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Brian Davis Resignation Rumor

brian-songJoe Illuzzi reported yesterday that Ellicott District Councilmember Brian Davis will resign next week:

Ellicott Councilman Brian Davis will resign shortly after surgery next week.”

“Davis has been in ill health for some time; the surgery will address some abdominal issues as well as a tumor located on his hip,” sources continued.

We are being assured that recent rumors & phony allegations brought against Davis by his & the Mayor’s political enemies like Len Lenihan, Carl Paladino, Tom Kobus, et al. have anything to do with his stepping down.

Sources were not in a position to offer any names for Davis’s seat. However, there is expected to be a real donnybrook for the seat because the seat represents the 6th vote making the Council “veto proof”.  The confirmation requires a simple majority in the case of the Buffalo Common Council 5-4.  More later

This is what came later, from Davis himself, according to Illuzzi:

“Joe, I will not be making any definite decisions on my future on the Council until after my health issues have been resolved. At that time I will talk our situation over with my wife, then the Mayor. I will make the political decisions to stay or move on at that time.”

I’d be interested to know Illuzzi’s source for the initial rumor. Because whoever told Illuzzi that story is in a rush to throw Davis under the bus, even before (and assuming that) Jim Heaney’s much anticipated story on Davis breaks in the Buffalo News this Sunday.

The “donnybrook” that Illuzzi anticipates will break out among the Ellicott district committee people, who will recommend a candidate to fill Davis’s seat. Before Mickey Kearns came along, that recommendation pretty well sealed the deal. Kearns introduced a successful initiative to change the process, requiring the Council to advertise the vacancy, accept resumes, and interview candidates.

The new process has been used just once so far, when Antoine Thompson vacated the Masten District seat to go to the state senate. The Council duly interviewed a number of folks, and then chose the candidate recommended by Masten’s committee people: Demone Smith.

The Ellicott District’s committee people are largely controlled by forces aligned with the Council’s five-member majority and against the mayor. (As always, “controlled,” “aligned with,” and “aligned against” are gross simplifications. But I trust the point is clear.) So it seems likely that the candidate recommended by the committee people will be palatable to the five-member majority.

But Illuzzi is correct: There will be a fight.


  • Dick Kern

    The long awaited investigative story about Brian Davis’s troubled ethical & financial history hit the Bflo News this morning.

    Once again, the scathing account raises serious questions about lack of ethical standards in City Hall. Despite troubling indicators about Davis improprieties for months, neither Council President Franczyk, nor Comptroller SanFilippo (who now investigates “fraud, waste & abuse”, )took any action.

    And, for those who have followed Joe Illuzzi’s career, the similarity to Davis is striking. However, Illuzzi who makes a living being paid-for-praise by aspiring politicians & judges, is now “born again” and (intermittantly) quite holy.

    In that context, here is Illuzzi’s response to Jim Heaney’s story . . .

    COPY: http://illuzziletter.com/

    APRIL 12, 2009

    HAPPY EASTER
    He has risen!
    King of Kings – Lord of Lords

    UPDATE: Once again Buffalo News scum bag Jim “Osama” Heaney uses his position as reporter at large to settle scores with public officials just like he did when he covered the Buffalo School District. The News had to take him off that beat because of all the complaints from school officials as to Heaney’s inaccuracies & outright libel.

    This time Council member Brian Davis by extension Mayor Byron Brown have fallen victim to Heaney’s low life vacuous diatribe. Both of whom have not & will not talk to Heaney.

    The Easter Sunday front page diatribe begs the question if the story were news worthy to warrant a Easter Sunday edition front page why didn’t city hall reporter Brian Meyer write the article? Meyer has covered Davis for years!

    Heaney’s prose is nothing more than an attack on a public official’s integrity via his personal finances. Maybe a story worthy of a couple of columns on the City & Region page.

    One must consider the source & move on. If Davis were up for reelection he would win in a landslide, end of story.

    Oh! & with respect to our story about Davis resigning. WE DO WANT PUBLISH RUMORS as factual stories.

    We write “RUMOR” as the disclaimer.

