Sunday, September 29, 2013

what did I get for that $437.50 I paid Tal in 2009?

Here is the audio from a town meeting in which Tal admits he did wrong.  A link.

Here is the piece of paper he gave me.

I do not have audio of the 2010 meeting when he hit me up for the grease online at this time but I do have this. And here is the back and forth about them destroying the tapes they later found.

Here is Tal's nonsensical letter to the CCBOS. If you read this letter, then listen to the actual tapes of the 2010 meeting, which I have not yet but will post here, you see that Tal is simply lying.

Don't forget this, 26 hours a day billing. If you are new to this blog, don't miss this and this.

So in his letter in 2011, linked above, Tal remembers what work he did in 2009 to justify the $437. But 7 months previous to that in the audio above, from a town meeting in December 2010, he cannot remember what work he did in 2009. No mention of the detailed account Tal gives in his letter in 2011 in the minutes produced in 2010 and nothing at all about anything he says in the actual recordings, which Tal told Melissa Naegeli to say were destroyed when they were not destroyed.

Read the letter. Listen to the audio. They are not consistent. And the statement in the paper today is not consistent. Ron Knott says Tal did nothing wrong. But he already admitted he made a mistake -- but, being a gracious and generous man, actually blamed the board for the "mistake" the board was unaware of before it happened.

Then Ron Knott says this, “It is unlikely the town will choose to challenge it, as we have already made the decision a year ago not to prosecute this violation even if the courts did uphold it.”

So why did they hire William Bill Better as outside counsel to handle this and push the whole thing forward and pass another resolution against me? Just for fun?

The Zoning law requires that such payments be 1) less than 5% of the project cost (in this case $0: 5% of 0 is 0); 2) paid in advance in escrow, not tossed out without any previous discussion at the last minute.

I would like my $437.50 back, not to mention the other $200,000 the town of Stuyvesant owes me.

Here is what Tal said to the CCBOS in 2011:

Prior to the public hearing. the Planning Board asked me for recommendations regarding  the ramifications of the two applications and the code violation. I researched the matter and  recommended that no enforcement proceedings be commenced since Mr. Pflaum was proceeding  in good faith with his applications. I then billed the Town, in the normal course of business, for  the time and work that I had performed in connection with that research and recommendation.
So how come 1) Tal did not remember this when he was asked about it in the town board meeting with the audio linked above? He laughed about remembering what he did, as if it were impossible to remember, then suddenly remembered 8 months later. 2) Why did the chair and the lawyer have a private off the record meeting that never got into the minutes or the record in any way? Would the chair vouch for this? And does the chair have the authority to authorize ME to pay Tal off the record? 3) There is no mention of this in the minutes or in the audio. 4) Why does it take 3.5 hours to figure that out? 5) Where is the memo he wrote after doing research for 3.5 hours? Some kind of paperwork? Anything? Nothing in the file. 6) Where is the recommendation he mentions? Not a memo. Not in the minutes. I didn't get a copy. Was that also in the bathroom or the parking lot?

If the planning board and Tal are conducting business off the record in the bathroom or the parking lot, why bother to keep a record?

Two years later, Tal concocted this story out of whole cloth and it does not match any of the documents from the time. When he says "prior to the public hearing" he means when the meeting was not in session and the tape was not running? If this really happened, why would a conversation between Tal and the entire board that happened in the bathroom or the parking lot be at all relevant?

Gale Bury: I would not lie about this if I were you. Let Tal take care of himself. He's a big boy.

Melissa Naegeli: You know Tal told you to tell me that you destroyed the tapes when you did not destroy the tapes. I would also say let Tal handle his own business and do not lie. That's my advice.

I got the tape. I can play the tape. The audio, the minutes, Tal's confession, his letter to the CCBOS: no one should hitch their wagon to Tal's wobbly ship. Ron Knott did. Why

Even if we believe Tal, it's bull crap. But he goes on, laying out his story and now not wanting to stick to it:
Following the public hearings. the Planning Board granted both the subdivision  application and site plan approval. The Planning Board Chairman then stated that the Town had paid me for legal review of the application and that those fees should be reimbursed back to the Town, in accordance with the requirements of the Town Zoning Law. Mr. Pflaum was provided  a copy of the bill setting forth the time spent on his application. The bill showed that 3.5 hours billed at $125/hour, totaling $437.50 was paid by the Town. He reimbursed the Town without  objection or comment. There Wt!re no personal or private conversations between Mr. Ptlaum and me, since all of the above occurred in the meeting room of the Stuyvesant Town Hall before the  entire Planning Board. There was no threat of disapproval of the applications, particularly since  the Planning Board had already approved each. 
The bill is not "in accordance with the requirements of the Town Zoning Law." Where is the law? The Chair never never never never said "Town had paid me for legal review of the application." The Chair does not say that in the minutes or in the audio recording EVER.

Again, at no time did Gale Bury utter anything like what Tal says he said either in the minutes or the audio. Where was that? In the bathroom? Not at the meeting, definitely.

The chair is totally silent in the audio. The minutes SAY NOTHING about any of this. In the audio, you can hear Tal whisper as he passes me the bill. Only Tal, Shriley Narzsinski and I are close enough to know what is going on.

You can hear all of it on the audio, which I can't find in digital form at this moment and have the tape in a box. But the minutes and the audio tell the same story. Here is page one of the minutes. Here is page two of the minutes.

Here is the zoning law. Here is the relevant language:

Reimbursable Costs 
Reasonable costs incurred by the Planning Board for private consultation fees of a planner, engineer, attorney or other extraordinary expense in connection with the review of a proposed site plan shall be charged to the applicant, together with the cost of advertising any public hearing required. In this regard, the Board may require such costs to be paid in advance, not to exceed 5% of the total project cost.
This is not what happened at all, as Tal admitted in the audio linked in this post at the top. The payment was not in advance. It was not reasonable. Tal lied about it to the CCBOS. No one on the board was likely aware of what he was doing before he did it. I was there. They couldn't have heard him or known anything, except Shirely Narzinski. 

Tal robbed me. Ron Knott can go in the paper and deny it. But the facts are the facts. If a guy mugs you on the street and takes $437, the cops will try to find him. If the town attorney who is connected robs you in a public meeting and you have tons of evidence, no one will touch it.

It's nice to have immunity and be above the law, like Tal Rappleyea. Good to wear a suit, be a lawyer. You can steal all you want and never have to answer for anything.

More links and links and links.

Links: an article on the front page, here is another article, another dog blog, another dog site, a twitter thing, an article, another article, and one more, another link, more of this, and this

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