Baku’s Man in America – is Dayton’s own Adil Baguirov

Look back at this blog on April 5, 2017. That should have been the end of Adil Baguirov, International Man of Mystery on the Dayton Board of Education.

But, because we don’t have a real prosecutor, sheriff, attorney general, Ohio Ethics Commission, Secretary of State etc. etc. in Ohio- and instead have politicians finely practiced in the art of CYA, nothing happened to Adil. Oh, and did I mention the other 6 members of the school board, Joe Lacey, Sheila Taylor, John McManus, Robert Walker, Ron Lee, Hazel Rountree- who also sat on their hands.

That is, until election day, 2017, when I checked his voter registration, and showed he didn’t live in the Dayton Public School district anymore.

When all those people jumped into action, and demanded his immediate resignation.

Yeah, right.

It wasn’t until I sent a fake writ of mandamus and threatened legal action the following day- did we see him resign 2 days later.

The Dayton DayOld News didn’t give credit to me for breaking the story or forcing the resignation. Nor, did they investigate anything else on his background. Or his dirty money, which I posted about on September 7, 2017

But, never fear, he’s still making news on the international news cycle with this expose by the OCCRP who posted this in depth article on our local man of mystery yesterday- and mentioned esrati.com and our story.

By the way, Representative Turner was there on the congressional junket, but didn’t accept the airfare or gifts that got the other congressmen/women in trouble.

Dr. Adil Baguirov, former Dayton Public Schools Board president

Dr. Adil Baguirov, former Dayton Public Schools Board president (heroic photo montage  from https://www.occrp.org/en/azerbaijanilaundromat/bakus-man-in-america)

As it turns out, another recipient of Laundromat money — to the tune of a quarter million dollars — was an influential American oil and gas consultant of Azerbaijani origin who worked to influence US policy in his native country’s favor.

Adil Baguirov, a business owner based in Dayton, Ohio and a vocal member of the Azerbaijani diaspora, received the $253,150 transfer just months after a non-profit organization he runs, the Houston-based US Azeris Network, helped host a conference in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, that was attended by 10 members of Congress. The junket was widely criticized, and investigated by the House Ethics Committee, for being secretly funded by Azerbaijan’s state oil company.

The precise origins of the money Baguirov received are unknown, hidden behind secretive shell companies. But there is ample evidence that the authoritarian country’s ruling elite is behind it.

Baguirov’s Washington lobbying in the interests of Azerbaijan goes far beyond the 2013 conference. He has also helped organize other US-Azeri conferences in Washington, repeatedly testified before the House in favor of US military aid to Azerbaijan, served as the coordinator of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus, and worked prominently in a Houston-based company that claims to have organized a trip by the country’s president, Ilham Aliyev, to the White House.

Baguirov and his family run in elite circles back home. They are known to have close ties to President Aliyev – who awarded Baguirov a medal for his efforts in the US – and he and his father serve in numerous advisory roles to the Azerbaijani and Russian governments respectively. Baguirov did all this while holding American, Azerbaijani, and, it also appears, Russian citizenship ?until at least 2005.

His lobbying raises the question of whether he should have registered as a foreign agent, as the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) requires people representing the interests of foreign countries to do. Although the statute is loosely defined and contains a number of exemptions and loopholes, Josh Rosenstein, a lawyer at Sandler Reiff, says “this case raises red flags and raises questions that the Justice Department may be interested in having answered.”

When contacted by OCCRP reporters for comment, Baguirov said the payment he received was none of their business.

An American Success Story

Adil Baguirov’s campaign website touts him as “An American Success Story”— a striving immigrant who came to the United States at the age of 16 to “study hard and pursue his dreams” of a better life.

He graduated from the University of Southern California in international relations and business administration, and also received a PhD in political science in Moscow. Today, however, he’s a local business owner and educational leader in Dayton, an Ohio city with a population of around 140,000.

In a 2016 feature on Dayton, Politico described Baguirov as “handsome and well-spoken enough that it was easy to imagine him going far [in politics] … just the sort of new American who Republican Party leaders said the party could bring to its side, if only it tried.”

In fact, he recently mulled the possibility of running for Ohio’s state senate as a Republican, though he ultimately decided to sit the 2018 election cycle out in order to, as he told Dayton Magazine, “take a little time off.”