    The Davis story is 100% accurate at the time NO DOUBT but things were & are fluid, i.e, things change rapidly, people change their mind in very short periods of time! ###

    RUMORS are rampant the Buffalo News Osama Jim Heaney will do a hit piece on Councilman Brian Davis. Osama Heaney as the rumor goes talking proud!

    I don’t get it. Maybe someone can help me out.

    Why is the Buffalo News Osama Heaney, et al. always attacking Mayor Byron Brown, Councilmen Brian Davis & Demone Smith; at times Crystal Peoples.

    I know the Buffalo News only had one Black in a senior position up until a few short years ago, Rod Watson. He was demoted. Hmm?

    Yet the Buffalo News endorses the “Lollipop Kid” Sam Hoyt. Hmm again? ###

  • Mr.Justice

    News Davis Story Raises Questions…Orsini’s Letter
    Written by Glenn Gramigna, Editor

    DAVIS INTERVENES FOR DRUG DEALER…BOUNCES A THOUSAND CHECKS, YET REMAINS CHAIRMAN OF COUNCIL POLICE COMMITTEE?…ORSINI’S LETTER

    Sunday’s Buffalo News story on the many bounced checks, tax liens, lawsuits, and election law violations that have crowded the life of Ellicott District Councilmember Brian Davis in recent years raises more question than it answers:

    How could a Councilman who intervened to keep a convicted drug dealer out of jail remain as Chairman of the Common Council’s Police Oversight Committee?…How can a man who doesn’t seem able to handle his own finances honestly be allowed to vote on the City’s billion dollar budget?…How is it that we are only finding out about most of these issues now?…And, most important, how many other embarassing City Hall revelations are on the brink of being revealed?

    We are hoping answers to all of them will be forthcoming soon.

    Moving on to Independent Party matters, clearly the large crowd that attended last week’s installation of

    Erie County IP officers at Kronie’s in Kenmore proves that an attempt by former ECIP Chairman Tony Orsinni didn’t totally succeed. Orsini had written a letter to many local politicos, warning that any candidate who attended the affair that installed Sandy Rosenswie as Chair would not get the IP endorsement for any office in 2009. Orsini contends that he will still control such endorsements under the auspices of the IP state committee which he says is still loyal to him.

    While it could be argued that a number of 2009 candidates, including most county legislators, didn’t show, the event turned out to be a crowded get together, brightened by the presence of political figures such as Democratic Erie County Chairman Len Lenihan, Republican County Sheriff Tim Howard, Supreme Court Justice John O’Donnell, Drug and Veterans Court Judge Robert Russell, Housing Court Judge Henry Nowak, Legislature Chairperson Lynn Marinelli, County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, and former Dem Chairman Steve Pigeon.

  • Mr.Justice

    As Davis Resignation/News Expose Rumors Grow…Question: What Will Happen Next?
    Written by Glenn Gramigna, Editor

    WITH DAVIS RESIGNATION COMING, BUFFALO NEWS REVELATIONS REPORTEDLY ALSO IMMINENT…PROPERTY ROOM SNAFU IN ALI CASE, YET ANOTHER EMBARASSMENT TO CAPTORS

    With speculation rampant from Genesee to Grant St. that troubled Ellicott District Councilman Brian Davis will resign soon, for health and other reasons, with a highly critical Buffalo News expose of his activities in the offing, attention is now turning to what will happen next.

    According to our source, the answer could mean a major shift in the City Hall balance of power.

    “If Davis resigns, that will in turn trigger a battle royal to pick his successor,” he or she predicts. “There would be a big fight anyway, but this one will be even more ferocious because if the anti-Brown faction wins, they would have a 6-3, veto proof majority on the Common Council. That would mean that Brown opponents would be able to pass just about anything they want over the Mayor’s objections., something that would constitute an explosive change in how Buffalo is governed.”

    Could the anti-Brown faction pull it off?

    “Quite possibly,” says our guy, “because that district is only about one third inner city African-American. It’s also one third Hispanic and about one third white. So an anti-Brown Hispanic candidate who could get white votes on the Democratic Party committee that will make the decision could win. On top of that, there’s the fact that allies of Chairman Lenihan were the big victors in Dem committee races in the inner city last year. All of this could lead to a victory for a pro Lenihan, anti Mayor Brown successor to Davis quite easily.”

