Submitted by Jeff Buster on Thu, 11/08/2007 - 13:06.

WCPN reports today that Fox News reports that the FBI is investigating the Breuer contracts.


It is interesting to note that Precision Environmental, the asbestos contractor hired by the County at a price a million dollars above the low bid contractor, is a DiGeronimo Company.

It is also interesting to note that the vacant industrial building at 6611 Euclid (north of The Tavern) was owned by the DiGeronimo family and was purchased by the GCRTA ostensibly for the Euclid Corridor project for 1 million dollars.   You can read the story about why the RTA needed to buy the DiGeronimo building on  Realneo here

It is also interesting to note that Independence Excavating is a DiGeronimo Company and is the site work contractor presently working on the languishing Juvenile Justice Center on Quincy Ave in Cleveland. 


 At both the Juvenile Justice Center and at the Breuer Building  the DiGeronimo Company involved (Precision and Independence) were given the go ahead to do their subcontract portion of the work BEFORE county financing was in place for the entire Justice Center or entire Breuer-location proposed new County Offices.


In fact, when the County was seeking a demolition permit for the Breuer Building at a public hearing  before the Planning Commission (Tony Coyne had just returned from Chicago), Counselor Joe Cimperman pleaded  for Planning to “at least let the asbestos contract go forward immediately” because there was pressure and urgency about proceeding post haste with the asbo removal even before Planning approved the full demolition of the Breuer and before final building plans were ready and approved for the proposed County offices.  


But then Crain’s Cleveland Business has been reporting on Joe Cimperman   pushing to buy  the Jacobs owned Breuer since back in 2002.


Now that the 3 Commissioners suddenly realize the County doesn’t have the money to demolish and re-build at  the Breuer, it seems a little strange that the County and Mr. Cimperman were in such a hurry. 


Very FUNNY that the County wasn’t able to project its bonding capacity for new county construction BEFORE they purchased the Breuer and BEFORE the County contracted for asbestos removal.   When asked why the County Commissioners couldn’t figure out the limits of the County budget BEFORE they voted to buy the Breuer from Mr. Jacobs for 22 million of the taxpayer’s money, Mr. Hagan, “educated” at CSU,  recently replied: “accounting is an art, not a science”.    


This “MONEY IS ART”  comment is from  the  President of the Board of Cuyahoga County Commissioners  - made without contrition after paying 22 million for a historic building to demolish it and then run out of money…



Now anyone who has had remodeling of any kind done in their home or at their work knows that it is insane to begin demolition on any project before the money and plans are in place to complete the entire job. You don’t tear out a bathroom before you know you can replace it.   Even with conscientious and  complete organization and funding jobs can go awry, but to begin a multi million dollar job with out complete funding and with piecemeal subcontracts is so crazy that, in my mind, it raises suspicions of flagrant incompetence and/or corruption.


But then buying 22 million dollar building when what you want is an empty lot doesn’t seem very rational either.


Maybe the FBI thinks something is fishy too…


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Thanks for filling in some of the gaps. Another big question is if the commissioners wasted $22 million on the Breuer and now they say they have spent $35 million, and they have only diverted like $8 million to their crooked environmental contracts, what other crooked deals account for the other $5 million?How3 much did Madison get for being the County "planning expert" and made architect, like usual? Exactly who else got paid how much for what?

Disrupt IT

it's all fungible

This is all part of a nonchalant attitude towards money, especially when it's somebody else's, as in the case of the public funds sloshing around the county commissioners, especially since they got the coverup of the tax increase on October 1st.

When we were  coming out of the hearings on the Breuer over at City Hall, Gloria and I heard one of the county's lead dogs talking about money and how really it didn't matter, how they presented the economic case or parsed the funding, since "it's all fungible."

Speaking of lead dogs reminds me of one of my favorite Norman Mailer/Tom Wolfe stories, which I will share with you here, from an article that referenced the Three Stooges, bringing John Updike into the mix. Anyway, here's Mailer on "the lead dog":

The Wolfe-Mailer feud is by far the oldest and cattiest of the three. As far back as 1989, Mailer remarked: "In my mind, there is something silly about a man who wears a white suit all the time, especially in New York."

Wolfe brushed off the sartorial attack, simply pointing out that "the lead dog is the one they always try to bite in the ass". To which Mailer quickly responded: "It doesn't mean you're the top dog just because your ass is bleeding."

So our commissioners are fungi

Word of the day, courtesy of Tim Ferris...

fun·gi·ble –adjective Law. (esp. of goods) being of such nature or kind as to be freely exchangeable or replaceable, in whole or in part, for another of like nature or kind.

[Origin: 1755–65; < ML fungibilis, equiv. to L fung(ī) to perform the office of + -ibilis

So we have fungi in the county commissioners' offices

Disrupt IT

WCPN and FOX?!

Where do we as residents turn to for the news or increasingly--who do we turn to expose fraud, crime and corruption?  Someone needs to expose the SOS going on and on in our region.  I am glad that FOX stepped up to the plate on this one.


Main Entry:
fun·gus Listen to the pronunciation of fungus
Inflected Form(s):
plural fun·gi Listen to the pronunciation of fungi Listen to the pronunciation of fungi \ˈfən-ˌjī, ˈfəŋ-ˌgī\ also fun·gus·es Listen to the pronunciation of funguses \ˈfəŋ-gə-səz\
often attributive
: any of a kingdom (Fungi) of saprophytic and parasitic spore-producing eukaryotic typically filamentous organisms formerly classified as plants that lack chlorophyll and include molds, rusts, mildews, smuts, mushrooms, and yeasts.