According to the magazine, the businessman has “spent his entire life committed to the idea of education, both for himself and others.” Indeed, his first foray into local politics began five years ago, when he was elected to Dayton’s school board, a position he held until 2017, when he resigned more than a month before the end of his term after local activist David Esrati discovered that he appeared to have lied about his residential address.

But, as it turns out, Baguirov’s eligibility for the school board is not the only controversy surrounding the businessman.

Just one week after he was elected to the position, a consulting company he runs called Turbillion LLC received a payment of US$ 253,150 from Hilux Services, a shell firm that is part of the Azerbaijani Laundromat. The reason for the payment is listed, cryptically, as “to the contract.”

While Baguirov lives in Ohio, Turbillion is registered in Wyoming, a state popular with those looking to create secretive companies due to its tax-free incentives and provision of anonymity.

Turbillion has no website and no publicly known activity, and it’s just one of a number of similar companies controlled by Baguirov. For example, it shares the Dayton mailing address of Nobel Brothers Pictures LLC, another Wyoming-based company which is allegedly producing a Hollywood movie about the history of the Azerbaijani oil industry.

Source: Baku’s Man in America – OCCRP

And if you need a refresher on our original story, watch the Esrati.com video:

Another public service, unpaid, by the only independent investigative journalist in Dayton.

And, because Baguirov can no longer count on doing dirty deals for the Schools- and he didn’t run for office as planned, he’s reportedly now trying to secure a real estate license.

Let’s hope the Realtor’s do a better background check than anyone else did before putting this guy in charge of anything.

 

Baguirov’s resignation isn’t enough

Dr. Adil Baguirov slowing down the process of hiring a new school superintendent

Dr. Baguirov’s grand plan just detonated

Dr. Adil Baguirov resigned from his position on the Dayton Public Schools Board of Education today. But, that’s only what the newspaper will tell you. The real story is that I broke this story back on April 5 2017, with a video, all the research and documentation, I called it “International Man of Mystery: Adil Barguirov” and I called for an investigation into his residency and his resignation at multiple school board meetings. Three hours after posting the original story, I got a warning from a prominent Turkish businessman telling me to watch my back, that Baguirov and his partner would come after me.

The board, the superintendent, their in house legal counsel, their security chief, the Board of Elections, the County Prosecutor, the Dayton Police, the Ohio Attorney General’s office, the Secretary of State, the Ohio Ethics Commission and I can’t remember who else I contacted, all sat and did nothing.

The rules are clear: You want to be on a school board, you have to live in the district. When you leave the district, you resign.

No one would act. The head of DPS security said “I don’t have the resources to investigate him”- others said the ruling on current Secretary of State Jon Husted made residency a non-issue. But, there is a big difference between Husted, who owned 2 homes, and Baguirov who owned homes he didn’t declare on his Ethics filings- hidden in shell companies, and the fact that he rented out his original home to someone else- and the home he claimed for a voting address- along with his business partner- was never his residence.

Fast forward to me trying to run for the Montgomery County Educational Service Center Board in August. Before I made it to the Board of Elections desk to file my valid petitions, I was greeted by Steve Harsman, the deputy-director, with a document telling me I didn’t live in the “district” for the MCESC. When asked to provide the maps- they never came. When asked how DPS could spend millions with the MCESC- and I can’t be on the board to oversee our tax dollars- silence.

I implored the board to demand Baguirov present proof of residence on Maryland Ave. Utility bills in his name, moving expenses, rent payment receipts? And if he didn’t live on Meeker Commons- where were the rent receipts for his half million dollar home? Nada. Nothing. Business as usual.

During that time, the BOE awarded a contract to the highest bidder to do their marketing (My firm was the lowest bidder), they gave multi-year contracts to both embattled District Athletic Director LaMark Baker- bringing the wrath of the State Athletic Association, and of course, giving a very rich 3 year contract to Rookie Superintendent Rhonda Corr- before test scores came out to show the district had again slid in state standings. They flubbed the DEA contract so badly that they had to spend an extra $200K to hire the scab firm Huffmaster, they bought buses- on a deal that Adil Baguirov personally negotiated- totally outside all norms. There was the low price sale of the Patterson site to CareSource- which he negotiated- and didn’t recuse himself from, despite owning a home health firm that does business with CareSource. The list goes on.

It’s my contention that Baguirov bullied the other members who were little league political neophytes- who had never encountered a master international lobbyist, well versed in international negotiations. He’d worked as a lobbyist before showing up out of DC to run here. Just after he was elected, a quarter million in offshore payola was put into one of his shell companies- Turbillion. This payment, and firm, which weren’t properly disclosed, is the same kind of thing that the FBI is investigating Paul Manafort for in D.C.

