Tuesday, May 12, 2009

JACC "New Majority" Goes Head To Head With Old Majority Over The Issue Of "Who Is The True JACC?" (PART TWO)

Photo By Jeff Skrenes

Above, getting stuff done in the Jordan Neighborhood under "New Majority" JACC leadership, with funding help from allies in the Hawthorne Neighborhood.

So where were we since the last post?

Oh, yes, JACC "Old Majority" attorney Jill Clark was putting forth a conspiracy theory that it was actually some members of the "New Majority" faction which ripped off their own records and computer equipment.

Of course, "conspiracy theory" might be too generous a term, since most conspiracy theories have some shred of evidence behind them to make you wonder if it could be...maybe....I mean, space aliens who can travel through worm holes in space/time must be REALLY REALLY SMART.

Try to hold these two things in your head at once: First, the "New Majority" removed their own equipment. Second, "Old Majority" leader-in-all-but-name Ben Myers prefers to take the Fifth Amendment rather than answer whether he knows where the JACC equipment and records might be even though he has--by his own admission, under oath, and on videotape destined for YouTube--a fiduciary responsibility to JACC.

Put these two things side by side and tell me if you have some idea how these two things sensibly co-exist.

In her (frequently) nasty tone, Jill Clark said the "Pohlad Group" is involved in supporting the forensic audit of JACC. She pointed out that attorney David Schooler was asking "hypothetically" about criminal sanctions for Jerry Moore. All of this seems to add up to Ben Myers must take "The Fifth" when questions come up about WHERE ARE THE JACC RECORDS, WHERE IS THE JACC EQUIPMENT?

I swear...

It makes you start to disbelieve in the efficacy of law and order. These records and equipment (apparently) sit in the possession of lord-knows-who and we argue around and around in court about their fate. Yet all it takes is one lawless person--a "revolutionary willing to pull the trigger" as somebody said that night of January 14, 2009 in the hallway outside the JACC meeting--to make a mockery of the law.

The court says the ex-wife gets the dog? Try finding the dog. There is the fantasy world of law and then there is the way things REALLY ARE, a tough and bloody world where grabbing an object and hiding it out of sight is far more effective than a writ of mandamus, a statute, even the United States Constitution.

JACC (the real JACC represented by Kip Browne) could get its records back TOMORROW MORNING. Yet what is to stop somebody from breaking into the office and stealing the records tomorrow NIGHT?

Attorney David Schooler argued back on behalf of the defendants: Jill Clark puts forth a "conspiracy theory without fact." He pointed out that getting a police report is a simple process, and Anne McCandless didn't need rely on "connections" or "favors" or anything else to get a copy of the police report about the missing equipment: she made the report, so she got herself a copy.

Gee, that's been my experience with police reports, too. You make the report, you get a copy.

Schooler said asking Ben Myers about the equipment is relevant "because of (Ben's) fiduciary duties."

Judge Porter's answer to this argument was "we'll have to do this on a question-by-question basis" but he pointed out Ben Myers does have "Fifth Amendment rights." Well, that's a good thing. If anybody needed to start keeping their mouth shut, it's Ben Myers.

Much was said about "the fracas" involving Jerry Moore on JACC's election night. Jill kept saying testimony about "the fracas" should be limited in the interest of "saving poor Jerry Moore's sorry ass."

No, wait, she actually said TIME. Saving TIME.

Attorney David Schooler said: The fact testimony is unpleasant for the other side is no reason to limit it. The critical facts about the fracas go directly to the issues surrounding (Jerry Moore's) termination.

Jill Clark responded about how she wanted to "stop the bleeding" with the organization, and said other members were "shut out."

Judge Porter has a tendency to rule QUICKLY after hearing an endless torrent of words. The waterfall of cascading verbiage from defendant and plaintiff produces, it appears, a couple sentences from the judge. Writing down his words, you might only catch the second sentence, and then it's done. I caught THIS:

"Looks like you've got your notice, Ms. Clark."

Clenching. Clenching the jaw. Jill Clark doing the JAW THING.

Now a lawyer named "Mahoney" (spelling unknown) rose up to speak on the "Old Majority" plaintiff side. He said there may be an issue as to "disqualification" and spoke of the need for a corporation to be represented separately from the individuals. There was a lot of law on this matter in Delaware and New York, Mahoney said.

Mahoney--who came off as very smart, very slick, very restrained--was an interesting twist on the case. Like, oh, there's some whole new layer of law (from DELAWARE?) and so maybe that changes EVERYTHING. Defendant attorney David Schooler tried to throw cold water on this hot new idea, saying JACC itself is not a defendant and (quite notably) there are no monetary damages being claimed by Mr. Myers.

Jill Clark being done with her motions, it was time for Schooler to make some motions. He first made a motion "for exhaustion of remedies" and pointed out the facts here are like "Dodge vs. Cedar Riverside."

Ah, yes. Ah, Dodge, where are you now? The word on the legal street is that, once upon a time, a neighborhood association in Cedar-Riverside broke into factions rather like JACC did, and out of that fracas came Dodge v. Cedar-Riverside. It just makes you want to curl up with a leathery law book in the aisle of a legal library, and ponder "Dodge."

