LAID BARE: Butler "EMPTY BUILDING" Email Exposes Butler's Ethical Conflicts--Lack of Independent Professional Judgment

This is a storage area for FACTS that have been found during the two year fight with City Hall for Public Documents. These are being posted for reference and historical purposes only. We encourage any conversations about these documents n "Lakewood General Discussion." Here you will find the Highlight the lie, with the document proven the lie.

Moderators: Jim DeVito, Dan Alaimo

Brian Essi
Posts: 2324
Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 11:46 am

LAID BARE: Butler "EMPTY BUILDING" Email Exposes Butler's Ethical Conflicts--Lack of Independent Professional Judgment

Postby Brian Essi » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:38 am

So, on February 6, 2015, less than three weeks into the public debate over closing the hospital, Law Director Butler was coordinating public messaging with the Clinic and LHA spin doctors to promote the Clinic's scheme. The public record below reflects that Butler has his mind made up and may have been the lead architect in the cornerstone false premise to sell the Clinic's deal:
EMPTY BUILDING

The problem for Mr. Butler is that he had professional ethical duties under the Ohio Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct to exercise "independent professional judgment" on behalf of members of City Council seeking his advice and counsel--but at the same time he was secretly driving the PR bus against those same clients' interests and stated goals.

Never mind that public records show that Butler was involved in concealing from his clients: (1) his role in 2013 in the formulation of the crooked "bid" process in violation of the Lakewood Charter; (2) his role in drafting the LOI in 2014; and (3) his role in concealing public records that showed, among other things, all assets of LHA were owned by the City while he told City Council and the public that the City did not own those assets.

The facts now coming to light demonstrate that Butler held personal beliefs and was actively involved in capacities other than Law Director that were antithetical to him leading the due diligence process on behalf of Council Council and advising individual councilmembers.

What makes these apparent violations of ethical norms so outrageous is the false premises upon which Butler claimed to be operating in his other secret roles besides acting a lawyer on behalf of his client:

He wrote: that the "Empty Building" fallacy was "the most compelling argument" for making changes.

Ironically, Butler made his secret personal attack on Senator Skindell when it was Senator Skindell at the time whose advised members of Council to seek independent legal council due to Butler's conflicts.

Well Mr. Butler--you promoted and executed a "deal" that has resulted in an Empty Building with use restrictions that we are now actually paying your buddy, Ed Fitzgerald, to take off the City's hands at taxpayer expense.

Public records (previously concealed by Butler) show that Lakewood Hospital had enough financial assets to operate until 2026 and beyond until we might have an EMPTY BUILDING...and that building and the land under it would NOT have been subject to restrictive covenants as to its use that impair its value to the taxpayers.

scan0301.jpg
scan0301.jpg (425.57 KiB) Viewed 7246 times


“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill
Bridget Conant
Posts: 2464
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 4:22 pm

Re: LAID BARE: Butler "EMPTY BUILDING" Email Exposes Butler's Ethical Conflicts--Lack of Independent Professional Judgme

Postby Bridget Conant » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:35 am

Well Mr. Butler--you promoted and executed a "deal" that has resulted in an Empty Building with use restrictions that we are now actually paying your buddy, Ed Fitzgerald, to take off the City's hands at taxpayer expense.


Michael Deneen
Posts: 2016
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2005 4:10 pm

Re: LAID BARE: Butler "EMPTY BUILDING" Email Exposes Butler's Ethical Conflicts--Lack of Independent Professional Judgme

Postby Michael Deneen » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:42 am

Mark Kindt wrote:Document-by-document, we witness our public employees slouching toward the land of the orange jumpsuits.


That's wishful thinking.
In the real world, this sort of white collar crime goes unpunished.
The oligarchy protects its own.
Noone went to jail for the 2008 Wall Street collapse.
Noone is in jail for manufacturing the Iraq War.

Jail is for "those people"...... ya know, the kind that use Metro Hospital.


Bridget Conant
Posts: 2464
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 4:22 pm

Re: LAID BARE: Butler "EMPTY BUILDING" Email Exposes Butler's Ethical Conflicts--Lack of Independent Professional Judgme

Postby Bridget Conant » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:06 am

Michael Deneen wrote:
Mark Kindt wrote:Document-by-document, we witness our public employees slouching toward the land of the orange jumpsuits.


