Legacy & The Downtown Parking Ramp Issue (GP-Bruce Danielson)

This Legacy Parking ramp / hotel scheme is not like a new thing for most Sioux Falls citizens to comprehend. Many knew this was a scam based on fraud and many people in positions of power decided to look the other way just to get promises fulfilled before they left office. If they took others with in the process, they are collateral damage I guess.

There may be legal liabilities. The six Council members who voted for this project and the previous mayor could be on the hook criminally. They had been told in open City Council testimony (it is recorded and can’t be taken down) there was a connection between the four owners of Legacy and the four owners of Hultgren Construction and the four owners of Boomerang and the parking ramp group. It may not have been on paper, but there was plenty of public testimony to back it up.

Construction manager at risk (CMAR) and guaranteed maximum price (GMP) and RFP and RFQ possible rigging may be examined for years to come. To claim they didn’t know or were unaware, is a poor excuse not holding water. If they did not want to look at the situations because a scheming happy warrior was telling all was OK, then they might be wearing stripes together.

There may have been wire fraud, mail fraud and more involved areas which they are all liable. Look at Daren Ketchum moving over to Legacy after he worked so hard to get this project done before Huether left office. Unspoken quid pro quo is screaming at us, the fix was in. There could still be the asbestos problem and the decision to close down one LLC and give all the assets to another just when the asbestos questions were being raised. Now were talking real criminal conspiracy with real behind bars time to consider.

To now claim this is a Lamont project instead of the cosigners of the guarantees may be just another scam. This will forever be a Legacy project. Does Lamont Co. have signed documents turned over to the City right now saying they are now the sole guarantors?

The threat of lying on bankruptcy filings causing criminal charges made the guarantors come partially clean is little consolation to a dead man’s family or to a city bleeding money on schemes of a past mayoral term.

How can a new mayor who has not fired the “mistake makers” of the past administration now go back to these same individuals (the “mistake makers”) to get a new solution or legal justification everything was done correctly without jeopardizing their pensions and employment?

Mayor TenHaken said it in the KELO.com piece, “As a citizen, I did not like how the previous administration pushed this project so hard with disregard to transparency.” As citizens, we don’t like it either. Anyone who allows this project to move forward could join the others in unpleasant federal criminal conspiracy ramifications.

Will our new mayor do the right thing and kill this project? Kill this project and wash our city hands of it. Take the $1,000,000 guarantee and use it to pay off the bondholder early repayment penalties and the other city costs. We don’t need this parking lot the way it is being proposed or possibly where it is being proposed. Most of  Sioux Falls know this was a bad deal from the start. We need to let Mayor TenHanken know the project is now in his hands and he should kill it before it gets way out of control. A man died for the sins of greed, what’s next? Is this our Legacy to never forget?



8 comments ↓

#1 D@ily Spin on 07.30.18 at 5:32 pm

The Huether reign was nothing better than an organized crime syndicate. It was flagrant with names such as Legacy and Boomerang. Likely, it’s to late for prosecution. I should think it becomes important to reverse anything Huether. The new council has yet to be corrupted. They and the mayor should kill the parking ramp project immediately.

#2 JKC on 07.30.18 at 6:43 pm

This mess, this lack of transparency, or bumbling of public policy is a bigger problem than the failings of the Council. It is proof that the system does not work or is broken,
because where is the grand jury in all of this?

Sure, the Feds are looking into it; and its one of the very few OSHA investigations which has been referred for possible criminal prosecution, but why do we have to wait for the Feds to get justice?

Even if you give the Council the benefit of the doubt about Hultgren, Legacy, and now Lamont and their possible or likely collectiveness, I do not believe that the ramp/hotel project would have ever gone through as it has had the authorities at the state level inquired further into the building collapse issue from day one. Because had they inquired further from the start of the tragedy, the Council most likely would have never involved themselves again with Hultgren and Legacy – as evident by how the Council dropped Hultgren as soon as the Council found out about the OSHA criminal referral – but the lack of sophistication into the inquiry of the building collapse by state officials speaks to a “Banana Republic” mentality, or should we say reality, except that there are no bananas even to show for it.

For where is the grand jury into this matter by our State’s Attorney? He said in Dec/Jan. of ’16/’17, that he was just waiting for the Feds or OSHA to disclose their findings before he would act, which they did last spring, yet no response or initiation by state officials over this matter, because apparently the system is broken or lacking.

I would think that when a contractor is known to ignore City officials in the past when it comes to permits and inspections, and when that same contractor brags on Facebook about taking down a load bearing wall, which then resulted in the death of one of his workers, that the totality of all of this would yell for a grand jury and inquiry by state officials over the question of criminal negligence. But for some reason it doesn’t; and I am afraid the reason has far less to do with a lack of legal recourse in a criminal sense, but more to do with the failure of our system to serve and protect the citizens of this town, and especially the workers in this town.

#WhereAreTheBananas?

#WithoutTheFedsWhereWouldWeBe?

#StatesRightsOverFederalInvolvementShouldNotMeanNoRRightsForVictims

#3 scott on 07.30.18 at 7:18 pm

how does the city enter into a contract with legacy, and then give it to lamont? what about the other companies that bid on this? shouldn’t they file suit because this was given to a supposedly different company that never bid?

#4 D@ily Spin on 07.30.18 at 10:49 pm

Corruption has become regular. The feds can’t keep up with it. Illinois is the most corrupt state. The debt is so bad that they’ve stopped paying 6 figure scratch tickets. Chicago is insolvent. They’ve been so 3 years. Sioux Falls is minor nationally. Be prepared for civil insurrection. It’s coming here last but it’s coming. Meanwhile, don’t buy municipal bonds. Buy silver, guns, and ammo. There will be appreciation that’s cash and not income reported.

#5 The Guy from Guernsey on 07.30.18 at 10:54 pm

JKC,
That to which you make oblique reference as “the lack of sophistication into the inquiry” is, quite frankly, incompetance in the investigative and prosecutorial functions of our state government.
For nearly the past 9 years, Marty Jackley has been the top law enforcement officer of this state. His record of gaining convictions is poor in high-profile cases (some which he has made high-profile with his posing and posturing; see also Flandreau marijuana case). But he really put the screws to Annette Bosworth (talk about a lack of proper priorities) !!!
I had previously interpretted the lackadaisical pursuit of prosecutions in the EB-5, Gear-Up and MCEC scandals as functional to provide cover for political cronies. Rather, perhaps he is not a good prosecutor? And, certainly more believable, South Dakota DCI lacks the talent, ability and sophistication to properly assemble a case? Is there a case in which you would say. “Wow! Against all odds, they used their experience, savvy and skills to crack and solve this case?”

#6 The Guy from Guernsey on 07.30.18 at 10:59 pm

But, this will all improve if voters elect to Attorney General a legal eunuch like Jason Ravnsborg.

/sarc

#7 anominous on 07.31.18 at 8:58 am

I still remember Michelle E. said the hotel was necessary because the town’s economy relies on enticing local farmers to stay here and spend their income. If we don’t build this hotel, there is no way Sioux Falls will be able to collect the entirety of that $12 Billion bailout Trump is promising US aggro-producers. $12B is a lot of money to sniff at, folks.

#8 JKC on 07.31.18 at 10:41 am

TGfG,

Well said! It is definitely a mixture of incompetence, a lack of passion for their profession, and the “Good Old Boy” network that creates the world we live in here in South Dakota, when it comes to our criminal justice system.

The fact, that DCI agents have to review a yarn board made by a professor and some college kids about the EB5 scandal to assess a potential crime should be telling in and of itself and in more ways than one….

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