngster came off the bench when the fight broke out. Once new evidence was obtained and shared with Dr. Lolli, she immediately knew that It was a very serious matter and wanted to work with the OHSAA to make the needed corrections. It has been a pleasure working with her and we trust that nothing like this will happen again at Dayton Public Schools.”

DAYTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS ACTION

Dayton Public Schools began reviewing athletic department structure and procedures immediately after this Incident occurred. The District is in the process of making decisions about the athletic department and will be implementing changes over the next several weeks. Dr. Ross has been kept apprised of these discussions. DPS is committed to making certain that its coaches and administrators know and follow OHSAA rules, properly investigate incidents, and impose appropriate consequences for rule violations.

OHSAA SANCTIONS

In addition, the OHSAA has handed down the following sanctions. Dunbar will not be permitted to participate in the 2019 boys’ basketball tournament  and Dayton Public Schools will reimburse the OHSAA’s court costs, fees and expenses related to the March hearing. In addition, the OHSAA has extended the current probation period that all Dayton Public Schools are currently serving from a football incident in 2016. That probation Is now extended through June 2020 for all DPS schools and through 2022 for Dunbar.

“For the last month, this has been an effort from both sides working together – the OHSAA and Dayton Public Schools,” Ross said. “I commend Dr. Lolli for working hard to do the right thing here and get to the truth. She cares deeply for Dayton Public Schools and understands how important this is for DPS moving forward .”

###OHSAA###

Tim Stried
Director of Communications
Ohio High School Athletic Association
614-267-2502
[email protected]
www .OHSAA.org
www.Twitter.com/OHSAASports
www.Facebook.com/OHSAA
614·267-1677 fax
4080 Roselea Place
Columbus, OH 43214

Judge Capizzi speaks out of school, and Mat Heck stifles similar free speech

Judges have a special place in society. They issue opinions, but, they really aren’t allowed to have any of their own.

In fact, the idea of electing judges is kind of ludicrous if you think about it. They may be a D or an R, but it doesn’t appear on the ballot. They may talk about their experience and training, but can’t say how they’d rule once elected. In other states, judges are picked by their peers, because, frankly, most voters couldn’t tell a well written legal brief from a pathetic one.

And when it comes to Juvenile Court Judges- they have to take an extra step of never revealing the identity of those they preside over.

Judge Anthony Capizzi

Judge Anthony Capizzi

So, when Judge Anthony Capizzi talks about juveniles who are set to appear in his court, before he’s made a ruling, before they’ve had a trial, while they are “innocent until proven guilty” he’s overstepping his boundaries in a way that should have him removed from the bench. Read the following.

Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judge Anthony Capizzi has said the four 16-to 17-year-olds in the Huber Heights robbery will automatically be bound over to common pleas court if he finds probable cause. Moving the two 15-year-olds to adult court, however, involves more discretion, the judge said.

Guns a game-changer

In a wide-ranging interview with this news organization last week, Capizzi said he is worried about a “generation of drug users” whose children are adversely affected.

“I believe we’re beginning to see long-term mental limitations or restrictions,” he said. “We all know a child’s brain doesn’t mature until age 24-25. What were they thinking? They just don’t think about two hours from now.”

As president of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Capizzi knows the latest juvenile crime data. There is a downward trend overall, “but the level of crime has shot up dramatically,” he said.

“Kids used to steal bicycles and break into garages. Now, they rob someone who has a cellphone and they have a weapon,” Capizzi said. “The fact that youth have weapons now changes the game.”

Although Plummer pointed a finger at juvenile court judges for being too lenient, Capizzi said some have accused him of being too tough, particularly when athletes are involved.

He said he was lit up by parents, coaches and administrators from a school he wouldn’t name after refusing to order the removal of a star player’s electronic ankle bracelet during the basketball playoffs.

“The bigger issue is they believe they can get away with whatever they want to do and they’re privileged,” Capizzi said.

Source: More youths join gangs, carry guns

But, when someone disagrees with Judge “Run his Mouth” Capizzi, all of a sudden, he’s entitled to special protection (article continuing)

Judges sometimes encounter more than just criticism. A 24-year-old man was arrested last week for allegedly threatening Capizzi after news surfaced that he was handling the Huber Heights armed robbery case.

“If I ever see him I’m beating the (expletive) outta him he better pray I don’t catch him downtown coming out of that building,” said a social media post that carried Capizzi’s photo.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck announced Friday that Devin Wilson, 24, of Dayton, was charged with making threats toward a juvenile court judge.