That's wishful thinking.
In the real world, this sort of white collar crime goes unpunished.
The oligarchy protects its own.
Noone went to jail for the 2008 Wall Street collapse.
Noone is in jail for manufacturing the Iraq War.

Jail is for "those people"...... ya know, the kind that use Metro Hospital.



Agree. They proceed with impunity.


Brian Essi
Posts: 2324
Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 11:46 am

Re: LAID BARE: Butler "EMPTY BUILDING" Email Exposes Butler's Ethical Conflicts--Lack of Independent Professional Judgme

Postby Brian Essi » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:10 am

In his official capacity as Lakewood's Public Records Custodian, Director Butler has denied that there was any conflict of interest of his part in representing City Council and and other parties in 2015 and he has admitted that there is no public record that he ever even disclosed any conflict or potential conflict of interest on his part, nor did he seek any informed consent.

Butler also suggests by his answers to public records records below that Thompson Hine never disclosed any conflicts nor received any informed consent from Council or Mayor Summers for their dual representation either.

Keep in mind that Butler was the Council President in 2010 when he led the 2010 Council to enact legislation or took positions as a public official that allowed the Clinic and LHA to amend the 1996 Lease (to remove trauma and pediatric inpatient services to Fairview in exchange for empty promises).

RULE 1.11: SPECIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST FOR FORMER AND CURRENT GOVERNMENT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES
(a) A lawyer who has formerly served as a public officer or employee of the government shall comply with both of the following:
(1) all applicable laws and Rule 1.9(c) regarding conflicts of interest;
(2) not otherwise represent a client in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a public officer or employee, unless the appropriate government agency gives its informed consent, confirmed in writing, to the representation.

Did the 2015 legislation, dues diligence and the Graham lawsuit involve what Butler "participated personally and substantiallY as Council President in 2010?

If so, it appears that Director Butler may have failed to comply with Rule 1.11 in his representations of the City and City Council in 2015.

From: Butler, Kevin
Sent: Saturday, July 16, 2016 1:09 AM
To: 'Brian Essi'
Cc: Petrus, Jeannine; Strachan, Shannon
Subject: RE: Public Records Requests --PRR1 to PRR 173
 
Mr. Essi:
 
In No. 79 of your March 15, 2016 public records request, you ask for “All records, notes, and communications – electronic or otherwise – relating to any informed consent given by Mayor Summers, the City of Lakewood, Lakewood City Council, or any member of City Council to Law Director Kevin Butler (‘Law Director Butler’).”
 
In No. 81 of your March 15, 2016 public records request, you ask for “All records, notes, and communications – electronic or otherwise – relating to any informed consent, confirmed in writing, given by Mayor Summers, the City of Lakewood, Lakewood City Council, or any member of City Council to Law Director Butler with respect to the 2010 ordinance/resolution.”
 
In No. 82 of your March 15, 2016 public records request, you ask for “All records, notes, and communications – electronic or otherwise – relating to any informed consent given by Mayor Summers, the City of Lakewood, Lakewood City Council, or any member of City Council to Law Director Butler with respect to allegations against Mayor Summers for conspiracy.”
 
My emails to you of March 30, 2016, at 5:28 and 5:29 p.m. should be fully responsive to this request.  Nevertheless, I’m obligated to remind you that because it seeks information “relating to” another thing, your request is vague, overly broad and/or ambiguous, and is therefore, to that extent, denied.  The Ohio Supreme Court has held that a public records request must describe the records desired with reasonable and sufficient clarity and not be overly broad and ambiguous. State ex rel. Morgan v. New Lexington, 112 Ohio St.3d 33, 2006-Ohio-6365, ¶29, quoting State ex rel. Fant v. Tober, 68 Ohio St.3d 117 (1993). Furthermore, a governmental office has no duty to “seek out and retrieve those records which would contain the information of interest to the requester.” Fant, 1993 Ohio App. LEXIS 2591 at *4 (8th Dist. Apr. 28, 1993); aff’d 68 Ohio St.3d 117 (1993). Finally, a public office is under no obligation to search for records containing selected information. State ex rel. Thomas v. Ohio State University, 71 Ohio St.3d 245 (1994).
 
