In 2001 the city of
In 2006, the
The land in
What can explain the startling difference in price between comparable land in
The short answer is that when it comes to political corruption and to selling out to developers,
Route 23 Rip-Off
The longer answer is that Mullins paid a paltry $7500 per acre on Route 23 because the price was driven down because rumors circulated that the site was contaminated and even possibly toxic. Who was spreading those rumors? Portsmouth Police Chief Charles Horner did an inept investigation and accused former Mayor Bauer and the developer Mullins of criminally spreading the rumors to discourage potential bidders from coming forward. But Horner never produced evidence to prove his charges. He could not produce public statements by either Bauer and or Mullins spreading the rumors. Horner was no better at investigating land scams than he is at performing drug busts. And if there is anything to the rumor that Horner removed the hard drive from Mayor Bauer's computer and withheld that evidence from the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, then Horner may face charges that make land scamming look like a lark.
The city official who did publicly raise the specter of contamination at the Route 23 site was First Ward council woman Ann Sydnor. At one city council meeting she claimed water and soil from the site were being tested and that results would be forwarded to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The OEPA has denied that it ever received such tests or mandated any cleanup of the site. There probably was a rip-off on Route 23, but no one has ever been held accountable.