An arcane argument began to take place about whether Ben Myers had ever filed a grievance over these JACC matters. Clark talked about the possibility of somebody "sitting" on a grievance. Schooler argued "there was no grievance."

Jill said the City of Minneapolis wanted to "take over JACC." She said "they tried to control with money and influence and finally they just TOOK IT OVER." Later, during a break out in the hallway, one of the members of JACC said he had NO IDEA he was a pawn of such a grand scheme. I told him, "You are a pawn and a meat puppet." His response was, er, OFF THE RECORD but only because I told him, out of kindness, I'd put that off the record.

Judge Porter said he "intends to proceed" and there is a significant dispute about the "efficacy of the grievance process."

The attorney named Mahony rose to argue--thin as Ichabod Crane, his voice as subtle as the serpent in the Garden of Eden, putting temptation before the Judge: Doth thou not have POWER? Thou could tell the JACC board what to do, verily, thou could even dissolve the board. Liquidation, dissolution, appointment of a receiver to run the corporation...all these things were possibilities to increase Thy Glory!

Yeah, I thought. Like the judge wants to get himself knuckle-deep into JACC, its personalities and intrigues and (oh, let's not forget) the bleeding burlap sack of pressing neighborhood issues.

Judge Porter opened his mouth to speak, and said the most I heard him say all day: he doesn't think the plaintiffs are limited to Rule 65. There could be circumstances where a corporation can't govern itself. In that case, there has to be a resolution of the deadlock. This case could also proceed on a theory like that, the "deadlocked organization" theory. This deadlock might need to be resolved, whether or not the deadlock is causing harm.

His Honor said he'd like to give plaintiffs a chance to PROVE that. Whether they can prove it, whether the judge will BUY the proof or not, is another matter. (That's what the Judge said, not Johnny Northside) Porter said there was a "high burden" to show the deadlock is a deadlock.

As Judge Porter gave the green light for Plaintiff to go ahead and try to prove their case, I wondered if Jill Clark felt a prickly feeling on her neck right now, the kind of feeling an intuitive person should feel when they're walking right into an ambush. I thought I saw a slight smirk. I actually felt bad for her. Clark has these moments of what come off as amazing sincerity, like she thinks her words are going to save a whole neighborhood. But save the neighborhood from what?

From revitalization? From somebody as brilliant and dedicated as Kip Browne?

Furthermore, where is the "deadlock?" A vote that breaks down 6-9 isn't exactly a "deadlock." When the judge spoke of a "heavy burden" of proof, does that mean the difficulty of disproving the immutable laws of mathematics? Does THAT actually require a hearing? Can't we just do that on our fingers and say, "Case dismissed?" My son, the 11-year-old math prodigy, could solve this problem but I feel like that would be...beneath him.

Jill Clark named the witnesses she intends to call: Steve Jackson, Jerry Moore, and E.B. Brown. This short list (so much shorter than some initial list which apparently existed) put Judge Porter into despair, as evidenced by the fact he said, "I despair."

Woe! Dark black judicial woe and despair filled the court room, hung heavy upon the decorative wooden features like the grief of a funeral hangs in a church, while relatives weep and the choir sings "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot."

"I DESPAIR," said Judge Porter. "That we can get this done in two days."

With a dramatic flourish, Jill Clark called E.B. Browne to the stand. Ben Myers was to be found nowhere near that room, nowhere in close proximity to Judge Porter's stand where one must swear to tell the truth, but Pete the Pedophile continued to observe from the back row, despite repeated calls made to his probation officer (if that is the correct term) whose name is reportedly Will McDonald.

"E as in elephant, B as in boy," said Jill Clark, and I thought how it's times like this I really prefer the army alphabet, because "Echo Bravo" doesn't conjure up the same odd image as "Elephant Boy." If there was an "Elephant Boy" in the room, however, it was surely Pete the Pedophile and not E.B. Brown, a dear sweet lady whose only fault appears to be a dreadfully slow firing of the mental synapses.

E.B. Brown took the stand and swore to tell the truth. This tale will be continued.


Anonymous said...

And how does the Old Majority and their crack team of UFO-watching moon-landing deniers explain away the nefarious plot to use stolen items to continue paying Jerry Moore?

Anonymous said...

Hurry up and put more details up johnny. you know we are depending on you for the blow by blow - the added humor is just a bonus on top.

Anonymous said...

As for my opinion on the old majority - I used to be disgusted, now I am just amused....

Anonymous said...

Precisely. Ben Myers signed checks that are dated (and signed) AFTER the checkbook was stolen. Now how did he manage to do that? Banks keep images of checks. I understand there was even an e-mail from Ben to the bank VP advising that he was going to sign yet another check and wanted the bank to put it through. Now if he didn't have the checkbook, if the "New Majority" had it, how was he going to accomplish that and how did he know what check number to tell the bank he was about to sign?

Anonymous said...

I really don't even think it's a principle issue with Myers & Co. anymore. I think it is (and has always been)about power/control/money for them.

In which case, I believe Myers will win as he'll probably collect from the GL carrier for JACC in a BIG way for legal fees. Sad, but true. But, it's really not out of character for these clowns. They've stooped much lower on past issues (like 1564 Hillside).....

Move on and keep your gaurds up for any new issues.

dennis plante