Last I checked, the first amendment still applies. Like it or not, what Devin Wilson says, and does are two different things. And, yes, while threatening an officer of the court has criminal charges attached, the statements he was reacting to weren’t official rulings by the judge- which should be dealt with in court, via appeal, but the off-book ramblings of a Judge who spoke when he shouldn’t have.

Think about it.

Or, consider how screwed up things have become, when the President of the United States now says that Democrats in Congress were treasonous by not clapping for him. The same standard would have had the republicans in congress lined up and executed for sitting on their hands while President Obama spoke. Treason is serious stuff, as are threatening to beat up a judge, but, when is someone going to beat up the judge for speaking outside of court?

 

The seven robbers

Screen grab from security cam footage inside Huber Heights Cell phone store while being robbed on Feb 1, 2018 by 7 young men from Dayton and Trotwood

On Thursday, seven young men, only one over 18, decided to go on a crime spree in Huber Heights a suburb of Dayton Ohio, that used to proudly pride itself on being America’s largest community of brick homes. They were black young men. From Dayton and Trotwood. They’d met playing football as kids. One, the 18 year old, was supposed to be making a recruiting visit to a D-1 school for football this weekend. Instead, he’s in jail.

They robbed a cell phone store. Wearing masks, carrying guns. Pistols to long guns. A gun was thrust into an employees face. Threats were made. They drove off with cell phones.

Think about it for a minute. Cell phones. Devices that by their nature have a unique ID, and act as a homing device when activated. To activate them, you have to connect to one of four cell networks. These devices are infinitely traceable. To be used, they are tracked. Stealing cell phones is stupid. Insanely stupid.

But stupid isn’t their only problem, they chose to rob the cell phone store right in the middle of a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team training. So far, they are 0-2 for luck and smarts.

Of the seven, the news reports three had no records, or only misdemeanors. Four had previous felonies. The guns will guarantee minimum three year mandatory sentences. The fact they are black, guarantees even more time will be thrown their way- to set an example, to show we’re tough on crime, to make sure that they learn the error of their not-quite-yet fully formed brains malfunctioning logic managers.

If I steal these cell phones with my 6 friends, we’re somehow going to become….

Does that even start to compute to you? Even if they scored 100 phones, all top of the line, that retail for $1000 each, that’s 100,000, split it six ways and that’s $16,666 each- at full retail, which fenced goods never get.

You know that as a nation we generally suck at math.

But, lets look at the real costs of our seven robbers 15 minutes of fame.

First, we have to wonder, how did they get the guns? How much did they cost? And think, that in this world of CCW and of cops proclivities to shoot young black males with guns (even toy guns- Tamir Rice anyone), that they are all lucky to still be alive and not perforated. We know that guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people- but in this case, people with guns killed at least three years of their lives with a mandatory sentence of three years.

Three years, seven robbers, 21 years of prison which in Ohio, which ranks 25th in the highest cost to incarcerate a prisoner for a year,

#25. Ohio
Average Annual Cost Per Inmate: $25,814
Average Daily Inmate Population: 50,960
As part of inmate education, prisoners in Ohio now have access to educational videos that can be downloaded to their tablets, which are owned by the prison and distributed to students.

Source: State by state: How much does it cost to keep someone in prison?

That’s $542,094 of your tax dollars to house, feed, secure and “rehabilitate” seven dumb kids.

Note, this doesn’t include the costs of the damage done to the business, the cost of the cops, the cost of the lawyers, judges, trials, housing in the jail and juvy during the long drawn out process of trials, plea bargains, evidence gathering, detective work. You can throw a figure at it, it will be wrong, but, I’m guessing at least a million bucks will be spent, before a single one heads from Montgomery County to the big house to start doing time.

$1.5M, divide that by 7, it’s about $214,000 each.

That’s your tax dollars being spent, to teach these kids a lesson.

And that’s just with the minimum 3 year gun spec. Add in additional years, for assault, theft, and even the “kidnapping” possibility- and you’ll have many more years in prison. And what happens in prison? Kids, end up living with other criminals. Lots of them. Older than them, bigger than them, more criminally experienced. Prison is no walk in the park, and by the time they get out- at 21 if they are lucky, older if not, they will be faced with trying to get a job, build a life, become a member of a society that already “made an example” of them. Most, will end back in jail, or dead, or lead a very hard life.

