Lily Miller and Sarah Karp deserve national attention for their Civic Journalism

Submitted by lmcshane on Sat, 12/05/2015 - 08:51.

Recently, a blogger/citizen reporter Sarah Karp in Chicago brought down Barbara Byrd-Bennet by asking the obvious questions- you can watch the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQGj5CruvAg&feature=youtu.be

Published on Oct 20, 2015

Former CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett recently pleaded guilty to corruption charges. BGA Senior Investigator Sarah Karp broke the story that led to the federal investigation two years ago when she was working for Catalyst Chicago, an education publication. Sarah answers five questions about her investigation and the fallout.

Read more: http://www.bettergov.org/blogs/investigators_notebook/byrd-bennett_arrest,_the_perils_of_privatization/

Chicago is now reeling with the aftermath and the accounting is going back to the person in charge - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

 

Cleveland is also being scrutinized.  Afterall, Barbara Byrd-Bennett's behavior did not happen overnight.

For almost two months now - research conducted by Lily Miller has been the leading story at REALNEO :



http://realneo.us/content/aeon-financial-aka-capitalsource-bank-property-tax-foreclosure-thieves-does-not-pay-their-ow

 

Lily Miller also contacted the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Washington Post reporter Michael Sallah, who exposed the discriminatory practice of tax lien sales in his series: Left with Nothing.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2013/09/08/left-with-nothing/

 

This week, on Thursday 12/3 , Cuyahoga County administration under County Executive Armond Budish announced that the sale of tax liens will be suspended.   Northeast Ohio, this is happy news.  



http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county/index.ssf/2015/12/cuyahoga_county_will_not_sell_delinquent_property_taxes_to_a_private_company.html

 

There is a lot to dismantle in Chicago and in Cleveland.  Sarah Buduson at WEWS Channel 5 pointed out the obvious incongruity in who gets away with not paying their taxes.  

 

http://www.newsnet5.com/news/local-news/investigations/tax-lien-sale-trouble-how-cuyahoga-cos-quest-to-collect-cash-hurts-homeowners-and-neighborhoods

 

She also exposed the "Dirty Dozen" of major tax scofflaws in Northeast Ohio.  

 

http://realneo.us/content/wews-dirty-dozen-story



http://realneo.us/content/does-anyone-care-dirty-dozen-and-more

 

Armond Budish is left with this mess - but it started way back in the 70s-90s as federal pots of HUD money became available to urban areas.  Mob demolitions and "urban renewal" mentality.  Mayor Frank Jackson is at the center of the unholy story - surrounded by a whole crew of his former city council cohorts.    Budish knows he is sitting on a time bomb.  He needs to break this story, before the rest of the world unravels it for him.



http://www.ideastream.org/news/cuyahoga-county-woods-cove-face-lawsuit-over-tax-lien-sales

 

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FBI take note - Cuyahoga Cty and Woods Cove face lawsuit

Northeast Ohio Media Group continues to downplay the story to protect Rokakis-Frangos and the Land Bank racket.

Announced this past week:

http://www.ideastream.org/news/cuyahoga-county-woods-cove-face-lawsuit-over-tax-lien-sales

NEOMG admit that the duo who legislated tax lien sales was none other than Jim Rokakis and Gus Frangos. This duo also legislated the first "land bank" run by the City of Cleveland, while they were in council. DESPITE all of your fawning over these two individuals and their supposed good work - their ideas -tax lien sales and land banks- has this ROI:

"The study also found the amount of delinquent property taxes on homes and apartment buildings has ballooned since 2009 from $89 million to $214.7 million."

http://www.cleveland.com/…/housing_advocates_cuyahoga_count…

SO something is VERY wrong with the picture, when the brilliant solutions pan out to MORE delinquent property taxes. There is a racket here. Ask the obvious questions. Who is making money??

First off - DEMOLITION companies. Also, some very BIG fish are not paying taxes and getting away with it:

http://realneo.us/con…/does-anyone-care-dirty-dozen-and-more

http://realneo.us/content/its-tax-base-stupid

 

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I posted the above comments to the NEOMG story on Cuyahoga County canceling the tax lien sales for 2015.  These comments were immediately deleted.  Is the FBI -POSSIBLY- investigating the Cuyahoga County Land Bank, or is the NEOMG group protecting Rokakis and Frangos at the behest of Brent Larkin, who is personal friends with Jim Rokakis?

 

For context, please see the recent story in Indy Star regarding the continued scandal at the Indianapolis "Land Bank."

 

http://www.indystar.com/story/news/investigations/2015/11/30/land-bank-hit-scandal-holds-back-blight-spreads/76330380/



In part, the city’s aversion to land banking stems from the biggest scandal of Mayor Greg Ballard’s administration.

Former city Land Bank administrator Reggie Walton was convicted this year of fraud after taking bribes and directing surplus properties to certain buyers through a number of nonprofits.

 

Officially, his conviction closed the book on the yearslong scandal, but, in many ways, it’s still thwarting city efforts to deal directly with the problem of urban blight.