Correction: The article below reflects two changes. Mark Speed was not the inspector who showed up at the Leo's home and blew smoke in their face. That inspector was Frank Glavenski. The article has been changed to reflect that. Also, the change to Michael Baugh was made after the Leo's contacted the Mayor and the Governor about the IPL problems. My apologies to Mr. Speed for the error. One other thing of note. Flood was removing signs about liquor sales etc. The people who owned the business next door, close friends of Rick Blackwell, were angry at the competition.
Okay okay. Yes I know I spend a lot of time writing about zoning and IPL but really they are so incompetent that it is too easy sometimes. Take today's Courier article for example in regards to JAVANON and Ali Ahmadi 'Illegal' building prompts warning courier-journal.com The Courier-Journal.
A warning? Are you serious? This guy has been warned before and still built a building illegally due to the incompetence of the good old Board of Zoning. Of course this only reinforces what many of us already know.
There are two ways of doing business with Board of Zoning. One for insiders and another for everyone else.
Take this story into account. As you may recall a previous story I did about John Flood Louisville News and Politics: John Flood and Code enforcement again.... citing his arrogance and abuse of powers, as well as, his propensity for using racial slurs.
The business used for this story is located on Lower Hunter's Trace between Dixie and Sky Blue. For those in the area it is a small strip building with a liquor store in front and a haircutting business called The Edge owned by Jennifer Leo.
During the election season last year Mrs. Leo had signs on her property advertising beer sales etc. She was well within her rights to do so but apparently Rick Blackwell took offense when contacted by his friends of the business next door and Flood was the hammer. John Flood showed up at 8 pm on a Friday Night with his muscle, or wife, MaDonna Flood in tow to remove the signs. When confronted by the liquor store owner asking what he was doing, the owner was told "get back in the store you camel jockey."
Gee no surer sign that Flood was up to no good and in the wrong. But just in case some of you may wonder how he was wrong remember this. Flood had the right to issue a citation and give the owner's 30 days to comply or refute the citation before ANYTHING could be done to remove the signs.
Obviously Flood chose to ignore the regulations he was in charge of enforcing. More interesting is why would Flood be in the PRP area off duty, with his wife MaDonna who represents Okolona area, removing signs of opponents of Rick Blackwell? The answer is obvious. Politics at its worst. Blackwell did not like the signs being there and the machine thug took care of it for him.
The problem did not end there. Since this started the Leo's have been harassed at home, at their business, and on any property that they own. IPL inspector Frank Glavenski showed up at their home one night and when Mrs. Leo opened the door proceeded to blow smoke in her face from his cigarette. Yep real professional. He supposedly was there demanding that they move a trailer off their property. Only problem is it was a single axle trailer and allowed by IPL own rules.
Another example of abuse? Derby City Ink, a tattoo shop located in the strip building, was forced to move when IPL cited a zoning problem. They used the excuse that the building was zoned C-1 and therefore a tattoo shop was not allowed.
Straightforward right? The problem is that the shop was in existence for 1 and a half years AFTER being approved by Zoning AND passing all health department requirements. Gee real coincidental that they were forced to move costing the Leo's rental income on their property AFTER the Leo's were found supporting opposing candidates.
Yep I know some will label me a wing nut, or a conspiracy theorist, for this side. So be it. But all the problems started when Flood and his wife decided to illegally do a favor? for a sitting Metro Council member.
If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, chances are it is a duck. Know what I mean?
They were accused of running a business out of their home because the trailer is used to transport signage in relation to a business they do own called Leo and Sons Sign Co. There are no customers that come to their home for any business whatsoever. Why would they? The Leo's own commercial property for their businesses and do not need to run one from their home.
Another example of inspector's harassing people that follow the regulations.
Leo and Son's signs do commercial work for businesses around the City including a most recent example with Tuscany Restaurants. According to IPL own regs a new sign is required to have a permit pulled to do any work.
A sign face change, not changing the sign but the wording on it only, does not. Inspector Mark Speed decided to issue a stop work order against Tuscany restaurants for some violations they had concerns with. Fair enough.
Unfortunately, Mark Speed decided that the stop work order should include the FACE change being done by Leo and Son' s sign company as well thus he violated his own regs.
When Mark Speed was called by Mr. Leo his response was pathetic at best. He told Mr. Leo that "today is the first day you will work by the book" then hung up on him. When Mr. Leo called back Speed hung up on him again.
If we are using this example of a face change to issue a stop work order then we must shut down every gasoline business in town, and any busines who advertises on one of their own signs, including schools that adevrtise sports events etc.
They all do face changes daily by updating prices, announcing the next sale, or letting you know when Friday night's high school game is.
Apparently Speed does not know the rules he tries to enforce or has the same God complex notorious in Flood and Michael Baugh. There was one positive from all of this though. When there was an established personality conflict between Speed and the Leo's they asisgned another inspector to the case. Michael Baugh. This change was made AFTER the Leo's wrote the Governor and the Mayor about their problems with IPL.
When Baugh was asked why he was inspecting their properties, since he was assigned to another area, they were informed that he was specially assigned to them only.
Gee I would feel so much better.
Mr. Leo followed up with a call to Allen Porter, Speed's boss, and was told he would look into the matter. Of course Porter then sided with Speed against the evidence in their own regs citing that Mr. Leo was right.
When Bill Schreck was called, as the next step in the process, Schreck stated there was no stop work order. Problem is Mr. Leo has a copy of the stop work order including his sign face change that requires no permit.
Confused yet? Wish I was. The bottom line is a simple one. In our free society elections matter. Do not support anyone but an incumbent or the incompetents will send a goon squad to harass you. They apparently rely on this intimidation tactic to keep their elected job. This is not our free Democratic society at its best.
Funnily enough, if you work for the City like Ahmadi does you can build a building in plain sight and be ignored until it is done against the same zoning folks who continue the idiocy as outlined over and over again throughout this blog. I mean why not? Get away with it and get a "warning." Pathetic as usual but not unexpected form this group of incompetents.
Honestly how can you build a building this size in plain sight and be ignored until it is completed? It defies any rational thought process doesn't it?
Tear JAVANON down. Send a message that what is good for one is good for another. Please do not use the same old "but what about the kids" argument. If anyone was worried about the kids this would not have been done this way. It would have been done correctly in the first place.
Fire Ahmadi. He is part of the cancer that permeates the good people, and businesses, who are trying to do their job honestly in this City. He is not above the law. How many chances do you get to do the same thing wrong and illegally? Fire Schreck since he is the figure head used by Abramson then cut the head off the figure.
Remember if we continue to allow the incompetency to run amok we are all only one yard sign away from harassment.
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