    A SORRY CHAPTER IN A SORRY SAGA

    Moving on to another Buffalo disaster, it seems that when Queen City Police engineered that infamous, Nov. 7, 2008 raid on the family home of WNY info tech businessman Syaed Ali, the list of seized personal items they gave him was all wrong….How do we know that?…Because when the local gendarmes lured Syaed down to Police headquarters recently to pick up “some” of his stuff, they gave him things they have never before admitted taking!

    Yet another sorry chapter in the sorry saga of an apparent attempt by someone to get Syaed to incriminate political figures he apparently either doesn’t know or hardly knows….Talk about a comedy of errors!

  • Dick Kern

    Dramatic misconduct by Brian Davis exposed in yesterday’s Bflo News again again poses the question: Do ethics & accountability matter in City Hall?

    Is the so-called “Fraud, Waste & Abuse” investigator in the City Comptroller’s Office simply a farce?

    Will the new District Attorney continue Frank Clark’s pattern of covering-up political corruption of his “friends”?

    Attorney Wm Trezevant (& likely candidate for Davis’ seat, should he be removed or resign)focuses many of the issues in letter to Franczyk & Sedita.

    This is a test. Watch for what happpens next . . or doesn’t . .

    From Gramigna’s website:

    COPY: http://www.newwnypolitics.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=284:trezevant-calls-for-davis-removal-by-councildemands-sedita-investigate-in-wake-of-sunday-news-bombshell&catid=1

    Trezevant Calls For Davis Removal By Council…Demands Sedita Investigate in Wake Of Sunday News Bombshell
    Written by Glenn Gramigna, Editor

    TREZEVANT WRITES COUNCIL PRESIDENT FRANCZYK, DA SEDITA DEMANDING ACTION AGAINST TROUBLED COUNCILMAN BRIAN DAVIS…CITES “WILLFULL VIOLATION OF ELECTION LAWS,” ATTEMPTS TO INTERVENE FOR DRUG DEALER, USE OF BLOCK GRANT $$ FOR PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT IN ASKING FRANCZYK AND COLLEAGUES TO REMOVE DAVIS, SEDITA TO CRIMINALLY INVESTIGATE HIM

    The full text of Trezevant’s letters to Franczyk and Sedita follow:

    Dear Dave:

    On March 5, 2009, I wrote you requesting that you conduct an investigation into certain allegations regarding Council member Brian Davis.

    During the intervening month, as you may be aware, information has surfaced in various news media outlets, including Art Voice as well as yesterday’s front page Buffalo News that confirmed the salient aspects of my initial letter of March 6, 2009. The increasingly disturbing documented reports regarding Mr. Davis combined with the Council’s lack of action is unsettling.

    Amongst the items which have been documented are the following:

    1. The blatant, willful and repeated violation of Election Laws (over a seven year period) for which he has been cited by the State;

    2. The intervention in the case of a convicted drug dealer;

    3. The intervention in the permit and approval process on behalf of a deli which intends to sell cigarettes and alcohol across the street from the Herman Badillo Elementary School in violation of Local laws;

    4. A property tax free home built by a prominent developer with extensive contracts with the city, within the context of a deal shrouded in secrecy;

    5. The intimidation of West Side deli owners who have now recanted their stories citing a lack of prosecution of Davis for the “One Sunset” situation;

    6. Mr. Davis’s attempt to intimidate a Buffalo civil service worker in an attempt to pull a duly filed public document;

    7. Mr. Davis’s approval of CBDG monies which were designated for the Ellicott District that were instead directed to the One Sunset business. In addition, apparently both BURA and BERC monies were also used to assist the One Sunset business, monies that were redirected from other projects.

    8. Likewise according to the 28 page report by the U.S Department of Housing & Urban Development Buffalo, New York Office, a finding was issued which “Questioned Eligibility of Livable Community Initiatives carries out by the City in the amount of $2,609,939.69.” More specifically this report in its issuance of “Finding Number Seventeen” cited the use of CBDG funds to support the commercial development at market rate of the Granite Works Project and the Ellicott Street Warehouse Lofts.

    These two projects lie exclusively within the Ellicott District and could not have been accomplished without the active and explicit approval of Mr. Davis.

