These two lawsuits, Freeman/D'Angelo vs me
and Nexus Corporation (Nexus Diversified) vs me were totally unnecessary.
They sued me because they chose to sue me.
My "fight" was not with Nexus or Mille
Lacs Academy. It was with the Onamia City Council.
To tell you the truth (and I always do),
if the chosen building site had been just across the street within Onamia
city limits, I would not have tried to stop it. Oh, I might have grumbled
and written a few letters to the Mille Lacs Messenger to complain.
Personally, I had nothing against the Academy. I would have opposed a
Walmart just as vigorously. The city, however, was crossing the Rum River
into Bradbury Township and bringing its urban sprawl.
Along the way, nearly everything the
Onamia City Council did was wrong. For instance, rather than follow
procedure, Councilman Bill Hill made a secret deal with Steve Bye in a
private closed meeting in Hill's office at his store. Before Nexus, I didn't
even know what the Open Meeting Law was. By all appearances, neither did the
city council. Even after we informed them, they ignored it. Hill said he was
acting as President of the CDC at that time, and not as a city councilman.
Perhaps a problem of wearing too many hats. It was still wrong. We were
blindsided. And that was just the beginning.
I tried talking to Bye to convince him not
to sell to the City. We even offered to buy it ourselves. But he told me
that even though there wasn't even a purchase agreement yet, that if he
backed out of the deal he would be sued "three ways" - by the CDC, by the
City, and by Nexus. It stunk of coercion.
The city had no right to annex land from
Bradbury Township for anything other than a single family R1 (zoning).
Indeed, there were a lot of problems with the Annexation (see documents).
Bill Hill's son drew up a purchase agreement. There were problems with that
too since he didn't actually own the land. The name on the tax statement was
his sister - who claimed homestead in Onamia while living in Falmouth,
Massachusetts. Tom Casey, our first lawyer - hired by the OACRG said that
this was a definite case of fraud. While checking things out with the county
assessor, we discovered that the Bye documentation (sitting out on top of a
filing cabinet...) had recently been tampered with, with Steve now
handwritten in as the owner after all. Who altered the document? Who knew we
were going to see the county assessor?
With someone filling in loopholes,
eventually Steve Bye sold the 38 acres (for three times its value) with the
City planning to sell it to Nexus illegally rezoned to R2 i.e. Spot
Nothing about this Onamia/Nexus deal
seemed clean. We began to expand our investigation. We found enough dirt to
contact the FBI and they began an investigation into the Onamia mayor and
city council and Nexus. The FBI agent told us they had found "plenty of
smoke" and he would like to pursue to get to the fire, but he said it would
cost too much to collect all the evidence needed to bring it to court and
Note: Just in case anyone is thinking
about messing with me again, I saved everything. I have a really big box
filled with files and CDs. I can back up everything I've said.
Our little group of neighbors kept finding
ways to stop the project. The malfeasance and misfeasance of the city
council was stunning. The pinacle of this mountain of bullshit was Minnesota
State Statute 264.357 which clearly states that juvenile sex offenders are
not permitted in a single family zoning - which was what our neighborhood
Subd. 7. Permitted single family use. A
state licensed residential facility...shall be considered a permitted single
family residential use of property for the purposes of zoning, except that
a residential facility whose primary
purpose is to treat juveniles who have violated criminal statutes relating
to sex offenses or have been adjudicated delinquent on the basis of conduct
in violation of criminal statutes relating to sex offenses shall not be
considered a permitted use.
Every one of the juvenile sex offenders at
Mille Lacs Academy have been adjudicated in a court of law and convicted of
sexual crimes that have caused harm. This law should therefore have stopped
the project in its tracks, right?
Furthermore, the "state licensed
residential facility" of non-juvenile sex offenders that the law does permit
limits the number of residents to 9-16 people. NOT 94 convicted juvenile sex
offenders that Nexus was bringing into our R1 single family zoned
Did this stop the Onamia City council? No.
They just mis-classified the institution, mis-zoned the property to R2 (when
it should have been zoned commercial or institution), and rewrote their own
ordinances to state that in every R2 zoned property in Onamia juvenile sex
offender treatment centers were a permitted use.
The city council rewrote several
ordinances to suit their agenda. This was not Democracy. This was
FASCISM. They were serving the Nexus Corporation and Nexus Diverified (same
thing). Those of us in Bradbury Township were not allowed to vote or run in
Onamia elections. This was all being done to us without us having any kind
This was not only an "emotional"
"tree-hugging" rebellion of the "Bradbury Idiots" or "Dirty Twelve" or "The
Outsiders" (which is how the city council referred to us).With the city
depositing a sex offender facility in our private residential neighborhood,
and with the city and county building new infrastructure, roads, etc. for
Nexus, while granting the corporation tax abatement as well, the Bradbury
citizens were getting saddled with safety risk and financial damages.
Our property values plummetted. Our
property taxes soared. Property taxes on my home are over $4000 per year and
the property value dropped over $100,000. The other neighbors' rates are
comparable EXCEPT Steve Bye (the seller of the 38 acres). He only pays $4
per year in property tax on his homestead. That's right. Check it out on the
Mille Lacs County website - Property Taxes. Somehow he seems to have
qualified for tax exemption...
Next: Nexus Silent Treatment Center