Each of them stole $16K- each of us will be on the hook for $214K minimums. Do you see the math fail? How does 15 minutes of stupidity cost us so much?

And how did they get to where they are? Some call it “the school to prison pipeline.” A system rigged to fail young poor kids, to keep a huge corporate beast fed a steady diet of fresh young souls to fill their jail cells. In this country, we think that locking people up is the best solution, or at least our numbers say that- since we lock up more of our citizens in the “Land of the free, home of the brave” than any other 1st world country.

A more reliable way to compare incarceration practices between countries is the prison population rate. Even by that measure, the United States had the highest prison population rate in the world, at 716 per 100,000 people. More than half the 222 countries and territories in the World Prison Population List, by the U.K.-based International Center for Prison Studies, had rates below 150 per 100,000.

Source: Yes, U.S. locks people up at a higher rate than any other country – The Washington Post

Let’s do a little math at the Ohio annual rate: The US has 2,145,100 inmates– at $25,814 per year. That’s $55,373,611,400 per year. $55 Billion dollars a year, that isn’t spent on roads, schools, health care for all, or….

Back in my day, when I was their age, there were still people enlisting in the military who were given a choice by a judge- join the army or go to prison. We were at peace, so it wasn’t a possible death sentence then, and one thing about the military is- it does an amazing job of taking young men (and in my time- women too) and changing their world. All of a sudden, all vestiges of social class, upbringing, status, popularity, athleticism go out the door as you are processed from Jody off the block into a trained defender of god and country. The cost? Which we, as a nation seem only too happy to pay-

A recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report shows that the average cost to maintain an active duty soldier is now $99,000 a year, a 31 percent jump between 2000 and 2014.

Source: Report Shows Military Personnel Costs Spiraling Out of Control

So, yes, it costs us more by a factor of almost 4 to maintain a soldier, but we need soldiers, we don’t need criminals. But the problem is, today’s kids from the inner city- looking to escape poverty by enlisting- aren’t even qualified to stop bullets. They’re too stupid.

But today, more than two-thirds of America’s young people wouldn’t qualify for military service because of physical, behavioral, or educational problems.

The services have long required at least a high-school education as a prerequisite for joining.

The Army used to offer GED assistance for recruits who wanted to join. These days, having a felony conviction is out of the question, but so are some tattoos, gauged earlobes, and taking hyperactivity medication. The Pentagon says 71 percent of America’s 34 million 17-24 year old population would fail to qualify for enlistment.

Source: Here’s why most Americans can’t join the military – Business Insider

With even that avenue closing to our seven robbers, what is left?

We have historical precedent for what to do with our seven robbers from the Greek menologies:

The Seven Robbers (Latin: Septem latrones) were martyrs on the island of Corcyra (Corfu) in the 2nd century AD. Their names were Saturninus, Insischolus (Jakischolus), Faustianus, Januarius, Marsalius, Euphrasius, and Mammius.

The Greek menologia (calendars of the saints) inform us that Sts. Jason and Sosipater, who had been instructed in Christianity by the Apostles or by Jesus himself, came to the island of Corcyra to preach Christianity. After making numerous conversions they were cast into a dungeon where the above-named seven robbers were imprisoned. They succeeded in converting the robbers who were then taken outside the city and martyred by being cast into cauldrons that were filled with seething oil and pitch.

Source: Seven Robbers – Wikipedia

Cauldrons of oil and pitch- burning them alive was the reward for being converted. That makes no sense to me either, nor does martyrdom. Making examples of 7 young men, who we as a society have failed at all points, wasn’t the answer then, nor is it now.

If this country was better at math, we’d figure out that the costs of poverty, mental illness, incarceration, stupidity of our citizens far outweigh the costs of a guaranteed minimum income, a single payer health care system and mandatory universal service for all, with the reward of a complete, free, education all the way through doctoral studies. Yes, we will still have prisons, because some people are inherently evil (I personally experienced this last year when my office manager stole from me an the disabled veteran I have power of attorney over- and went uncharged by a grand jury in Montgomery County- she’s not black and male), but the people we’ll lock up will have actually done things like killed innocent people, or raped children, or stolen huge amounts of money- causing the collapse of our economy like all those Wall Street geniuses, oh, wait….

Before we cast the seven robbers into the cauldron, maybe we should figure out what we’re cooking, because in the grand scheme of things, the end product isn’t any more edible than the raw inputs.

Stupidity costs us all.