Contributed Images, Blog Post by Nomi Passenger (click on images for larger view)
Last week Johnny Northside shared the news of a $15,000 court order in the Old v. New Majority JACC lawsuit.
This week we learn that Judge Porter has amended that monetary order and upped the judgement amount owed by the plaintiffs to $40,887.37
For all you English majors out there, that's a total of $40,887.37 owed by fifteen plaintiffs equals only $2,725.83 each. It's such a small amount for each of the plaintiffs to
The unsuccessful legal actions were brought against the JACC organization after a handful of Jordan neighbors and their non-Jordan friends or relatives caught a bad case of sour grapes when they lost their majority control of the organization following the annual election meeting in January 2009. The highlights, or low-lights might be more accurate, include then Executive Director Jerry Moore throwing punches and pushes after the election meeting; an unforced entry break-in of the JACC office in which computers, equipment and records went missing; circulation of an announcement that JACC had been forced to relocate due to the current events (assuming this meant a different majority gained control); a dramatic open press conference featuring Mayor of Crazytown and Lunatic-at-Large Al Flowers losing the small amount of self control he was pretending to have have had and shouting, screaming and pushing Councilman Don Samuels (his loss of decorum earned him a personal escort by MPD's finest; and the low-lights continue on with two years of court actions pursued by the unsuccessful Old Majority Plaintiffs and their attorney, the infamous Jill Clark who has become well known as the go-to attorney for criminals and offenders who want to launch an offense as the best course for what really is their course of defense.
Here's a summary, in no particular order, of the 15 plaintiffs that according to Judge Porter, have acted in a manner not in good faith, and who now owe $2,725.83 each(note the following contains some factual writing and some inserted opinion commentary from the author based on direct interaction and insider knowledge):
Jerry Moore: former Executive Director of JACC, mortgage fraud consultant to Keith Reitman in the infamous 1564 Hillside Ave deal, and current employee of The Neighborhood H.U.B. located in the basement of Christ English Lutheran Church at Penn and Lowry.
Ben Myers a.k.a Benjamin Myers: self-employed attorney at Dejvongsa and Myers Law Firm and currently in need of updating his profile page on his website which lists him as the Vice Chair of JACC from 2008 to present, this hasn't been true for over 2 years now; formerly lived on Logan Ave North but now residing in the leafy suburb of Savage, MN. Just for a fun little something for the readers' minds to chew on, here is his own quote from his law firm profile page: “I’m strategic and thoughtful. I look at all the angles—both the obvious legal issues as well as the underlying and subtle issues. If the prosecution’s case is questionable, I’m ready to take your case to trial. However, if negotiating a just resolution is in your best interest I will not hesitate to accomplish your objective(s). I will do whatever it takes to get you the best result possible. You can always trust in me and this office for an aggressive defense in every case.”
Ethylon Brown: a rather sweet and gentle woman who was, in my opinion, misused in some one's, or several people's, quest for power and control. This woman's naivety was probably taken advantage of and if I am wrong than this lady is quite the slick deceptive character. She is last known to work at River of Life Church in some kind of rehab program and she lives just doors down from the JACC house in Jordan.
Robert Scott a.k.a Bob Scott: Bob served as the JACC treasurer for a while and did not have an easy go round on the JACC board, probably thanks to being put in the hot seat by other's who were not completely legitimate with the money and the books, but Bob was completely closed off to hearing from the broader community and sat idly by as the organization's pocketbook spiraled out of his control. At one point he resigned from the board so it was surprising to see him listed as a plaintiff. I believe Bob had been involved with the organization many, many years ago and I believe it is Queen Avenue, near Lowry, where he has lived for many decades.
Shannon Hartfiel: Shannon served some of her board term as Secretary and seemed to have a special place in her heart for Executive Director Jerry Moore. Shannon is a long time employee of Minneapolis Public Housing and lives near the Jordan Pond, in the higher blocks of Logan Avenue. Shannon can be heard on the Jordan Livability video footage of the JACC press conference when she tells off the crowd and then storms out. In my opinion she was never that great at getting her point across, I'm still not sure what she was so upset about that caused her to make a big dramatic exit. She did that several times now that I think of it. If I had to place a wager on the plaintiff that has the most regret and remorse for getting involved in this mess, it might be Shannon that I bet on. I think she falls into the category of having the wool so far over her eyes and then seeing the most light when reality finally struck. Shannon, am I right?
Robert Wilson: Robert held a seat on the JACC board for about two cycles, which equals about four years. He was always a quiet and very modest participant. Presenting himself as a faithful church goer and family man. He didn't take on much actual lifting work of the organization, just seemed to keep a seat warm at board meetings.I believe he lived or still lives on the higher end of Fremont or Girard, not sure. He always felt somewhat mysterious and reminded me sharply of a 70s era silent protester for the black power movement. Perhaps someone with an afro and a black turtle neck who just stood silently in protest or a sit in. To me, that was Robert Wilson.
William Brown: The only thing I know about this plaintiff is that he is the husband of Ethylon Brown, so he jumped in supporting the old majority through the election cycle and subsequent meetings and disputes. Together, him and his wife owe JACC a total of $5,451.65. That's gotta hurt the household budget.