This completes our response to Nos. 79, 81 and 82 of your March 15, 2016 request.
 
Best wishes,
 
Kevin M. Butler, Director of Law
City of Lakewood | Law Department
(216) 529-6034
kevin.butler@lakewoodoh.net



Butler, Kevin <Kevin.Butler@lakewoodoh.net> 03/30/16 at 5:29 PM
To
'Brian Essi'
CC
Petrus, Jeannine
Message body
Pardon me. In my response immediately below I had the number of your request incorrect. It is No. 80, not No. 82.

Best wishes,

Kevin M. Butler, Director of Law
City of Lakewood | Law Department
(216) 529-6034
kevin.butler@lakewoodoh.netFrom: Butler, Kevin
Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 5:28 PM
To: 'Brian Essi'
Cc: Petrus, Jeannine
Subject: RE: Public Records Requests --PRR1 to PRR 173

In No. 82 of your March 15, 2016 public records request, you ask for “All records, notes, and communications – electronic or otherwise – relating to any informed consent given by Mayor Summers, the City of Lakewood, Lakewood City Council, or any member of City Council to Law Director Butler regarding the case of Graham v. City of Lakewood, Cuyahoga No. CV-15-846212 (Judge O’Donnell).”

I should note generally that any requests requiring us to interpret words in order to decipher their meaning – for example, records “relating to” other things – do not obligate our response, other than to invite you to be more specific. We do not routinely organize our records of records, notes and communications, for example, based on whether they relate to another document.

However, we have diligently attempted to locate any records that may be responsive to this request and have found nothing beyond my emails to you of Oct. 1, 2015 at 12:45 p.m. and March 29, 2016 at 5:27 p.m., which arguably could be responsive to this request. Nor do we agree any conflict of interest exists related to any lawyer’s representation of the city, Lakewood City Council, any member of Council or Mayor Summers in the lawsuit you reference.

This completes our response to No. 82 of your request.

Kevin M. Butler, Director of Law
City of Lakewood | Law Department
(216) 529-6034
kevin.butler@lakewoodoh.net

From: "Butler, Kevin" <Kevin.Butler@lakewoodoh.net>
Subject: RE: Records Concerning Lawyers, Concflicts and PR Folks
Date: October 1, 2015 at 12:45:14 PM GMT-4
To: "'Brian Essi'" <bjessi@sbcglobal.net>
Cc: "Summers, Mike" <Mike.Summers@lakewoodoh.net>, "Madigan, Mary" <Mary.Madigan@lakewoodoh.net>, "Petrus, Jeannine" <Jeannine.Petrus@lakewoodoh.net>

Mr. Essi:

There are no records responsive to your first two requests; nor would I agree that the rule you cite applies to my representation of the city and Mayor Summers in the Graham matter.

The engagement letter you request in No. 3 is attached. There are no other records responsive to your requests in No. 3; nor would I agree that the rule you cite applies to Thompson Hine’s representation of the city in the hospital negotiations.

In response to your request No. 4, please see the attached three invoices and purchase orders related to Thompson Hine’s billings. All narrative portions of the invoices have been redacted under the attorney-client privilege. See State ex rel. Anderson v. Vermilion, 134 Ohio St.3d 120, 2012-Ohio-5320.

The engagement letter you request in No. 5 is attached. It was originally for another matter in 2011, but its terms apply to the firm’s representation of the city in the Graham litigation. There are no other records responsive to your requests in No. 5; nor would I agree that the rule you cite applies to Brzytwa, Quick and McCrystal’s representation of the city and Mayor Summers in the Graham matter.

In response to your request No. 6, please see the attached two invoices related to Brzytwa, Quick and McCrystal’s billings. All narrative portions of the invoices have been redacted under the attorney-client privilege. See State ex rel. Anderson v. Vermilion, 134 Ohio St.3d 120, 2012-Ohio-5320. These invoices have not yet been paid as of yet.

In response to your request No. 7, please find attached the engagement letter with Hennes Paynter. In response to your request No. 8, we are locating invoices and payment records related to Hennes Paynter in 2015.

