Friday, May 20, 2016

UPDATED: Potential Legal Matters We Know About

Just to keep a tally of what legal battles the City is presently in or expected to be in, I made the following list.  If you know of more let me know.  Legal fees are killing us as a City due to the actions and inactions of the Mayor.

  • City vs. Seville Harbour - both the City's and Merrill/Russenberger's fees...over a million dollars in fees
  • City vs. Glover - Discrimination, hostile work environment, wrongful termination
  • City vs. Schmitt - Discrimination, hostile work environment, wrongful termination
  • City vs. ECUA - Wells at the Airport
  • City vs. Police Officer - EEOC
  • City vs. Sunday House Developers - Expected to be filed
  • City vs. Class action - Pensacola Energy franchise fees
Beggs & Lane seems to be one downtown business for sure that has thrived under the Hayward Administration.


  • City vs. Station 3 Firefighters - Personal injury, negligence
  • City vs. Humanists - Cross in Park


Anonymous said...

Hayward's actions regarding the Sunday House are correct and may prevent a lawsuit from being filed. The chairman of the Architectural Review Board, Ben Townes, appears to be a blooming idiot. If he has been on the board for ten years it is way past time for him to be replaced. Townes claims that the board has had a "precedent" for breaking the law for ten years and therefore they can continue to break the law for as long as they want! The board is required to take an "action" on issues within 30 days. "Action" means (a.) approve or (b.) disapprove issues that come before the board. "Action" does not mean that the board can postpone doing their job for an eternity. This lack of ability to make a decision has frozen the city and is exactly why most people avoid doing business in Pensacola at all costs!

Yes, the Sunday house should be preserved. No one is stepping up to do that. It is not located in a legal historic district. There are many historic homes in this city that are in that same boat. ARB has no authority over this matter and if they try to exercise non-existing authority it WILL get the city into another legal mess.

Anonymous said...

Wrong, wrong, wrong. They voted to table it for more information because the application was incomplete. The requirements for the application are public. They failed to provide documentation that would prove their case as required. The ARB is required by municipal code to enact a 6-month moratorium on demolition until all sides can be presented and it be proven that a hardship is documented and that the applicant can show documentation that they have actively tried to sell the home. They aren't actively trying to sell the home when the only offer they will accept is their attorney's. The house is no longer listed for sale and shows under contract. It doesn't show up for those looking to purchase. Like it or not, the property's zoning is in a protected area of the city and ordinances exist to preserve historic structures dating back to 1966. Had the demolition gone through on Tuesday when the illegal demolition permit was issued, the City faced CERTAIN legal action against it for violating the municipal codes. All those involved would be hit with a lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about the firemen infected by mold. That could potentially be huge.

NotaGOB said...

Anonymous @ 11:38 AM....I know Ben Townes. He is far from being an idiot. He also handles himself in the most Professional of ways. Throwing insults at Professionals with long histories of being very well accomplished at their Professions is no way to go about debating your side of the argument.

Anonymous @ 1:14 PM...You are right. Unfortunately our city elected a man with no inkling of an idea how to go about accomplishing any sort of Construction Project. He knows nothing of the process, nor the governing codes. In some cases you have multiple codes governing a single project. Very doubtful Ash would take the time to crack upon a single code book being that they have few pretty pictures and a whole bunch of big words.

Anonymous said...

Council is going to have to do something about these out of control legal fees. It seems like lawyers are intentionally giving bad legal advice to keep themselves employed.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous @ 1:14 -

Really? Please provide a reference to the code that requires the ARB to enact a 6-month moratorium on demolition. Please, please, please!

1. I am pretty sure that the application was complete. Just because you don't like the application does not mean that it is not complete.

2. It's not an historic structure (for legal purposes) unless it is classified as such by a government agency. It is not historic just because you and I think it is historic.

3. It doesn't matter what ordinance the city of Pensacola enacted in 1966. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that no one can take your property by enacting ordinances that take your property without compensating you for it (the legal term is a "taking").

4. It sounds to me like the sellers are under a hardship. What sort of "proof" do you think they should give you? Doctor bills?

5. Have you made an offer for the property but were turned down? Why does it bother you that they have accepted an offer from an attorney? Why does it bother you that it is no longer for sale? They have accepted the offer! Of course it is no longer for sale. It is called a "sales agreement" and is a binding contract.

6. The demolition permit was not illegal. Who is going to "certainly sue" the city? You?

7. Listen, there are plenty of communist countries where you may be happier living. They will gladly take all of you possessions and distribute them to the other residents living there.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I know Ben Townes too and I will stand by what I said about him. Anyone that uses a "precedent" instead of the law is an idiot. The ARB has created their own little fiefdom outside the laws that are supposed to used. The law that is in effect was put there to prevent constant delays that are a hardship to everyone. Make up your mind, vote one way or the other, but stop the stagnation!

These city boards are festering with people who have been there far too long. They should be rotated on a regular basis, but that's not the ways the GOB's want it.

Anonymous said...

