We recently found a local blog called City Stink that claims, “Exposing the Stench of Augusta, GA Area Politics and Uncovering the Truths that the Local Mainstream Media Ignores”. Glad we’re not the only ones. We’re going to paste its entire October 25 post and then maybe give an opinion.
Augusta, Georgia 2011.
The city is ruled by the IronFist of evil money-sucking geniuses from the future, the all-powerful Augusta Tomorrowans. In these dark times gathered a league, the last best hope for the city, a ragtag group of heroes and ne’er do wells, joined together for one purpose- to stop the Augusta Tomorrowans from suckling out the last bit of municipal funds of our beloved town. They call themselves… Augusta Today
Today’s episode- The Case of the Floating Parking Deck
In the reading room of Augusta Today (yes, of course they read; you know knowledge is power), Encyclopedia Brown picks up yet another paper trail.
Encyclopedia Brown: Anyone know who all is involved in 933 Broad Investment Co, LLC? William S Jackson acquired the small corner parcel (where java hut was located) for a mere $24,000 on September 7th, 2010 and then just one month later he sold that same parcel to the city of Augusta for $119,500..
But what is interesting is that the largest parcel where the parking deck was built still seems to be under the ownership of 933 Broad Investment Co, LLC… why was it not bought by the city of Augusta along with the other parcels?
Batman: Paul S. Simon = 933 Broad Investment Co, LLC
Encyclopedia: Thanks Batman.. How interesting!!! Morris’ right hand man.. But how does his LLC retain control of land where the parking deck is located.. When it is a city owned deck? And other parcels were bought by the city in preparation of building the deck.
Batman: Glad to help – it’s what I do.
Han Solo: Uh, gotta run…I might have missed it, but William S. Jackson is GEORGIA SENATOR BILL JACKSON!
Encyclopedia: But I find this even more odd (the Java hut parcel is just one small piece of the deck property anyway).. the bulk is owned by this 933 Broad Investment, LLC.. which is associated with Paul Simon.. a Morris crony.
Han: I am thinking this is not as sinister as it looks, but on a per acre basis the price is $1.7 million??????
Encyclo: So the Marriott, which is owned by a Morris LLC wants to run the deck for a $25,000 fee.. and 933 Broad Investment Co, LLC appears to own the majority of land where the deck is located. The Marriot is owned by Augusta Riverfont, LLC… who is the head of Augusta Riverfront, LLC? Who is the head of 933 Broad Investment Co, LLC? Same person perhaps?
My question was rhetorical. Paul Simon is the president of Augusta Riverfront, LLC.. see how it all comes together.. and 933 Broad Investment Co. LLC is headed by who? None other than Paul Simon.. my how convenient.
Simon is president of Augusta Riverfront Limited Partnership
933 Broad Investment Co LLC and Augusta Riverfront LLC are all one in the same essentially..
use same agent and everything
The Hotel, the TEE Center, The Parking Deck.. the same people control it all
Essentially, we found out that 933 Broad Investment Co LLC is an Augusta Riverfront Limited shell company.
933 Broad Investment LLC still seems to own most of the land where the city deck was built… and now The Marriott (which is part of Augusta Riverfront LLC) wants to run that deck for a fee from the city for $25K.. 933 Broad Investment LLC = Augusta Riverfront LLC = Paul Simon = Billy Morris
Batman: I always thought International paper was the big stink in this town…. I stand Corrected!
(Batman gets on the red phone that dials directly to a famous Augusta TV reporter and turns on the Batelevision.)
The Batelevision immediately squawks the story:
“Commissioners Say New Deck Needs To Be On City Land
It’s A brand new parking problem in downtown Augusta, News Channel 6 first reported the new Reynolds Street Parking Deck is not on city property, now commisisoners are questioning how that happened, and how the city will have to get the deck out of private hands… ‘I can’t specifically remember sitting down and saying this has changed I can’t specifically remember not saying this was changed,’ says City Administrator Fred Russell.”
Shaft: Look, I’m not mad at Fred, he must have some big balls to do what he does and sleep well at night. And he seems to be the only untouchable at city hall.
Sherlock Holmes: The entire unfolding of a corrupt scheme……needs to be published.
Encyclopedia: Yep for a 0.07 parcel on the corner that State Sen Bill Jackson had been acquired just a month earlier for $24,000 through a property consolidation with a business associate.
But the rest of the land (the vast majority) where the city owned deck now sits is owned by a subsidiary of Augusta Riverfront LLC.. the same folks who will manage the TEE center and want the contract to manage the parking deck.
Don’t forget that the attempted bribery of 2 commissioners involved a special insider “deal” on the management contract for this parking deck.
But David Frye was supposedly a nobody with no connections to Augusta Riverfront LLC.. but he did rent office space in one of their buildings.
Should have been handled by the GBI.. heck an assault at a high school football game gets sent to the GBI but the attempted bribery of 2 public officials of Georgia’s 2nd largest city doesn’t?