    The use of any CBDG funds designated for the eradication of slum and blight areas for the purpose of underwriting private commercial development is a clear cut violation of Federal law. Given Mr. Davis’s sorted financial past, his active involvement and approval of misuse of public funds for private commercial benefit demands a criminal investigation

    9. Mr. Davis sits as the Chair of the Buffalo Police Oversight Committee. As you are well aware, recently a number of items were returned to Mr. Ali. Items which were not covered by the initial search warrant issued by Judge Hannah. There remains and outstanding question regarding not only the propriety of the initial search warrant, but also its scope of execution as well as the subsequent activities of certain members of the Buffalo Police Department.

    These allegations remain uninvestigated, which appears to be a direct result of Mr. Davis’s private activities. There is a growing concern that Mr. Davis has cut a “quid pro quo” deal, in which he refuses to investigate the activities of the Police Department, which is his responsibility, in exchange for their refusal to investigate any allegation of his personal, alleged criminal activity. As a result, none of these allegations have been investigated.

    10. Mr. Davis’s apparent continued use of a motor vehicle even though his license has been suspended for over two years, evidence of which includes his active use of a City of Buffalo parking space for an unknown vehicle, i.e. one not registered with the State.

    All of the above is patently unconscionable to the citizens of our City.

    This combined with the previous concerns I raised in my prior letter evince a systemic pattern of behavior which indicates that his private behavior may amount to criminal activity, activity which serves as the ample basis for the Council to remove Mr. Davis from office. It is fundamentally clear that his public duties have been compromised by his private dealings, if for no other reason than the appearance of a conflict of interest.

    You have gone on record as saying that his actions may bring disrepute to the Common Council. I believe that ship has long since sailed. Now is the time for the Common Council to take action and remove Mr. Davis from his position. The best interest of the City demands such an action lest the Common Council become a body perceived as merely a Student Council

    Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

    Very truly yours,

    William F. Trezevant, Esq.

    Cc: City Clerk

    Common Council

  • transfigured trezevant?

    Obviously Davis has problems, and hasn’t done too much in his job.

    But, methinks he (Trezevant)doth protest too much ….

    Where is this vengence coming from?

    What is the status of Trezevant’s own BURA/CDBG funded project, the rehabilitation and re-use of Transfigurations Church? It has been over ten long years+ that this vacant church stood open, unsecured and deteriorating before Trezevant finally patched the roof, and then belatedly steered a ‘Project Joy’ fundraiser, while deeking out from City building code violations. Artvoice wrote about this

    I have seen old Trezevant campaign signs for Ellicott District Councilman that are nailed up to boarded-up buildings, kvetching some sort of notion to “Let my people be free”

    Weird new entry in Buffalo’s warped political games, chapter 16,012….

  • No Joke

    Well, “Transfigured:” I’m going to agree with you that Davis has problems and lets take that a another step; His problems have all been self imposed and further, he has inflicted them upon his constituency. And you are correct, too, in your assessment of the job he’s provided us. Not much; He’s served himself over serving the citizenry. While he’s smiled and grinned his way throughout the past seven or so years, he’s shamefully put his district jeopardy. Why it succeeds at all is due to it’s unique configuration, as well as encompassing some of the more high profile projects and developments. None of which are linked to his office.

    Now, the driving force behind my post is the insinuation that Bill Trezevant’s actions in this matter in the past 5 or 6 weeks is somehow suspect. What, “Methinks he protests too much”… ? Why don’t you grow a pair (balls or any other orbs) and say what you think? And where is the vengeance coming from? From the sheer injustice that is presented to all of us and also from the groundswell that has risen from within the community- from individuals and neighborhood organizations who have asked Mr. Trezevant to champion their cause.

    Now, let’s clarify a few of your inaccurate and misleading statements: (1) Transfiguration os NOT a BURA/CDGB funded project. (2) Trezevant spent some 15 years fighting the CITY on behalf of Paul Francis Associates to obtain the permits to allow the work. Litigated throughout that time in front of seven different City Court Judges, the last judge to hear the case, Judge Ogden ordered the City to issue the permits. Work was commenced and completed within six months. (3) During the same time, Trezevant and Paul Francis Associates privately raised and spend over $160,000.00 for the stabilization and preservation work, all in the face of open hostility from the City of Buffalo. Work which also included new city sidewalks paid out of private dollars.

