Now the numbers REALLY don’t add up: Sheriff’s appraisers

Another story in the DDN today points out that Plummer’s high school buddy has a full-time job as CJ’s Athletic Director AND does all these appraisals. Forget your comic books- Superman has been sighted in Montgomery county:

Ten of the 11 appraisers working for Plummer last year are registered Republicans, as is Plummer. Appraiser Michael Raiff of Butler Twp., who is also athletic director at Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School, was one of Plummer’s top campaign contributors. Raiff or his wife, Mary Raiff, gave Plummer a total of $3,000, according to Plummer’s campaign finance reports for his successful 2008 election.

Raiff was paid $141,763 in 2009 to appraise 1,539 foreclosed properties destined for sheriff’s sale. In 2008 he was paid $131,420 for 1,485 cases.

Raiff, who works full time for the school, did not respond to e-mailed questions. Chief Deputy Mike Nolan said Raiff works hard and gets the appraisal jobs done even while working full time at CJ.

via County appraisers have ties to sheriff.

The paper also chose to interview a licensed appraiser who also questioned how an appraisal that typically takes 6 hours could be done at a rate of 6.5 a day as I had questioned on Saturday.

However, as a change, the Dayton Daily is now allowing comments on the story.

Again- these valuations have a direct impact on everyone’s home values- and there should be some sort of credibility/responsibility in pulling these numbers out of a hat.

It’s sad when I long for a day that I saw an ad with a Realtor as the top home seller in Montgomery County, instead of the Sheriff.

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17 Responses

  1. Sarah January 12, 2010 / 9:04 am
    WOW – The DDN actuazlly interviewed an appraiser!  I am sure it was difficult to open the yellow pages…
  2. Will Brooks January 12, 2010 / 9:42 am
    This whole affair stinks like a scandal. I guess it’s all legal and what not. But, as a property owner in Montgomery County, I am OUTRAGED!
  3. Will Brooks January 12, 2010 / 7:13 pm
    Whether intentional or not, the banks would have an interest in the case of foreclosures for low assessment values. Foreclosed homes are sold at auction, usually to the bank that made the loan with the house as security. Once the home is sold to the bank then it becomes REO (Real Estate Owned) property. Of course costs are paid by the bank for the auction.
  4. Bruce Kettelle January 13, 2010 / 2:00 pm
    The antiquated laws that permit this process have been the subject of investigative reports in Cincy, Toledo and Cleveland in the past few years.  This should already be on the radar at the statehouse but apparently it is not.  Modern rules must be adopted as soon as possible to guide our sherff departments around the state.  Why have the various lobbying entities been silent?  This should be a call to arms for the Ohio Sheriff’s Association, County Administrators Asso., Ohio Municipal League, Ohio Township Asso, and Ohio Finance Directors Asso. (and possibly others). Our state legislators need to make this a priority for 2010.
  5. David Esrati January 13, 2010 / 2:33 pm

    @Bruce – aw c’mon- this is just another place to hire your campaign donors in the name of peace, justice and the American way.

    The fact that Foley was cutting these checks for years as clerk of courts, but never questioned it until an election year- and that no one is questioning how our current Clerk of Courts- Greg Brush- hired his father in law…. you get the point.

  6. Bruce Kettelle January 13, 2010 / 3:49 pm
    David the trouble here is the same everywhere.  It is not illegal to hire your friend or relative.  If you want change then you have to look to Columbus.  Here is but one more example in Cleveland.

    November 9, 2009
    Sheriff Bob Reid reinstates three real estate appraisers
    By Mark Puente, The Plain Dealer
    November 11, 2009, 5:50PM
    View full sizeLisa DeJong, The Plain DealerCuyahoga County Sheriff Bob ReidCLEVELAND, Ohio — Cuyahoga County Sheriff Bob Reid erred last month when he fired three real estate appraisers for not cooperating with state investigators in the probe of former Sheriff Gerald McFaul.
    Reid recently reinstated Jerry Skuhrovec, James Paponetti and Rick Salvatore to their positions. Reid originally thought the three men were uncooperative with investigators at Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation.
    Lawyers for the men immediately said Reid was wrong and that the men had either been cooperative or had not been asked to talk.
    The prosecutor heading the investigation said he had never spoken to Reid about the people who have or have not cooperated.
    Reid called the McFaul probe sensitive and said he did not know all the details of the investigation when he dismissed the three men.
    “On all issues, I must be tough, but fair, and appropriately respond to the information at hand,” Reid said in a written statement. “When more information about the appraiser’s cooperation with BCI authorities came to light, we found that they were, in fact, cooperating.”
    The three appraisers have ties to McFaul and County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora and Auditor Frank Russo. Salvatore is a Brook Park councilman; Paponetti is owner of Del Sangro’s Ristorante in Brook Park, where McFaul regularly dined and Skuhrovec is a longtime friend of Dimora and Russo.
    Skuhrovec is also under scrutiny by federal investigators in the sweeping corruption investigation of Cuyahoga County government.
    The Plain Dealer reported in August that federal agents are exploring whether McFaul appointed Skuhrovec as an appraiser in return for McFaul’s grandson being hired at the county engineer’s office.
    McFaul’s name appeared on a federal subpoena served at Auditor Frank Russo’s home in July 2008. McFaul told The Plain Dealer last year that he had no idea why his name was listed. In January, he said his name appeared on the subpoena because a job application for his grandson mistakenly landed on Dimora’s desk.
    Skuhrovec was listed on the same subpoena as McFaul and also works part time for Russo. It asked for documents pertaining to Skuhrovec. A separate subpoena served on Russo’s office sought documents related to non-official work done by Skuhrovec for Dimora and Russo during working hours.
    The 36 appraisers used by the Sheriff’s Office are not county employees but are hired to appraise foreclosed homes and are paid by fees collected from banks or mortgage companies after foreclosure sales.
    The appraisers have earned $7.7 million and donated more than $100,000 to McFaul’s campaign since 2002, records show.

  7. Bruce Kettelle January 13, 2010 / 4:00 pm
    This story from 2002 in the Toledo Blade even adds that the Ohio County Auditors Association is lobbying to change the law.
  8. Bruce Kettelle January 13, 2010 / 4:01 pm
    Makes me wonder if this is the first time the DDN has covered this issue.
  9. Robert Vigh January 15, 2010 / 10:35 am
    So, the licensed appraiser that takes 6.5 hours to appraise a home would accept a fee of $85.00? So, that appraiser wants to make $13.00 / hr?
  10. the editor February 3, 2010 / 2:49 am
    Gene: LOL. nice.
    What do you know? The toilet water drains out the bottom in a big circle!
  11. alex April 18, 2010 / 11:10 pm
    The main issue is that Mike Raiff wasn’t hired by Phil Plummer. He was hired by Dave Vore. Come on people, the democrats are mad that they don’t have much representation in the sherriff’s office. Oh well, the republicans don’t have representation in the prosecuter’s office. It all evens out in the end, but Mike is being screwed because he wasn’t even hired by Plummer.
  12. R.H. Token August 20, 2011 / 11:09 pm
    I don’t understand how a true Christian could do what Raiff did?

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