I’m sure if a real investigation was under way over this they would find there’s more connections there then just an overly enthusiastic lone gunman making a bribe that he knew he couldn’t deliver on.
GI Joe: But what they did may not be against the law at all. It may be dirty, insider deals, but illegal is different. These guys tend to get what they want through having the right number of votes when they need it.
Encyclopedia: I don’t know, Joe. this whole thing with the parking deck certainly skirts the line.. and bribery of public officials is illegal. I will never believe that David Frye was just a lone gunman type. How do you bribe public officials if you don’t actually have the ability to bribe them? Remember the bribe hinged on special concessions involving management of the parking deck.. Augusta Riverfront, LLC (The TEE operators) had made sure years in advance that they bought up the land where the deck sits.. that gives them leverage on the management contract. You have to remember that the attempted bribe was to line up the votes to pass the TEE center. It all benefited Augusta Riverfront, LLC.. If anyone had the leverage to make good on the special concessions in the parking deck management made by David Frye in the bribery attempt then it would be the company that had the management contract to run the deck. I still cannot figure out why the city paid State Sen Bill Jackson $119,000 for a 0.07 acre parcel when larger adjacent parcels that make up the deck are valued by the county at far less. Just how does a 0.07 acre parcel go from being valued at $24,000 to $119,000 in one month?
Han Solo: SHEESH…do I have to draw a ROAD MAP???? NOW,based upon the $1.7 million/acre purchase price for Bill Jackson’s parcel PAID AND AUTHORIZED BY ARC GOVERNMENT, ARC will have to pay $MILLIONS to Augusta Riverfront LLC for their land!!!!
BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Just farking BEAUTIFUL!!!! And I thought the Wall Street Bastards were clever and brazen in their use of power!!!
Encyclopedia: $119,000 for a 0.07 acre parcel does seem a bit steep. If the city paid for that that land and other parcels owned by WAGT, then why didn’t the city also acquire the parcels owned by Augusta Riverfront, LLC?
Catwoman: Then Fred Russell has to be involved if he signed off on that ridiculous price for sure.
Encyclopedia: I believe he was.. he has always been a willing accomplice in all of their bad deals. He never seems to look out for the taxpayers.. just the cabal
Dirty Harry: When Jackson bought the property, was it known to the public that this was where the deck was to be located? If so, this itty bitty piece of land could have been sold cheap to pay Bill for something. If not, it would be property speculation at best. Someone has one hell of a story if they could concretely connect those dots.
Catwoman: That’s why I’m wondering if the commissioners even know that the city bought the small parcel.
Mr Spock: Something tells me the $119, 0000 fits very neatly just below an arbitrary reporting or authorization threshold that would have forced Mr. Russell to take the transaction to the full commission.
Dirty Harry: Why would the commission think that some of the most expensive real estate in the county just be donated? And if so, don’t you think you would want to know by who and what they want in return?
Shaft: That is kinda strange considering Deke gives out a plaque for everything.
GI Joe: I think we need to take a look at the Hyde Park land buy-out as well. For some reason, that stinks a little bit. I wonder who is buying up all the properties there? Seems the folks will need places to move, maybe ANIC will be able to accommodate with some over priced houses that can’t be sold? There are so many dots here…
to be continued…
Until then! Join the action! Uncover superhero aliases! Help solve municipal mysteries! Get the behind the scenes action! Access links used in this story! Visit the secret lair of Augusta Today now by clicking here!
**UPDATE** View the meeting minutes from 2009 commission meetings where Fred Russell told commissioners that Augusta Riverfront, LLC would donate the land they owned where the deck was to be built. Click here: 2009 Commission minutes regarding Parking deck land acquisition ***
View City Property Records for land parcels where the TEE Center parking deck sits:
Parcel #037-3-177-00-0 Property Report
Parcel #037-3-177-00-0 Sales History
Parcel #037-3-066-00-0 Property Report
Parcel #037-3-066-00-0 Sales History
Parcel #037-3-066-01-0 Property Report
Parcel #037-3-066-01-0 Sales History
Parcel #037-3-067-00-0 Property Report
Parcel #037-3-067-00-0 Sales History
Parcel #037-3-065-00-0 Property Report
Parcel #037-3-065-00-0 Sales History
Parcel # 037-3-069-00-0 Property Report
Parcel #037-3-069-00-0 Sales History
Parcel #037-3-070-00-0 Property Report
Parcel #037-3-070-00-0 Sales History
Related articles: Land Swaps, Bonds and Air Rights: The Parking Deck Saga Continued
Now back to us.
If this happened over a year ago, why didn’t Barry Paschal or Donnie Fetter report on this? But why should we be surprised that they censor this? They still censor Judge Bobby Christine’s actions and Ron Cross’ accounting and Trey Allen’s lawsuit and…
If Bill Jackson can turn $24,000 into $119,500 in a month, then why doesn’t he use his skills and end Georgia’s budget problems?
We’ll stop here and let City Stink run with this since they exposed it. We want our readers to be aware of this and between our great readers and City Stink’s, some people will be outed. Great job City Stink!