Tuesday, June 17, 2008

follow those stories

End of the Twanda Carlisle Case:

Reported yesterday is news that Lee Otto Johnson was sentenced to house arrest for his role in the Twanda Carlisle case. It's such a long strange story that would take tomes to explain. The case, like most legal cases, expanded far from its starting point but his role starts out with his name listed as the author of this report which was said to be the product of a $30-40K payment (for lack of a better term) from former Councilwoman Carlisle's office. Beyond the obvious problems with the document if you look at it, you will see some not-exactly-hidden photocopying from several of my colleague Ralph's reports. You can read two of those sources here and here. I still say the oddest part of this little episode is that anyone thought such a 'report' should conceivably be worth seeing the light of day.

Something that is bothering me about all of this. I really wonder how much a 78 year old with no real research or writing background (his resume is at the beginning of the report) really worked to put together a report of any kind, even one as loosely defensible as a report as that one was. I have no other info on Mr. Johnson beyond what has been reported nor on the specific evidence in this case. I hope they really looked into whether he was cognizant of this work and it was not just his name affixed to something others put together.


Where in the world is Bernardo Katz

and more illegality. I suppose we have to say alleged at this point, but the accused has fled the country and all. The news is that the city controller is looking into loans made by the city's Urban and Redevelopment to failed developer Bernardo Katz. OK, sounds like a good idea. Not sure why it took this long, but what really surprises me is the mention that one possible outcome could be liens places on Mr. Katz's non-foreclosed upon properties. Any reason this has not happened already? The fellow has already fled the country.

I have noticed a few times someone hitting this blog with the search "Bernardo Katz" and the source was Hamburg, Germany. It's only interesting to me because financial wonks over a certain age might remember a semi-famous fraud case years ago when a fellow named Martin Frankel bought and essentially defrauded some small insurance companies in Mississippi. The Wall Street Journal made a big deal of reporting on the case and he was eventually caught in Hamburg of all places living comfortable. I wonder.


More Pittsburgh TV action

OK.. not a previous story, but catch of the day from my web filter: A blog post on a TV pilot that filed in Pittsburgh last week: One and a half Italians, that is billed as the Travel Channel meets the Food Network. Amos, you out there?


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