Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Std-Ex: Leshem Denies Ownership of Eight Derelict River Project Properties

After aggressively assisting Gadi assemble the properties, Ogden City gets stuck holding the bag for demolition

By What Would Jesus Say

My oh my, I just read the article in the Standard Examiner this morning about the demolition of houses in the river front project which was reported in this earlier WCF article. It seems as though the rats are beginning to jump the sinking Matt Godfrey ship.

Gadi denies owning the properties, Godfrey doesn’t know who owns the properties, and the Bank (Centennial Bank) won’t say who owns them.

By the way, a couple of weeks ago I noticed a list of possibly troubled banks in Utah, and lo and behold, Centennial is one of them.

So the mayor has his city paid staff strong arm people into selling options on their homes to help Gadi, now the city will have to place a lien on them after demolition, and Gadi craps all over Godfrey.

It could only happen in Ogden; it's getting better all the time.


Curmudgeon said...


Yup. I noticed the same about the article, much of which was based on the SE's trying to find out who actually owned the River Project properties the city helped Mr. Lesham... we thought... acquire. So city reps fronted for Mr. Lesham, by acquiring options on the properties as I recall, for Lesham. But Lesham was in fact fronting for others [he now tells us], though he won't tell us who. The claim now is that he was merely a "consultant" for those who actually bought the property. Must have been a very interesting phone call between Mr. Schwebke and Mr. Lesham. Kudoes to the SE for trying to track down who exactly owns the properties the city helped him or them acquire that now have to be torn down at city expense as "dangerous" in their current condition.

The most amazing thing about the story for me is that apparently Ogden City does not know who owns the River Development properties it helped acquire for... the unknown owners. That's what Our Mayor told the SE. The fact that the Godfrey Administration apparently has no earthly idea who owns the River Project properties [behind which it put its full and enthusiastic support]is... well, let's just say very interesting.

Doesn's anyone in the Mayor's development office know who they're in bed with on the River Project? Is this the Godfrey Administration version of "don't ask, don't tell?"

OgdenLover said...

Once again, the Godfrey administration starts a project which dies on the vine because the criteria for investment wasn't the ability to get the job done, but who is a FOM.

I wonder if "unrivaled" is too strong a word to describe this incompetence, or is it plain old under the table deal making and CYA (cover your ass) behavior?

Looks like Mr. Schwebke has lots to keep him busy. Kudos for covering these stories. Please dig deeper.

Anonymous employee said...

Remember how important it was that this whole piece remain in the hands of one owner? Now nobody knows who the hell the owns what. The thing that really pisses me off is this pack of geniuses is making top of the pay scale while hard working employees have gone years without raises.

summers eve said...

Anonymous employee:

It's the Godfrey way, throw a few crumbs to the employees during the election years, and screw em the others.

Godfrey only thinks of employees as a liability nothing more.

Godfrey Daniels!!! said...

I have a friend who went from retired AF Reserves F-16 pilot to an engineer, and then got his law degree.

I asked what's next a medical degree? He said "Nope. There are so many natives cheating each other and filing lawsuits against one another this is a very lucrative profession."

You "law-dawgs" out there... is this true or just another urban ogden legend?

Can't wait to learn who the River Front project LLC members are! Would a GRAMA request help to sleuth it out?

Go Scott S.!!

On The Inside said...

Anonymous employee,
Yes, we do remember how the Mayor and his cronies insisted that one person (Gadi Leshem) bought all the options that the City had obtained from the homeowners of the proposed River Front project, because he had a plan that met the approval of the Mayor and Planning Department (Godfrey’s uncle, I believe).
When Leshem filed his bankruptcy claim, the Council asked the Administration if that would affect the River Front and the Wal-Mart projects. Their reply was that the Wal-Mart project would not be affected, but they said that Leshem might need to sell his options on some of the properties in the River Front project might have to be sold to other developers. Apparently that is just what has happened – Gadi has sold all his options to other developers. It will be interesting to see how and when the River Front will be developed.
I hope the Council insists that the River Front project is almost finished before any other project is started. Godfrey needs to be reminded of his exact words last week at the “Tea Party” – “So first I think our responsibility as citizens is to hold our elected officials like me responsible, and say we are not going to stand up, we're not going to all any more of this spending at will, at creating these deficits at will, hoping that at some time the economy miraculously turns around creating enormous surpluses that we'll be able to pay off this astronomical debt. So I want to applaud all of you, and be consistent in the message that this is irresponsible. It's irresponsible today; it's certainly irresponsible for my children and our grandchildren…” -- Matthew Godfrey Council, hold him responsible for Ogden’s debt!