    Apparently, when Bill Trezevant stands up, he won’t easily disappear, even when the going gets tough! In regard to the Artvoice article on Transfiguration, Mr. Trezevant has met and provided documentation and deposition regarding the entire history of Transfiguration.

    Tezevant’s old campaign signs had a number of different messages on them, but his point then was that there was a lack of leadership, lack of vision and a lack of results for the citizens of Ellicott District. Now, some seven years later and there has been no leadership, no vision, and the Buffalo News wrote about the results in Sundays paper.

    When are we going to get it? On the one hand we deplore our elected officials because no one stands up, and then we tear down anyone that has stood up. I don’t see anyone else out there who has been willing time and time again to put himself on the line when the issues merely involve something simple like, “Doing the right thing” for the community!

  • Farquar

    Trezevant the new champion for

    who?

    It sounds like he’s championing for himself here. There are amny cases that have been written about in online sites about this and other things but a champion for them. I don’t think so. I do know we have about five people that really work in our district and none of them are either politicians or lawyers. Those are the people who are always there. I never heard of the Trezevant guy before this.

  • Farquar

    sorry I got cut off to soon.

    If Trezevant ran against Davis a few years ago, where has he been since? Nice positioning huh?

  • No Joke

    Yes, Farquar, he’s championing for the Ellicott District residents and businesses and at their request: On the Davis matter; the West Side Market issues; the so-called Badillo Deli and more. Yes, for himself too. Before any of Davis’s problems surfaced, however, and in late September (’08) Mr. Trezevant convened an exploratory committee for a possible candidacy for Ellicott District Council. No secret there and having nothing to do with “positioning” as much as it does “opportunity!”

    And it was Mr. Trezevant who carried the flag for the West Village and Allentown against another unwanted and poorly conceived deli, all the while some of these community activists and neighborhood leaders ran, scurrying back into their shuttered and safe havens, lest they disrupt the political status quo!

    In the meantime, Trezevant was the only one who stood up for the workers at Statler Towers and against Basher Issa. That fight went on for a year, but he got all of the workers back pay in excess of 80k. He was the only one who said Issa was destroying the landmark and stood up against Issa’s program of lies. All the while, Davis was giving Issa keys to the city.

    But tell me, is this all really about Bill Trezevant or is it about a district without an elected leader- Brian Davis?

  • Farquar

    I moved away from Buffalo because of a bad deli in Allentown but I can asure you No Joke that I am aware of no scurry away from any activists in Allentown or the area of the new deli. In fact we got help from the people in the area of the new deli and have been getting help from them all the way through to this day as I still own a property in Allentown. Where do you live that you are not aware of this? Just recently Tom Gleet talked about the delis and refered to Marylin Rogers who has been fighting them along with her neighbors for five years and she just spoke out against them at a council meeting, petitions have been handed in, the west village group has provided photos and video and has stood up against bad bsinesses like this new deli and its friends for years and the damage to property just like mine has been done to these people as threats to.

    Your right that Davis has not done anything to make things better. Thats my concern that another Davis full of himself has started this campain to let us all down again. Never heard of him before except for that church and my block club has worked with that block club for years. And I’m speaking for my neighbors still on the front of the attack in Allentown and our neighbors to the lower west side to. Lets not make this guy a superhero before he has proven himsef.

  • No Joke

    Farquar, it is interesting that you mention Marilyn Rogers. Yes, Rogers has had a history of speaking out against her deli (the West Side Market), but what I have heard from multiple West Side/West Village/Allentown residents is the noticeable absence of her on this issue of the new deli next to Herman Badillo school. A noticeable absence, but an expected one, as the issue would have pitted her against Brian Davis, a longtime ally. Were Rogers to have done the right thing and speak out against the deli, she would have found herself acting against Brian Davis and the second floor of City Hall, to which she owes her current (and perhaps any future hope of) employment. In short, Rogers has a commendable record of community activism; however, that record is blemished by instances of only speaking out when politically comfortable.
    I need not mention again that while Rogers failed on this issue, Trezevant was there for the community.