On a whim, on election day- I decided to check his voter registration for grins, knowing he’d need to be a resident in the 40th for a year before he ran. Of course, there it was on the Montgomery County BOE site- he’d moved out of the district to his real home. I posted, I called the school board lawyer, I sent a public records request for record of his resignation, or communications from him to the board informing them that he’d moved out of the district. Nothing came. No one wanted to do anything, again.

At around 10:15 last night, I fired off an email to a whole list of people, the superintendent, the board lawyer, the board, three of the incoming board members (I didn’t have Rev. Harris’ email), the directors of the BOE, the county prosecutors, the head of the Dayton Education Association, a State Rep who I trust, and I even included Jeremy Kelley of the Dayton Day-Old News- who failed to ever mention my investigation of Baguirov in his article about Baguirov’s planned run for the 40th.

I attached a Quo Warranto filing that I threatened to file after noon today if Baguirov didn’t resign. Quo Warranto is a writ or legal action requiring a person to show by what warrant an office or franchise is held, claimed, or exercised for those of you who aren’t lawyers.

The email:

thumbnail of Quo Warranto – Adil Baguirov Updated

The threatened filing to remove Adil Baguirov from the DPS Board (click for PDF) Note- the attachments are all documents that were posted in the original International Man of Mystery post

Subject: On Notice- Criminal proceedings against Dr. Adil Baguirov, the Dayton Board of Education, and multiple elected and appointed officials in Montgomery County

I informed this board, and the entire city, that Dr. Adil Baguirov didn’t live in the city of Dayton on April 5, 2017.
The board, the Superintendent, The County Prosecutor, The Board of Elections, The Secretary of State, The Attorney General, the Ohio Ethics Commisison, the Dayton Police Department, your own legal department did nothing.
Dr. Baguirov should have resigned and been replaced then.
Yesterday, Nov 7, 2017 I again published a document that said he had officially changed his voter registration to the address that I told you he lived at in April.
I asked, via Public Records request if he had filed his resignation for moving out of the district with the School Board- and received no answer.
By law, when he changed his official voting registration to an address in the Vandalia Butler School district, he should have resigned from Dayton.
Your failure to investigate, your failure to demand a resignation, to respond to the public records request, to announce that Dr. Baguirov had resigned, is a violation of your own rules, and State law.
I refuse to stand idly by while this continues.
I demand, that the resignation be announced by noon, Nov. 9. 2017, and I be CC’d – or I will be in court filing the attached Quo Warranto, and asking for a criminal investigation to begin immediately.

Because the board, the Superintendent, the School counsel, all acted complicity in ignoring the laws requiring residency, and continued to allow Dr. Baguirov to sit on a board and guide policy and decisions to include a 3 year contract with the Superintendent, a 2 year contract with an Athletic Director, the awarding of a marketing contract to the highest, least qualified bidder, and his own involvement in the procurement process of a major contract, I also ask that all board members, the Superintendent, the Treasurer, and the legal counsel, all resign immediately- and allow the four new members of elected yesterday ascend to office immediately.
The public trust has been severely violated by these actions, and an investigation at all levels of government oversight need to be examined.

As a comparison, when I went to the Board of Elections to file to run for the County ESC, I was met before I even turned my signatures in, with a notice that I wasn’t eligible to run- failing to meet the residency requirements.
The moment Dr. Baguirov changed his voting registration, he should have been flagged as an elected official and removed from office.
May I also state, that Dr. Baguirov committed voter fraud when he voted in the last election from the Maryland Ave. Address.
This also needs to be investigated and charges brought.

I expect responses from The School Board, The Board of Elections, the County Prosecutors office before noon tomorrow about what their responses will be.

This morning, I called the school lawyer, who claimed she didn’t get it via email, and blamed IT issues. I sent it via other means. Word was, there was a flurry of confusion on Ludlow. Kelley was calling Baguirov. At one point, Baguirov had the unmitigated gall to ask if a voter registration is the defacto proof of residency. Yet, on election day, a DEA member showed up at the polls with a government issued ID- a passport, and wasn’t allowed to vote until she had a utility bill with her name and address on it.