Lawsuits, lawsuits, and more lawsuits that are sure to come with lunatic Bob at the helm. (Seville Harbor, ECUA, EEO compliant, Sunday House, Long Hollow Tower lease, fire chiefs, firefighters infected by black mold, Pensacola Energy Class Action, etc)

But everything is great in the Upside. Ashton Kerrigan says, Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.


Anonymous said...

Section 12-2-10 spells it all out.
Google Municipal city of Pensacola.
Ask the city to look at the ARB file on the Emmanuel, Shepard,and London historic cottage they were denied to tear down. It was later moved instead.

Anonymous said...

Every firefighter and City employee at Fire House 3 should sue the City for mold inhalation. Ashton Hayward knew there was mold there. He didn't care. He doesn't value ANY of his employees. He rather decorate his office instead of fixing a mold infested city fire station. Priorities much?

Anonymous said...

Something is not quite ticking in your head.

1.) The ARB has to ACT within 31 days or else the application is approved by default. The ARB did not "act" but instead refused to "act" - TWICE.

2.) The Seller can clearly demonstrate a hardship.

Put your money where your mouth is and buy the house. Did you make an offer to buy the house? Did the John Sunday Society make an offer to buy the house? Did the Pensacola Historical Society make an offer to buy the house?

There is a moral to this story that Charles Liberis has no doubt learned. Never, ever, ever try to develop anything in the City of Pensacola.

Anonymous said...

I bet you have a financial interest in the new town homes.

Anonymous said...

If you are talking to me, I am sorry to say that I do not have a financial interest in the new town homes. I know better than to get involved with any projects in Pensacola. I do, however, have a HUGH financial interest in my own home and my own property rights. If someone can take away the right of one owner to sell his house they can take away everyone's right to sell their home.

By the way, Section 12-2-10 of the city's municipal code does in no way require the ARB "to enact a 6-month moratorium on demolition." I does obligate the ARB to do one of two things. (1.) recommend the building for demolition, or (2.) recommend a 6-month moratorium. The ARB chose a third option - to do nothing. The ARB did this not once but twice. There's not doubt in my mind that, if left alone, they would do it fifty or one hundred times.

Anonymous said...

The ARB took action. They said they wouldn't allow the demolition and advised the applicant of that. They also set a timeline for the project to come back up for final review. If they had tabled indefinitely or not given the applicant clear direction on what needed to happen for the project to move forward, this would be a completely different case (plenty of case law on it). The buyer/applicant could have proceeded as directed but chose to circumvent the law instead. The applicant and administration are both aware that any appeal of the ARB action (tabling to allow redesign) was legally required to be submitted to Council via a very carefully codified process.

If the current appeal gets tossed, the City will be sued.

Anonymous said...

You are living in a world of fantasy (God bless your pea-picking soul!). If the ARB had taken action and "said they wouldn't allow the demolition and advised the applicant of that," that would have constituted a rejection of the application. None of your other statements are true or even relevant. You may WISH that they are true and relevant, but they are not. Read Section 12-2-10 of the city's municipal code.

PNJ - April 27, 2016

“The issue was tabled last Thursday by the board for 60 days, after having been tabled for 30 days last month.”

Anonymous said...

Try reading the meeting minutes from the ARB meetings before spouting more nonsense. The ARB point-blank said they would deny the demolition even if no one offered to save the house.

Anonymous said...

Here again, you are spouting things that are not relevant. What you are saying is that someone on the ARB made a VERBAL THREAT. The only "official and recorded" action (actually an inaction) was to once again table the application.

Once the seller has proven that there is an economic hardship, the ARB cannot legally under any circumstances deny a demolition permit. This is why the ARB did not deny the demolition permit, even though they did try to bully the individual and delay the process hoping he would go away. If a member of the ARB threatened to deny a permit "even if no one offered to save the house," then that member should be removed immediately. Intimidation like that goes on all too often in our city government.

Anonymous said...

Facts and merits of the appeal aren't relevant.

Ten plus years of board precedent exist to support that tabling is action. Evidence also exists to prove the 31 day to act rule is merely a staff procedural guideline for placing the item on an agenda.

The board was being polite and saving the applicant another $500 fee by stating what they did and tabling. Agai, standard practice by that board.

I really suggest you do your homework now.

Anonymous said...

That’s exactly my point. For ten years the ARB has been doing things "the way we've always done them" instead of reading and following the regulations approved by the City Council. The person who has been chairman of the ARB for ten years seems to have no idea what’s written in those regulations. For your information, the clearly written paragraphs of the Municipal Code pertaining to the ARB’s responsibilities are quoted below.

•The board shall promptly review such plans and shall render its decision on or before thirty-one (31) days from the date that plans are submitted, to the board for review.

•Failure to review plans: If no action upon plans submitted to the board has been taken at the expiration of thirty-one (31) days from the date of submission of the plans to the board for review, such plans shall be deemed to have been approved, and if all other requirements of the city have been met, the building official may issue a permit for the proposed building.

But don’t worry. Evidence also exists that Elvis is alive and well running a bait shop in Chumuckla. Good luck with your appeal. You seem to have all the “facts and merits” you need to make a fool of yourself.