  • SweetSue

    I know about a deli task force by taxpayers that started about 2 mos ago. Maybe that can help.

  • SweetSue

    Here’s their e-mail address. delitaskforce@hotmail.com They have helped us before. Maybe they can help there, too.

  • Sunsetting

    Thanks No Joke for the updates on the advocacy. As all good journalists will attest, self-reporting doesn’t make a true story, multiple consistent and objective attestations do. So with that in mind, please provide substantiation of the claim of “…the groundswell that has risen from within the community- from individuals and neighborhood organizations who have asked Mr. Trezevant to champion their cause”. God knows Buffalo needs a hero to stand up for our community rights, and any thank-you letters, or pro bono publico clients, testimonials, etc… that back up Bill’s good works could help propel a political ascendency!!

    Given that “…Trezevant and Paul Francis Associates privately raised and spend over $160,000.00 for the stabilization and preservation work, all in the face of open hostility from the City of Buffalo.”, I think holy crap he can probably even get the Peace Bridge built, and the waterfront finished. Just give a chance to make us all free!!

  • Halfmoon

    I haven’t heard about Trazavant until three months ago and it sounds to me like no joke has a personal stake in Trazavants future. Tell me of any work that he has done pro bono while the rest of the community leaders have spent lots hours volunteering with no expectations or any kind of gratuity. no joke sounds like a cheer leader or an abused housewife that has to tow the line. no joking.

  • better buffalo

    People – last time I checked, the article was about Brian Davis, what am I missing? It seems to me this trezevant person, has been the only one to actually act in our behalf. You know its funny, that even today on channel 7 the topic of conversation with out saying Brian Davis has once agian missed a third of the meetings in 2009. Do you see a problem with that? I don’t know why everybody is talking about some guy named Trezevant who at least, it looks like has spent more time arguing over these issues with letters, than Davis has spent doing the job that we pay him to do. Your asking for a resume from some guy who is apparently not getting paid to pick this fight. Versus calling for the resignation of a guy that were paying for a no show job. I just want a better Buffalo, and I dont care who it is, as long as they do the job I am paying them for.

  • Halfmoon

    better buffalo your right on!!!!!!!!! Davis should resign and be totally honest with what he has done. Yelling and screaming don’t do a thing from us. Pointing fingers and waying people against each other doesn’t make things better for us either. If he’s a real man he needs to be honest. I think any argument about who does what more than the other is ridiculous and shooting people down who are working hard to make things better and have for years is just as ridiculous. So is shameless self promotion wether from Davis or anyone else. It just keeps the bad going with no releaf. Davis is and was wrong and he pulled the wool over lots of peoples eyes. Now he needs to step down and be prosecuted. I’m sure there were some crimes there that go against his resposnibilies.

  • No Joke

    Or maybe I have a stake in the future of the well being of my community, instead of just sitting around cynically and non-constructively throwing stones for the sake of being cynical!

  • WVRG

    Much has been said and posted regarding Brian Davis. No matter what the underlying issues or truths are, we are saddened by these tragic sets of circumstances and believe that whatever affects one individual also affects the entire community.

    I and my neighbors have always worked with solutions-based issue remediation methods. These methods have allowed us to meet with a variety of individuals and departments throughout the City of Buffalo.

    When it seemed we were no longer getting a response from Mr. Davis or his office on a variety of issues, as long as the past year or so, we continued to work on the same issues by contacting the departments and all other Common Council members directly. We diligently poured over Council agendas to assure we would not miss an opportunity to have our voices heard regarding issues in our neighborhood.

    We had representation as recently as March 24, 2009 and on April 7, 2009 when we addressed issues relating to a lodging house attempt to reopen and the proposed deli on S. Elmwood Avenue during the Legislation Committee meetings.

    No, we are not happy with this chain of events regarding Mr. Davis, but we continue to work within the community to assure that, no matter whether or not we have representation by our Councilmember, we keep our needs for our community on the front burner.

    Our apologies for taking so long with this response but, in applying the principles of due diligence, we waited until more information could become available. As we are not in receipt of further information, we feel it is time to provide a statement from our community organization in the Ellicott District.

    Marilyn Rodgers
    West Village Renaissance Group