I would ask for some clarification with respect to your request Nos. 7 and 8. When you seek records related to the engagement of and payments to “any other public relations or consulting firm concerning representation or advice to the City of Lakewood and/or Mayor Summers” in 2015, do you mean only public relations consulting firms? The city has contracted with other firms that could be considered consultants — for example, Huron Consulting, CT Consultants for engineering services, worker’s compensation consultants — but they are not public relations firms. I’m trying to understand the scope of your request. Please advise.

Best wishes,

Kevin M. Butler, Director of Law
City of Lakewood | Law Department
(216) 529-6034
kevin.butler@lakewoodoh.net

From: Brian Essi [mailto:bjessi@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2015 10:15 AM
To: Butler, Kevin; Hagan, Mary; Madigan, Mary; Summers, Mike
Cc: O'Leary, Sam; Anderson, David; Bullock, Tom; Marx, Cynthia; Juris, Shawn; Nowlin, Ryan
Subject: Records Concerning Lawyers, Concflicts and PR Folks

Dear Director Butler, Mayor Summers and President Madigan,
Kindly consider the a request for public records.
For purposed of this request “informed consent” and “conflicts of interest” shall have the meaning set forth in the Ohio Supreme Court rules governing Ohio attorneys, which rules include but are not limited to the following rule:
RULE 1.11: SPECIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST FOR FORMER AND CURRENT GOVERNMENT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES
(a) A lawyer who has formerly served as a public officer or employee of the government shall comply with both of the following:
(1) all applicable laws and Rule 1.9(c) regarding conflicts of interest;
(2) not otherwise represent a client in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally andsubstantially as a public officer or employee, unless the appropriate government agency gives its informed consent, confirmed in writing, to the representation.
Records requested:
1. Please produce all records of any written informed consent given by Mayor Summers, the City of Lakewood, City Council or any member of City Council to Kevin Butler that Mr. Butler may represent the City of Lakewood and/or Mayor Summers in the pending taxpayer litigation matter (which matter involves the 2010 ordinance/resolution that M. Butler participated in as then Council President.}
2. Please produce all records of any written informed consent given by Mayor Summers, the City of Lakewood, City Council or any member of City Council to Kevin Butler that Mr. Butler may represent the City of Lakewood in pending taxpayer litigation matter (which mater involves the allegations against Mayor Summers personally for conspiracy that are and may be in conflict with the interests of the City of Lakewood.}
3. Please produce all records of the engagement letter, any writing identifying any conflict of interest, any informed consent or waiver of a conflict of interest concerning representation of the City of Lakewood and/or Mayor Summers by Thompson Hine or any lawyer employed by Thompson Hine concerning any matter.
4. Please produce all legal bills presented to the City by Thompson Hine law firm together with any records of payment of said legal bills from January 1, 2015 through the date of your response.
5. Please produce all records of the engagement letter, any writing identifying any conflict of interest, any informed consent or waiver of a conflict of interest concerning representation of the City of Lakewood and/or Mayor Summers by any law firm or any lawyer concerning the taxpayer lawsuit matter.
6. Please produce all legal bills presented to the City by any lawyer or law firm together with any records of payment of said legal bills from April 14, 2015 through the date of your response concerning the matter of the taxpayer lawsuit or the threat of said lawsuit.
7. Please produce all records of the engagement letter or contract with Hennes and Paynter or any other public relations or consulting firm concerning representation or advice to the City of Lakewood and/or Mayor Summers from January 1, 2015 through the date of your response.
8. Please produce all bills and charges for services presented to the City by Hennes and Paynter or any other public relations or consulting firm together with any records of payment of said bills or charges from January 1, 2015 through the date of your response.
Sincerely,

Brian J. Essi


“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill
Mark Kindt
Posts: 1711
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Re: LAID BARE: Butler "EMPTY BUILDING" Email Exposes Butler's Ethical Conflicts--Lack of Independent Professional Judgme

Postby Mark Kindt » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:20 am

In terms of ethics-in-government, the city administration functions by 19th or early 20th Century standards. They wouldn't know a conflict-of-interest if it came up and bit them from behind.



Return to “LAID BARE: What Is City Hall Hiding? Let's Take A Look”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests