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Cleveland Developer Sues City of Buffalo, Byron Brown, Others

Today NRP Development, the  Cleveland-based firm that claimed that Mayor Byron Brown nixed an East Side housing development deal when NRP refused to hire an ally of Brown’s to consult on the project, filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking damages.

Here’s the complaint.

We’d heard that the city had recently submitted a lowball offer to settle NRP’s complaint. Apparently that didn’t work out. The RICO (Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations Act) suit alleges that a plan to construct and manage 50 single-family homes on the city’s Masten Park and Cold Spring neighborhoods was  canceled after the company refused to find a way to include (that is to say, pay) Reverend Richard Stenhouse or the Jeremiah Partnership, a coalition of East Side ministers with interests in housing development. Stenhouse was allegedly looking to consult on minority participation goals for the project, a contract which was warded instead to Dr. Henry Taylor’s UB Center for Urban Studies and J.W. Pitts Planning, headed by former Common Council president Jim Pitts.

More on this tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy the use of direct quotes in items 50, 51, and 52 of the complaint:

50. During the course of these events and in making the illegal demand, Brown said:  “If you do not hire the right company [i.e. Stenhouse and/or the Jeremiah Partnership], you do not have my support for the Project.”

51. Brown also said: “Make Stenhouse happy or the deal will not go through” and further stated that he was “sick of seeing those fucking white developers on the East Side with no black faces represented.”

52. After the Development Team selected the UB Team instead of Stenhouse, Brown said:  “I told you what you had to do and you hired the wrong company.”

No “on information and belief,” no paraphrases. Do they have a recording? The statement in item 51, if true, is not without merit: Developers in the city have often paid lip service to minority hiring laws and agreements while finding ways to ignore them. But if, as the suit alleges, the Brown administration demanded that NRP Development prefer a particular contractor as a minority hiring consultant, that’s a serious offense.

  • Peter A Reese

    What’s the big deal here? Who isn’t “…sick of seeing those fucking white developers on the East Side with no black faces represented” ?

  • Buffalo Rude

    “No “on information and belief,” no paraphrases.”

    No shit. My guess is they have emails.

  • Bruce Beyer

    Buffalo for Real. So this is what they were talking about?

  • Why do race or ethnicity need to be considered at all in deciding who gets awarded a contract? It’s good to make sure contracting programs are open to all, that bidding opportunities are widely publicized beforehand, and that no one gets discriminated against because of skin color or national origin. But that means no preferences because of skin color or what country your ancestors came from either–whether it’s labeled a “set-aside,” a “quota,” or a “goal,” since they all end up amounting to the same thing. Such discrimination is unfair and divisive; it breeds corruption and otherwise costs the taxpayers money to award a contract to someone other than the lowest bidder; and it’s almost always illegal—indeed, unconstitutional—to boot (see 42 U.S.C. section 1981 and this model brief: ). Those who insist on engaging in such discrimination deserve to be sued, and they will lose.

  • taxpayer666

    How much of our tax money are we going to let Erkle throw away????????????He needs to be removed from office with all the morons he hired…Mehaffrey, Penska, Casey…on and on

  • doopie

    ha ha ha ha ha , ha ha, ha


  • hmmmmyue

    Wasnt Stenhouse on the Buffalo Control Board?

  • joe(kenmore)

    very funny how race is a factor in hiring..there has to be so many ethnicities on a job,so if a company wins the bid and brings their guys in to work they have to lay off some people to bring in unproven workers of a differant race??? sounds like racism in it’s purest form(your not black so you can’t work whity)…also kind of funny how blacks get points for being black on civil service exams….guess that’s ok too…when are people going to stop feeling sorry for each other and select the best candidate for the job not by race but track records and intelligence….guess some people would cry racism on that too.

  • I’m sick of all these lying, bullshitting politicians. Stiffy Schwarzenegger, Wild Weiner, Bullshit Brown. Get rid of this stupid bastard! He’s fucking up the city worse than it was before he won office!

  • Mark Garrett

    HE GAVE ME And MY FAMILY A 72 HOUR NOTICE TODAY 6-7-2011, FULLY KNOWING THAT MY WIFE AND I ARE PERMANENTLY DISABLED, And Also, That we are Responsible for the Well-Being of One, Retired, Senior Citizen Chevrolet Plant Worker (My Mom). One 8 year Daughter,(Complete with the, Matching first and last Name, of, My Mom.) And One 20 Year old, ITT Student, two quarters short of Graduation. Our Son.

