Friday, August 31, 2018

More Lawsuits in North Bay Village

First Amendment Hero* and former registered strip club lobbyist, North Bay Village Attorney, Norman C. Powell, represented by North Bay Village Litigation Attorney, Neil Kodsi, have decided that Norman Powell's feeling are hurt by criticisms of his performance as Village Attorney.

Instead of having a good cry and then resolving to do better in the future, they did what lawyers do best - slap a great big complaint against the person they want to shut up and file it in court, hoping to scare the person into either silence or saying only nice things about them because, really, it's one thing to claim respect for the First Amendment and another to have your public performance as a public figure criticized.  

I present to you the Powell Complaint Against Prominent North Bay Village Blogger and Civic Gadfly, me.

Well, I don't actually present it to you as it is over a 100 pages of mostly cut and paste so I link it to you.  Go ahead.  Read it.  I'll wait.  

Anyway, while I am preparing a strong response, and I deny all the allegations put forward, I'm in the weird position of not being able to comment extensively on the lawsuit until it gets in front of a judge.  Those who know me know how hard it is.

In fact, the only reason I am discussing it here is that Laura Cattabriga, who sued the village herself to remove Hornsby, then took his commission seat, and in one of her first moves as commissioner voted to appoint Ana Watson, (Watson is facing four counts of felony fraud to our Charter Review Board) on the grounds "innocent until proven guilty", and is now a declared mayoral candidate to continue the Kreps legacy, is reported to be skulking around town darkly muttering about "the blogger's legal issues." 

It almost feels like this might be happening to silence and discredit me during the elections.

But enough about me.

In this week's installment of North Bay Village Crazy™ (note:  not actually trademarked. Satire.  I have to be careful in case the Village decides that's our new Village motto.  I relinquish all rights.), fired North Bay Village Detectives Tom Columbano and Sam Bejar, respectively, are suing the Village for wrongful termination. 

In the Bejar lawsuit, the detective drops this interesting piece of information.  The so called Fencemaster's matter where the village manager, the village finance director and Commissioner Eddie Lim were all accused of stealing $15,000 to improve Frank Rollason's property?  The one that was closed as unfounded?  Bejar states that the anonymous complaint came from Board Member Ana Watson.  (Paragraph 23) and in other parts, (paragraph 18 on), writes about the release of sensitive data to Xact Data Recovery at the direction of the Village Attorney.  Then Bejar was fired.

In the Columbano complaint, he alleges that the Mayor confronts him to complain that Columbano was "chasing the mayor's friend, Ana Watson" and then she, the mayor, was going to find Watson a "good lawyer."  Watson was later indicted on 4 counts of felony fraud and surprisingly also appointed by the commission, including the Mayor and Laura Cattabriga, to the Charter Review Board.  Then Columbano was fired.

Common threads.

*On the video from the June Regular Commission Meeting, Village Attorney Norman C. Powell explains that he is big league First Amendment defender, so I award him the First Amendment Hero title.  There is no monetary value.

Kevin Vericker
August 30, 2018

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