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Nan’s having a party, for her friends and family at the first four

Wow, it sure is great never having to have to work for a real business a day in your life if you’re Nan Whaley or Russ Joseph. Just take the taxpayers money, buy tickets to the first four games, and then distribute them to your political hack friends and family.

An internal Email from Russ Joseph [1] and guest list [2] made their way over to Esrati.com today. From Russ Joseph- who is Commissioner Matt Joseph, to Nan Whaley and CC’d to Kery Gray who has the title of “Executive Assistant to the City Commission” which is a $90k a year position created by former Mayor Rhine McLin before she left office. (before that, the City Commission only hired the City Manager, the head of the Human Relations Council and the Clerk of Commission- this position was set up as a perk for being a loyal servant, since Mr. Gray used to go to Rhine’s “house” to pick up campaign donations on city time [3]– we know this because of the porcelain pig/bomb episode [4])

Russ asks “Kery if you can round up the VIPs I can take care of distributing to this motley crew” – which I take to mean, the VIP tickets that the city and the airport have acquired for the First Four.

This was in response to Nan writing Russ and probably Kery in an email on March 17, 2013, at 8:33 p.m.:

So look this over but if I am right I need 10 for every day and 2 bonus for Tuesday and
Wednesday. Kery we will need to round up the YIP’s tomorrow and distribute. How many did
the airport have? JP told me on Saturday that he had found 15 with the airport. but we will need
to do some running!
–All Days: Mark Owens & Tony Nolf
–All Days: Mike Rice & Guest
–All Days: Russ Joseph & Matt Cox (Wednesday it will be Katie Joseph & Charles Eamhart)
–All Days: Sam Braun & Steven Inlow
–Tuesday and Wednesday: Karl Keith & Guest
–Tuesday: Kery Gray & Guest
–Wednesday: Meg & Nolan Thomas
–Friday and Sunday: Matt Joseph & Guest
Also [need 4 more First Four tickets for both nights like we talked via text. 2 for Jason Miller
and 2 for the Gehres’ Brothers.
Thanks for your help in ticket hell.

We also have the list of tickets for Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

For those of you who don’t know the players:

So, instead of using these tickets to reward city employees for taking pay cuts, doing great work, creating a surplus, or for use by the “economic development” department to woo and entertain prospective new employers, we have the hottest tickets in town being divvied up by the “Monarchy of Montgomery County” run by Prince Russ Joseph and Queen Nan.

I wasn’t aware that being elected or working for the government entitled you to free tickets to the hottest event in town. There are rules about accepting free tickets while in office, and I’m not seeing any mention of how much these tickets are going to cost each of these favored friends and family.

Does anyone have the balls to investigate Basketball-gate other than, well, me?

It’s time this “motley crew” started paying their own way to events, just like the rest of us.

[UPDATE: 10:26PM]

A reader sent me what they paid for tickets:

Tuesday night - 100 level at the arena $45 per ticket = $90
Wednesday night 100 level $45 per ticket = $90
Friday afternoon - 200 level at the arena $75 per ticket = $150
Friday night - 200 level at the arena $75 per ticket =$150
Sunday afternoon - 200 level at the arena $75 per ticket =$150

Parking for all events $40
Total: $670
Nan and Russ are dealing with 10/12 tickets for all events. Meaning they are receiving gifts of over $3,350 from the taxpayers.
Are you mad yet?


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Gary Leitzell

Geez. Kery asked me if I wanted any tickets for these games. Since I am not a big fan of sports and considering the source I declined. Now I am glad that I did! I can’t believe her inner circle sucked up most of the tickets. One should question whether Nan is working for the city or the county looking at the guest list!

Bubba Jones

Were these tickets given to “the city” or to “the city commission”?  Maybe a fine point, but a point nonetheless. If they were given to the city, then David is right – they should have gone to city (rank & file) employees with a max of 2 tickets (1 game or set of games) per employee.  And department heads should have been excluded just to set a good example.  To have a commissioner dole them out to her friends is a flagrant abuse of power.  And where does Nan get off setting her sights on the tickets allocated to the airport?  Shouldn’t those tickets go to airport employees?  What a load of crap!
A lot of people may say that this is small potatoes but as an old boss once told me (when scrutinizing expense reports (not mine!!)) – “If you let ’em get away with the small stuff, they’ll think they can get away with the big stuff.”
So, Mr. Mayor – “Since I am not a big fan of sports and considering the source I declined.” – If the tickets would have been to an event more to your liking, would you have taken them?  I’m not trying to bust your chops (something I generally only do to DE!) or question your integrity (as far as I can tell, you strive to do the “right thing”) but I just wanted to give you an opportunity to clarify your statement.
If those city commissioner members are so proud of being in a political party that claims they want “fairness”, they should have entered all interested city employees in a lottery and distributed them that way.


I don’t know Nan Whaley personally, but it appears to me that she is working for herself.

Benjamin Jones

I’m doing a new study if anyone is interested in submitting data.

Title of Study:
How & Why Do Normal Human Brains Turn to MUSH Once a Person is Elected to a Public Office?
Please submit examples.

Dr. Funkenstein

David, why do you always run as a democrat?  The reality is that the democrat party is the party that ran the city into the ground and rules it like a monarchy.  Not saying the GOP is the answer but you seem to have more in common with the current mayor that the local democrat criminals.  For the record I am a fan of neither party myself.

John Ise

Bit off topic but what’s the deal with commenter aliases…I mean post your perspective and own it with your real name.  This whole hiding behind a ficticious name just so you can throw snarky comments at David, Nan, the Mayor or whoever anonomously is, sorry, dirty pool.


John (how do we know that’s your real name ? :-) ), clearly some of the people who post are “insiders” in city or county gov’t and they’d lose their jobs (right or wrong) if their identity was known.
And yes, “Hall” is my real name.


Bubba – I think the Mayor already answered your question. By saying he was “glad” that he declined ( with an ! ) indicates that he had no idea where the tickets came from and probably assumed that they were someone’s personal tickets rather than a gift of sorts. Just my guess, and I am not trying to put words into the Mayor’s mouth – this is how I read it….


Good ole boy system in the city, county, and county Democratic Party???  You don’t say????  
Dave, It was nice to see you at the commission meeting raising holy hell. 

Bob V

OK, and where is the Dayton Daily News ???  Channel 7 – 2 – 22 … is there NO local POLITICAL NEWS TO REPORT, EXCEPT FOR MR. ESRATI to do the investigative reporting?


I thought Jason Miller worked for Gary Leitzell at one point.


Thanks for clearing that up David. 


Yesterday, this from the DDN: “Whaley is running against current mayor Gary Leitzell and former judge A.J. Wagner. Dayton residents will vote May 7, with the top two advancing to the November election.”
David, have you dropped out of the race, or is the DNN ignoring you?


Oh, right. Thanks. I forgot that running for mayor of Dayton is an separate election. 

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Gordon Gee called (WV) and he wants his job back!
Middleburry called and the want Mazeens shirt back!
Kendra called and she wants her jobby back!

Karen Fitzgerald

Does anyone know what Nolan Thomas did to get fired or let go as county assistant prosecutor? Now he’s working at Kettering Municipal Court as prosecutor – what a demotion. His wife, Meg Thomas, is still hogging all the county tickets to events for both of them, though.