    We all live in His personal Rental Property. Specifically, the house that he had Bought for his own Mother, Previous to our Occupancy.

    Now This house is Caught in the ABATEMENT Process, Which means that Belmont will not pay their portion, of our Rent, Because he has refused, to do any of the necessary, Repairs.

    Instead, he wants us to give him, Belmont’s portion of our rent, While at the same time, Demanding, that we Move out of Said Property, And Within The Next, Three Days…..
    or Be Thrown on the Street.

    I need to know how to Get to Channel 4 WIVBS’s Lead Reporter ASAP,

    I have been trying to get past the Barriers At Channel 4, Since last Thursday, to No Avail.

    I did reach a Significant, Personality At Buffalo News, But, still the clock is running Down.

    Leading to What will be, my last ditch effort.

    Which means that i will have to…..



    All Suggestions will be Considered.

    I Will be at My Phone (716-381-9625) until The SHeriff Arives, on Thursday, Then i will only able to take Suggestions, VIA MEGAPHONE. WHile Sitting on the Roof of this Property Located at 58 OakGrove ave. Buffalo NY 14208..

    Thank you all in Advance.

    GOD BLESS !!!!

    6-08-2011 2:08AM

  • Mark Garrett

    (OH!!!… I Almost forgot to Mention that, MOST of the Shingles that Used to be a Part of this Houses Roof, No Longer Live Here? They Have Moved to Another Location… THEY NOW LIVE ON THE GROUND, GRASS, and The Other Neighbors PROPERTY ! )

  • Wow!! an outsider from Cleveland, gets fucked because they doesn’t know the games. Why is economic development in Buffalo = to building more housing? Where were the usual suspects Benderson, Ciminelli, Dennis Penman, Savarino.

  • joe(kenmore)

    hey MARK GARRETT….did you get a 30 day written notice?without that he cannot make you leave…..NEW YORK STATE LAW says a written 30 day then a 3 day notice and the 3 day notice is pay or quit…which means if you pay, the 3 day means nothing…i am a landlord myself and know the laws and these are the laws…

  • joe(kenmore)

    Don’t worry mark he is just trying to strong arm you….i dont care how high and mighty he may think he is the law is the law…relax and ask him for the written 30 day that will give you enough time to find a place and move…also most judges after the 30 day when he brings you to court will give you another 2 weeks….another thing to,if the place is a dump you can take him to court and ask the judge if you can get the place checked out to make sure it’s habitable(habitability hearing)…

  • Mark Garrett

    yes the Judge gave me until june 30th, and instructed me to pay $600, that would be my portion, plus belmonts portion.
    my portion is payed, but belmont cannot pay their portion, until Byron brown or his Property Manager Mr. Ted Backus Fix The few Things, that has caused the property to be in ABATEMENT. So if i pay Belmonts Portion, Then I wont be Able to give a new Landlord a security Deposit. Byron Brown
    has my original $600.00 Security Deposit, But Wont Apply It To This Months Rent. They Just Want To Inconvenience My Family In any Manner That They Can. Thank You All For Your Concern, I’ll Just Keep on Trying to get someone From the News, until it Becomes Necessary for me to Sit on The Roof, Which i hope will create The Need for a TV crew To Come Out to Take This Story

  • karma chameleon

    It is funny how working on denying community gardens, enhancing friends barber shops and bars, spending cdbg money improperly, leads to investigations and now the City has no money or programs for business loans and development. The Town of Hamburg advertises their cdbg programs on WBEN radio to encourage investment. Buffalo is about to be sued by the federal gov’t to get back HUD money.

  • Ann Schumacher

    Wow. Another day in the life of corrupt Byron Brown. Maybe this time they’ll get him. But you know, with Schneiderman, Pigeon, Cuomo in his corner, doubt it! Nothing like these sleezy dems never getting caught. Or is it they are all in the same bed, you just don’t know. Maybe the irony of this week with Weiner getting caught, will have some kind of effect…you know, the eerry kind. Maybe Cuomo will get his attorney general to help cover for Byron. After all, they fixed Pigeon’s deal didn’t they?

  • Ann Schumacher

    And oh, Byron, when you go to jail, take the rest of your sleezy grassroots people with you….Brian Davis, Maurice Garner, Nate Hare…the whole slew of those bad blacks that you protected along the way….even Barbara Miller Williams..yuck…you guys give african americans a very bad name. Most are by far better than you!!! Take the sleeze out of Erie County.