Dokor Dejvongsa: Dokor is the life partner and law firm partner of above listed plaintiff Benjamin Myers. To me, she is the brains AND the beauty behind this
Steve Jackson: Steve is a northsider for life and he'll proudly remind you so with such things as a faux football jersey that says NFL Northside For Life. Steve has worked at the Boys and Girls club for what feels like forever and it's unclear if Steve still lives in Jordan. He was seen at the most recent JACC Annual Meeting in October 2010 in which he seemed to try to make some kind of amends with some of the folks although, from what I could overhear, his apology lacked some integrity and he might need to work on that a little bit to regain some ground with fellow community members that have been put through the ringer by these 15 plaintiffs. But Steve will be around and he'll be soliciting donations for basketball jerseys, that you can count on.
DeEtte Davis: DeEtte is one of several plaintiffs that really had no business being a plaintiff, except of course that it is her Founding Fathers given right to be one. She never was really involved in JACC, didn't have any history with the organization and I would imagine was not presented with a realistic version of events and situations. She lived on Logan Avenue not far from Ben and Dokor and not far from several of the defendants and supporters of the New Majority. This made for awkward run-ins around the Jordan Pond area where neighbors tend to "meet over the fence" so to speak, without the fence. DeEtte is a very outgoing, friendly and gregarious personality, often times taking on the burden of confronting law-breakers such as suspected drug dealers or prostitutes because she claimed to have come from the streets and a life of crime herself so she felt she could connect with them. I don't know where DeEtte is living these days, but hopefully it is somewhere affordable, so she can help cover her share of the $55K court order.
Tamara Hardy: I am not sure that anyone actually knows who Tamara Hardy is. She never participated in JACC although she did attempt to run on the ballot in October 2008 and again in January 2009 in the postponed elections. If I remember correctly she did not prove her eligibility to be on the ballot, or if she did, she didn't show up for the elections and was subsequently not elected. I think she is another one of those buddy-pals of Jerry Moore and I would venture to say she was probably not realistically informed of everything. If that is the case, maybe she can talk her buddy Jerry Moore into covering her portion of the costs. It's worth a try, Tamara, but if not, you've got plenty of good company with whom to wallow in your beer.
Lafayette Butler: I believe this woman is the daughter of Ethylon Brown. So kind of like William Brown, above, she jumped in to support her Mom when the disputes arose. It is unknown, by me anyways, where Ms. Butler lives and if it is even in Jordan. She wasn't a real active participant in JACC and she hasn't been around since the legal action started, which is the case for all the plaintiffs. I gotta admire the loyalty here in this Brown-Butler family. I just wish they'd taken a closer look at the bigger picture. But they didn't. And for that, Judge Porter says they each owe $2,725.
Jernell McLane: This plaintiff is a rather interesting one, in my opinion. It's my opinion that this person never did actually live in Jordan during the October 2008 to March 2009 time frame. Like Tamara Hardy, above, she was someone who was recruited by Jerry Moore to run for election to the board, but who failed to prove that she was eligible to be on the board. And another interesting tidbit, she was also one of the disputed delegates in the infamous credentials battle for the Ward 5 DFL caucus and endorsing convention. I can't remember off the top of my head if she was determined eligible to vote as a delegate or not. I remember seeing her with a super cute baby in a stroller. Maybe her and Tamara can team up together and force Jerry Moore to pay their $2,725 portion of the judgement.
Frank Essien: Owner of Essien Sports Apparel. I met Frank at the January 17, 2009 open press conference held at the JACC house. The press conference was called to allow the new majority leaders that opportunity to publicly claim valid victory in the elections as well as openly dispute the circulations being put out by the Old Majority in which they claimed that JACC had moved locations. I talked with Frank for a bit and tried to fill him in on some of the background and who's who. He listened intently and if I remember correctly we exchanged phone numbers and chatted once or twice to further discuss the JACC problems. I think I tried to connect him with Kip Browne and Don Samuels, but I don't know if he ever made those connections. I was quite surprised when I saw his name as a plaintiff and I gave him a call to ask him about it. I remember him saying that he did not sign on anything as a plaintiff in a lawsuit but he did tell Steve Jackson "he could use my name as a supporter" or something to that effect. I wonder how this all plays out for Frank now. Does Frank write a check for $2,725 or does he tell Jill and the other 14 that he never signed on to begin with. Interesting, interesting.
Kenya Weathers: Last but not least Mr. Kenya Weathers a.k.a puffy jacket guy. Kenya became known as the guy wearing the puffy jacket at the JACC press conference but that is about all that anyone knew of him. He was at the contentious board meeting on January 14, 2009 and he certainly advocated hard for his support of the old majority folks. I don't think anyone really knew where or if he even lived in Jordan. I think I've seen his facebook page with some pretty radical postings there. Describing him as militant would be more than accurate in my opinion. Go, Kenya, go with your militant self. Go all the way to the bank and withdraw $2,725 to cover your share of the attorney's fees and court costs. I bet it will all fit in your puffy jacket pockets.
As always, readers are encouraged to share their commentary and knowledge in the completely anonymous comments section.
*this blog post was updated and corrected to reflect a total judgment amount of $40,887 which is hardly anything when you remember that JACC's D&O insurance provider, Traveler's, spent over $200,000 to defend these legal actions which Judge Porter opined were brought in bad faith.