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County Taxpayers and Stan Chesley

By Kevin Osborne · March 23rd, 2011 · Winners and Losers
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QUEENSGATE TERMINALS: A jury this week rejected most claims in a lawsuit filed against the city of Cincinnati over the stalled Queensgate Terminals project proposed along the Ohio River in East Price Hill. Developer David Martin of Bluegrass Farms sued after the city bought the 13-acre site in 2007 and ultimately blocked the firm’s plans based on complaints from residents in the Price Hill, Sedamsville and Riverside neighborhoods. Martin wanted to open a container-to-barge port there to transport soybeans, but neighbors worried about increased truck traffic in the area. Martin had sought $4.2 million in damages, but jurors awarded him only $667,000. Martin wanted to open the port at the former Hilltop Basic Resources parcel at 1911 River Road, but city officials questioned the plan’s viability.


STAN CHESLEY: As Chesley faces possible disbarment in Kentucky, the slick local attorney also recently was criticized by a federal judge for his conduct in a Washington, D.C., case.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon blasted Chesley for misrepresenting the whereabouts of an expert witness; Chesley had told the court the witness was in Colorado when, in fact, he was in D.C., just not in the courtroom. Also, Leon was angry because Chesley in 2004 applied to represent plaintiffs in a securities fraud class-action lawsuit against Fannie Mae but failed to disclose he was under investigation in Kentucky, which violates court rules. Perhaps the Indian Hill litigator was too busy meddling in county commission races and holding fundraisers for pols like Jean Schmidt to keep track of such pesky details.


COUNTY TAXPAYERS: As the glitzy black hole along the riverfront known as Paul Brown Stadium continues to suck taxpayer dollars for its upkeep, a little relief is on the way. Hamilton County commissioners approved a lease for the Bengals stadium and at nearby Great American Ball Park that allows AT&T to install a cellular telephone antenna system at the facilities. The lease will generate about $720,000, which will go in the county’s stadium account. Because of sluggish sales-tax revenues, the account is facing a $30 million annual deficit beginning in 2013. Commissioners are seeking similar deals with other cellular providers to help lessen the shortfall. At least sports fans will get good reception when they’re trying to call for a ride home from the game with Fort Washington Way blaring in the background.


U.S. CENSUS: Bloggers and so-called “new media” are again performing a valuable service. Just days after the U.S. Census reported that Cincinnati’s population dropped 10.4 percent during the past decade, Bill Sloat at The Daily Bellwether blog noted a troubling discrepancy in the data. According to the Census, the city has 296,943 people — with more than 231,000 above the age of 18. But a comparison with records at the county Board of Elections shows that 209,862 people are registered to vote in Cincinnati, giving the city a remarkable 91 percent registration rate, if Census data is accurate. Of course, that registration rate probably isn’t that high. More likely, the Census seriously undercounted the city’s population, a thesis supported anecdotally by many residents who said they never received the federal questionnaire.



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