Dubious said...

Exactly right, OTI. By following his gladhanded and puerilily self-indulgent political instincts, wherein HE, the Blessed "Visionary" -- The One who receives his inspiration from GOD ALMIGHTY) descended to earth from the ninth floor Throne Room, pandered to the Ogden Tea Party attendees, (who braved the terrible winter weather to express their revulsion against BIG SPENDING GOVERNMENT) and issued his own self-critical statement... he shot his whole administration nine year administration agenda in the foot.

The Little POS is arguably the most incompetent elected official in modern Utah history.

The joke's on us,Emerald City Citizens. We're the ones who re-elected Boss Godfrey to prey upon the taxpayers for the benefit of his greedhead campaign contributors until 2010.

Nice work, people!

Anonymous employee said...

OTI-The Standard quoted Lesham as saying he doesn't own anything but assembled the project for a group of investors.

Anonymous employee said...

OTI-Godfrey is also quoted as knowing that Lesham is connected to Ogden Riverfront Development Corporation but he is unsure who owns the corporation. "It's vital that the entire project stay under one owner, I'm unsure who that owner is"-this is getting embarrassing, don't you think?

Curmudgeon said...

Anon Employee:

You wrote " this is getting embarrassing."

Is it even possible to embarrass Hizzonah? I'm not at all sure it is.

On the Inside said...

I hate to be the one who breaks the news to you, but we are stuck with Godfrey until 2012, not 2010 to prey upon the poor taxpayers of Ogden.
I’m glad and proud to say that I am not one of those who voted (never have) for Godfrey.

Anonymous employee,
The SE was quoting Godfrey NOW, and I was explaining what the Administration told the Council last year. We all know that Godfrey lies every time he opens his mouth, so it’s little wonder that his stories vary with the passing of time. He is so embarrassing to most of us in Ogden, and even to those who live in Utah that such an idiot is from the same state that they are.

Anonymous employee said...

Curm-unfortunately he's had nine years of doing and saying whatever he pleases with no consequences, hopefully someday that will change.

monotreme said...

Let's start at tonight's council meeting, whaddya say?

I don't think the Mayor and his winged monkeys will be brought to book overnight. It is something that will take a while. Let's keep going with what Dan S. and Sharon Beech (God rest her soul) and others have done.

Anonymous employee said...

Monotreme-sorry, until I can retire when the little lord sends the goon squad my way I must remain anonymous.

monotreme said...

Anon employee:

That's okay, I didn't mean *you* specifically, I meant "us". All of us.

Current employees of Ogden City are exempt. It's time for the citizens to take back their town.

The Lovely Jennifer said...

Dubious - I didn't vote for him either.

And since Mayor only won by 181 votes, the majority hardly looks bigger than the minority here

That's 51% of the votes for LLM, 49% of the votes for Suzie.

Saying We voted for him doesn't hold much water. Not with me anyway.


danny said...

The WCF headliner is another good article by Schwebke. It's amazing how a little information makes the messianic mayor look like a total incompetent.

Speaking of which, I seem to remember reading here that General Growth Properties, owner of the Negate Mall, was going broke.

Well, now they have.

Reuters StorySE StoryYes, profligate, debt-fueled spending by people who are all smarter than the rest of us, didn't work there either.

Well, Godfrey can take that lesson to his future private sector job. Perhaps he's learned it well, perhaps not. In either case, we will be paying the cost of his ineptitude for the rest of our lives.

Thank goodness the city council saved us from so much of it - otherwise we'd have a bulldozed golf course and gondola pylons going up, and we'd be firing the entire police and fire force to pay for the "unforseeable" outcomes by now.

Bill C. said...

Remember back when Ray Jensen held out for more money for his riverfront property and gadi supposedly upped the offer? Gadi then missed the closing the agent for Ogden River Development llc. Mr. Brian Davis responded to the Tribune. At that time the names of Gadi, Davis, Bill Wright and Gregory Montgomery were rumored to be the Principals of the corp.
This is significant due to Montgomery's active involvement in crafting and pushing the bad mixed use zoning ordinance. If the rumor is true, he should have declared a conflict and recused himself.
Due to the terrible ordinance, this project could only be handled by one developer, every parcel has to comply with the percentages listed in the ordinance.

OgdenLover said...

Don't let your guard down. The Mayor still wants to bulldoze much of the Golf Course, build condos (and now a hotel there) and dreams of gondola pylons. His gondola dreams are not dead.

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