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December 14, 2010

Supreme Court Denies Immunity for Top Burlington Official

Gavel 3The Vermont Supreme Court has denied a last-ditch appeal by Burlington's Chief Administrative Officer Jonathan Leopold to be granted immunity from a citizen lawsuit seeking immediate repayment to taypayers of $17 million loaned to Burlington Telecom.

The suit was brought last year by former city councilors Fred Osier and Gene Shaver. Earlier this year, Superior Court Judge Helen Toor banned the city from dipping any further into the so-called "cash pool" to pay for Burlington Telecom's ongoing operations.

The pair wants BT to repay the entire $17 million, along with their legal fees. If BT doesn't have enough cash, they want Leopold to be held personally liable for repayment, too.

The one paragraph ruling, signed by all five members of the Supreme Court, reads:

"Defendant Jonathon Leopold's motion to appeal from the trial court's denial of his motions to dismiss and for permission to appeal is denied in that the motion was untimely filed and, in any case, fails to demonstrate that the trial court abused its discretion by denying permission to appeal."

The citizen lawsuit has been largely stalled while Leopold sought immunity, although the city and plaintiffs have been arguing recently over what documents BT should provide to the court. The city had agreed to provide regular financial updates to the court to ensure that it was complying with the edict to repay any and all city funds within 60 days, per BT's certificate of public good.

A recent outside financial review alleges BT has been in debt to taxpayers — a violation of its CPG — since September 2005.

Osier and Shaver are also seeking party status in the ongoing Vermont Service Board investigation into whether the city violated its CPG and how it can repair any fiscal damage. A hearing before the three-member PSB was held last week.

At the time, the plaintiff's attorney Norman Williams told the PSB that he had filed for party status back in July. PSB Chairman Jim Volz seemed surprised by Williams' request, and said they would double-check the files to make sure it was received.

Big surprise

It's almost worth seventeen million if that dirtbag Leopold is driven into bankruptcy and lifelong destitution. What a nice Christmas gift, thank you former city councilors for fighting on behalf of Burlington taxpayers.

Follow the Money and keep your eye on the players looking to swoop in and "rescue" BT at a bargain basement price! They are connected to BT in more ways than one.

BT sure is one super sized sh*t sandwich for the hapless citizens of Burlington to swallow.

Come one come all to the Miller center on Gosse court in Burlington, Tuesday Dec. 21 6:45 PM and participate in an open forum on Burlington Telecom during the wards 4 and 7 NPA meeting. Bring your thoughts, your attitudes your opinions and let them spout. Just remember remarks are limited to about 3 minutes so no marathon monologues are allowed. Bring a friend and they will get in free just like you. The best part of NPA meetings continues to be no Executive sessions allowed.

Is it true that the City will be installing coin drop boxes on the market place for people who want to bail out BT without enabling Kiss and Leopold?

If dropboxes are started for any reason in the city I would be highly suspicious of where the proceeds go.
Drop boxes are not the answer to any of the city's problems.
8x8 cell blocks seem to be the appropriate boxes now.

Bob, please resign now and save the city the next 15 months of inept leadership. You are, hands down, the most pathetic person in public office in the state of Vermont. If you really care about us, your constituents, you will end this misery. I can't imagine it's much fun for you either.

If this is a money thing, i.e., you need a paycheck, I'm sure that the good people of Burlington would cut you a check for the remaining balance to be paid to you over the next 15 months just to have someone else in office. Consider it your golden parachute.

Okay alright already can we fire Leopold? He lost the money we paid his fancy high priced lawyer that money is lost can we stop paying him his salary and stop paying his legal defense now. The supreme court says he does not have immunity from prosecution so I would surmise he is not being tried under the guise of having immunity as a city official. He is being sued as an incompetent citizen thief, enough with paying this idiots legal fees.

It is really nice to watch Leopold and soon Kiss squirm like middle schoolers at their first dance. As much as I can't stand Shaver and Osier, they are really doing the taxpayers a service and should be thanked. Kiss continues to bumble through interview after interview, yet no one on the council seems to care.

Watch Tim Ashe say 1 year ago that there is no problem, lauds Bob Kiss, and blames the BT controversy on sabotage:

Watch John Franco defend Bob Kiss blame BT mess on Democrats and the Press. He calls Kiss and Leopold champions:

Watch Bob Kiss ask for forgiveness from PSB and for permission to use MORE public funds for BT:

That Ashe video is mind boggling. If he had the kind of inside knowledge of BT operations that he claims to have had - such as access to communications between the PSB lawyers and the City - then he is well aware that there were serious problems, and he is flat out lying in this speech.

I think he unwittingly made a campaign ad for every competitor he'll face for the rest of his life.

Jimmy: I agree. I have no respect for politicians who simply shill for their own party without regard to truth. Ashe looks like a clown in retrospect. He trades on being honest and smart.....well this video betrays him as he betrays us.

Don't be surprised if you see that video (and the others) disappear shortly.

To any who can: make copies of these You Tube vids and redistribute when they disappear.

I just watched the Ashe video and all I can do is ditto Jimmy's comment: it is truly mind-boggling.

After pointing out that he was himself on the City Council for 4.5 years, he says -- as recently as November, 2009, mind you, when the taking of the $17 Million from the cash pool, in violation of the CPG, had become a matter of public knowledge -- that there was "no scandal, and no controversy, and no poor health of BT," and that all of BT's problems were due to "sabotage" by David O'Brien. Shame on you.

If he truly had no idea whatsoever of all the malfeasance and illegal activity that was going on with BT (which is frankly hard to believe), then he had absolutely, positively no business whatsoever standing up and publicly saying that everything was rosy with BT and blaming all its problems on the Commissioner of the DPS.

On the other hand, if he DID know what was going on, then he stood up in front of a public audience and lied through his teeth.

I also like how, after he changed topics to the issue of unemployment benefits, he called Tom Salmon "incompetent" -- three times. Well, speaking of incompetence, Mr. Ashe, what do you say now about Mayor Dunce?

What Party loyalty (or a mindless commitment to ideology) does to people is simply disgraceful -- and that includes Progs.


Looks Like Tim Ashe should lawyer up. I am amused by the talk that if the cash pool is magically refilled buy a buyer of the network all is well in Oz.
Kids if you steal just plan to put the money back and its all good.

Kiss bumbling about fixing the accounting irregularities by hiring Doorman and Faucet and acts it is as if nothing happened. Are you kidding me?
I have lost all respect for Tim Ashe, he is now at the level of scum with David "the thief" Zuckerman.
These juggaloos who get them selves elected aroud here are deluded narcissists. They leave the private sector to pay off all of their folly debts.

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