JUDGE GAUL FIRES MYERS UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT SCALDINI

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Fri, 12/14/2007 - 14:31.

Here is the sequence of events during the last week concerning Cleveland, Ohio's Myers University:

The President of the University, Mr. Scaldini, announces Monday that the University will close its doors at the end of this semester because the school is out of Money. 

Mr. Ho, a representative of for profit school chain University if Northern Virginia LLC, seeks a temporary restraining order from the Court requesting, among other relief, that Myers be prevented from closing.  UVNA had secretly provided 1.5 million to Myers – ostensibly in exchange for a majority of seats on the Myers (non profit) board.   But, from what I can make out, Ho didn’t get any agreement in writing.

 

On Tuesday, 12 11 Judge Daniel Gaul issues, at Plaintiff UVNA request,  a temporary restraining order against Myers closing, and a gag order which precluded the parties from pubic discussion about the court proceedings.

 

On Wednesday the Dirty Dealer editorial page  writes  that J. Gaul is intent on keeping the school open and writes that  Scaldini “has borrowed more money and spun more tales than a down-and-out gambler”.

Mr. Scaldini, in defense of his actions, his reputation,  and Myers, writes a letter to the Dirty Dealer Editor which is published on  Thursday,  12 13.

On Thursday afternoon J. Gaul has Mr. Scaldini arrested for violation of the gag order – THE LETTER TO THE EDITOR!   J. Gaul then gave Mr. Scaldini the ultimatum – quit as president of Myers or spend 24 hours in jail.   

I  asked J Gaul at the press Q&A this afternoon if it was appropriate for a judge to use the threat of jail time as a coercive tool in an attempt to get Mr. Scaldini to do something which Mr. Scaldini did not have to do – ie, quit as president of Myers.  The Judge didn’t respond to my question explicitly, but gestured by nodding his head side to side saying  - some may think that is the case, and they can appeal ..

Mr. Scaldini – to his credit – took Wednesday night in Jail.   He was  handcuffed in court, photographed in handcuffs by the DD in court, and locked up overnight in the Cleveland jail.

At the time of this afternoon’s 1:00pm media briefing,  J. Gaul announced from the bench to the press that Mr. Scaldini was still in jail, would be released at 5:00pm today, and that Mr Scaldini had been fired for cause and incompetence  (by J. Gaul) as the President of Myers University. 

Further announcements were scheduled by the Judge for 4:00 pm at Myers’ Chester and E38 St campus.   I will take the RTA (free to E21st)circulator up the street to hear what is announced.

J. Gaul told the press this afternoon that it was critical for Myers to remain open, because the University injected at least 10 million per year into the mid town economy.  In J. Gaul’s statement to the media he did not discuss the legal issues of the case, but rather explained that the school was over 100 years old, an icon of  Cleveland, and an amenity for the community (all of which I agree with). 

I would say, however, that J. Gaul sounded more like an economic development advocate, than a neutral, disinterested judge.  I do agree that J. Gaul has it within his court powers to prevent any further wasting away of an asset which is subject to the restraining order. 

 

The Judge continues to meet this afternoon in chambers (photo above, Hon. J. Gaul center with yellow striped tie) with representatives of UNVA, the City of Cleveland, and Myers University in an effort to hammer out a solution to keep Myers open.  The media (eg Fox 8, 19, Realneo.us , DD)  were allowed into chambers to photograph all parties present. 

 

I am posting this from the Cleveland Public Library downtown branch, and will get photos up later today or tomorrow.   I don’t have the proper photo software here to download and post images. I will discuss this with the library.

 

One thing I can feel confident about is that enrolling as a student at Myers will continue in the near future to be a risky enterprise. 

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Mr. Ho: bring us a new school for the new economy

I'd love to see Myers succeed with new leadership and direction here, if they will be exceptional - so far, the leadership (including funders and trustees) seem pathetic. What I want in a new school here is a focus on really innovative yet useful technology, like green design and buildings, open source software, robotics... leap-frog right over CCC, CSU and in many important ways Case.

Are you listening, Mr. Ho - Real NEO can help you identify and pursue the best market opportunities here. Join up and let's discuss a new school for the new economy here.

Disrupt IT

BTW, welcome to NEO, Mr. Ho and UVNA

It is so typical that an outside enterprise gets tripped up in local politics and corruption. While I don't know much about your plans, I welcome you to Northeast Ohio and REALNEO, Mr. Ho and other folks from UVNA - we hope to learn better ways from you. Best wishes, Norm Roulet

Rescue benefits taxpayers

From today's PD Myers University rescue benefits taxpayers.

(Jeff, thanks for the coverage from CPL--I took umbrage at the PD's list of resources for the Mount Pleasant neighborhood.  Newsflash--Mt. Pleasant is in the City of Cleveland where people can still walk to their libraries).

 

At BFD Ed Morrison links to the Fraser Institute article on business creation in the United States and Canada.  Nevada ranks the highest (?) in the United States.  Ohio is near the bottom of the list.

WHO WILL ASK WHY MR. HO PUT UP 2 MILLION?

What is the mechanism by which Mr. Ho will recover his two million dollar "donation" to Myers University (which is a not for profit organization).  

Where are photos of the schools which Mr. Ho operates around the world? 

Why did Mr. Ratner, Mr. Miller and Mr. Glickman provide letters of credit last fall?

These are all businessmen. 

How is it that the Cleveland Cuyahoga Port Authority has forebeared on declaring their 5.7 million loan to Myers in default? 

Why did County Commissioner Tim Hagan talk with Judge Gaul yesterday and emphasize that it was crucial that Myers be “rescued”, so there would be no default on the Port Authority loan.

Do Standard and Poor’s or Moody’s know anything about all this?

 

How would an reduction in the County’s credit rating affect Mr. Ratner, Mr. Miller , or Mr. Glickman?

 

Is there a connection between any of these?

Is Cuyahoga County fiscally teetering?