By noon, Kelley had published a story that Baguirov had resigned. Next thing is that the School board is sending out notifications that they are pushing their next meeting out from the 14th to the 21st. Obviously, they should fill the seat with the leading vote getter Harris. Not so obvious, is that Lee, Rountree and Lacey should all also resign for being part and parcel to this fraud- and the other three board members elect should be able to take their seats (Mohamed Al-Hamdani, Jocelyn Rhynard and Karen Wick-Gagnet).

Kelley’s story had this nugget:

Local activist David Esrati accused Baguirov in April of illegally serving on the Dayton school board while living at the Butler Twp. home, publishing documents about Baguirov’s properties and companies. Baguirov denied that in June, saying he lived in the Cooper Place condo.

Esrati threatened legal action this week if Baguirov didn’t step down immediately, given the official switch of his voter registration address. Esrati said Thursday that he plans to follow through with a court filing, saying that Baguirov has been ineligible to serve on the board all year.

Which was the first he’d actually acknowledged that I’d accused him- but still no mention of where I published them.

The other part implicates not only Baguirov, but other board members:

Online records showed his voter registration was switched to the Meeker Commons Lane address before Nov. 7.

“I timed it for the November election,” Baguirov said. “I notified my (school board) colleagues and President (Robert) Walker back in October that I wouldn’t be attending the, I think it’s four meetings, in November and December. I’m de facto vacating my seat.”

They knew? And did nothing? But wait!

Dayton Public Schools board policy requires them to fill a vacant school board seat “not earlier than 10 days nor later than 30 days after the vacancy occurs.” DPS attorney Jyllian Bradshaw said Baguirov reported that he moved Nov. 1, so DPS is treating that as the effective date of the vacancy.

I asked for the documentation of his notification- and got nothing. And, what proof do we have he moved Nov. 1? I asked for proof back in April.

The real problem with Ohio laws in Montgomery County is that we only enforce them on the little people. My first entry into a political chamber was caused when the city of Dayton prosecuted me for putting up wood grain vinyl garage doors in an unmarked “Historic District” soon after I bought a shit-hole of a house for $14,500.

I pointed out on May 28,2017 that people who ran the Issue 9 campaign last year had a $42,000 difference between their closing balance and opening balance of their campaign finance reports. Last month, I asked for all of the campaign finance reports of our local county prosecutor- along with a list of all the campaigns that had been reported to the Ohio Elections Commission (as I have been repeatedly) as a public records request. Did I get a response from either the OEC or the MCBOE?

Well, yes, actually I did:

Request for Additional Information, 11/2/2017 2:07 PM

Dear Dave,

An examination of the 2015 Annual Finance Report filed on behalf of the Elect Esrati committee indicated that this report needs additional information. Please address the following:

Receipts or Cancelled Checks Missing:

All expenditures must be documented with a paid receipt, a cancelled check, or a bank statement showing that the amount of the campaign expenditure has been deducted from the committee bank account. Please provide a copy of the cancelled check or paid receipt (no invoices) or bank statements for expenditures over $25.00, for the following:

The report is missing one cancelled check:

Check # ? Payed (SIC) to: The Next Wave in the amount of $160.00 on 06/15/2015.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. This is an informal attempt to resolve this matter. Once the above described information can be collected, please send copies of those items to the Campaign Finance Department of the Montgomery County Board of Elections. You can mail those items or send them by email. Since the information does not affect the balances on the Form 30-A filed by the committee, there is no need to file an Amended Report. Once we have the receipt, bank statement or cancelled check, this report will be complete. If you have any questions feel free to call the Campaign Finance Department at (937) 225-5669 and we will be happy to assist you.

Sincerely,

Dave Landon
Montgomery County Board of Elections
Campaign Finance
451 West Third St.
Dayton, OH 45481
Office: (937) 225-5669|Fax: (937) 496-7798
[email protected]

Still no list of referrals, no campaign finance reports for Mat Heck, but we want to make sure your campaign actually paid your company for webhosting.

And if you want further proof of County Prosecutor Mat Heck’s legal incompetence, wait for the story that’s coming how he couldn’t get a grand jury to indict a thief from stealing large sums of money from two Service Disabled Veterans- despite the Dayton Police saying “She did it.”

For a final laugh- since none of this is really funny- on my threat to file the Quo Warranto- technically, I lack standing to do it. Sending the official looking document was a bluff.

Luckily, the idiots running the schools into the ground, aren’t smart enough to know it.

Bye, Bye Baguirov- you won’t be missed. Now, let’s clean house.