One Lakewood Plaza To Be Built On Foundation Of Lies

Aerial view of Lakewood Hospital.

Since the Lakewood Observer broke the story of Lakewood Hospital closing back in 2014, Lakewood City Hall and groups that support the hospital teardown have told the public many things that we now know are, demonstrably lies. Despite this, many people took great offense when I called Mayor Summers a “liar” over the Lakewood Hospital debacle. So, from the dictionary:
LIAR noun
1. a person who tells lies
LIE noun
1. an intentionally false statement.

What follows is a chronology of confirmed and proven lies by City Hall that directly contributed to the decision to close and tear down Lakewood Hospital.

Lie #1: “Hospital Not Closing”
December 29 - January 15, 2015
While Mayor Summmers and Councilwoman Mary Louise Madigan claimed the Hospital was not closing, the Lakewood Observer had obtained copies of the Letter of Intent that called for the closing of Lakewood Hospital.
Proven Fact: Mayor Summers had been working with a small group of people to close Lakewood Hospital since before 2010.
And City Hall knew this.

When caught in that lie, City Hall and supporters went to:

Lie #2: The Clinic is pulling out of Lakewood.
Proven Fact: Mayor Summers had been cooperating with the Cleveland Clinic to leave their contract early. In the end an RFP was offered to the Clinic, thus the City and LHA (Lakewood Hospital Association) eagerly worked behind the scenes to get the Clinic out of their contract.
And City Hall knew this.

Lie #3: Lakewood Hospital is losing money and has been declining in use.
Proven Fact: Uncovered documents examined by health care and accounting professionals prove that while insured use of the hospital was declining, the use by Medicare/Medicaid holders had increased in 2013 and 2014. When the Medicare/Medicaid payments were figured in, hospital earnings were constant, and the hospital would be solvent for at least a decade.
And City Hall knew this.

Lie #4: No worry, there is over $120 million in new development coming to DowntowN Lakewood.
Proven Fact: Mayor Summers and other groups received a letter from their lawyers and others stating that $120 million was a completely fictitious number and should never be used again. City Hall and the Finance Director will still quote that dollar figure.
It was a LIE and City Hall knew it.

Lie #5: We do not have any claim to what is inside or other properties and equipment connected to Lakewood Hospital.
City Hall, Mayor Summers, Kevin Butler, and Jenn Pae insist to this day that the City of Lakewood has no real claims to much of this, they say that they doubt that the City could prove ownership for the equipment, the services, outlying property, or funds held in the Foundations.
Proven Fact: The truth was known by City Hall back in March of 2015. In fact, the City of Lakewood, Cleveland Clinic, LHA, Subsidium, and another consultant agreed, in writing, to the following: The City of Lakewood (i.e., the residents) owned every bit of everything associated with the hospital. The land, the buildings, the equipment, the goods and services, and the money to fund it to keep it going. All belonged to the people of Lakewood. When asked, Mayor Summers, Kevin Butler, and Jenn Pae still lie about this. For 3.5 years they hid the documents that stated this.

This document alone might have won the residents’ lawsuit to slow down the hospital deal in order to negotiate a better one - or even have saved Lakewood Hospital.

And documents show City Hall knew this all along.

The small portion of the documents finally released by City Hall demonstrate one other thing: this City Hall is inept – or arguably the most corrupt administration in Lakewood’s history. The released documents prove that Lakewood City Hall and their supporters not only made the worst possible deal, they did so while lying to Lakewood residents about virtually every aspect of it. They chose the one deal that gave Lakewood residents the least, and gave the most to friends and supporters of Summers and FitzGerald.

One recently released document proves that instead of a $250 million dollar potential win for the City of Lakewood, they turned it into a $250 million dollar loss for Lakewood while getting land and millions of dollars for their supporters to manage privately.

That is a $500 million dollar shift in publicly owned assets for Lakewood residents.

Today, uncovered documents won in a lawsuit for public records that took three and a half years, can prove what we have said from day one. Lakewoodites, you have been lied to and played. City Hall has actively worked to cover up their lies and bad deeds.

Any Lakewood Official not calling for a complete outside accounting, and for all of the records be made public, should never be considered for public office again. Non-elected officials involved should never be allowed access to the funds that have come out of this both publicly and privately.

It was all one big lie, and City Hall and their supporters knew it from day one.

So, ask yourself, why did public officials like Mayor Summers, Kevin Butler, Jenn Pae, Mary Louise Madigan, Tom Bullock, Sam O’Leary, John Litten do this? Why did they lie? And why are they still hiding documents?

Lakewood Hosoital before tear down, click here: HERE


Jim O'Bryan

Publisher, Lakewood Observer, Inc.

Volume 15, Issue 4, Posted 9:05 PM, 02.22.2019