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Bohannon Conflict of Interest

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Category: Middletown City Government
Forum Name: City Council
Forum Description: Discuss individual members and council as a legislative body.
Printed Date: Dec 17 2017 at 3:17am

Topic: Bohannon Conflict of Interest
Posted By: middielover
Subject: Bohannon Conflict of Interest
Date Posted: Nov 23 2017 at 2:50pm
Received information that Steve Bohannon received free services to complete background checks on his potential rental property tennants and the City paid for the service.

Anyone know anything about this?

Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Nov 23 2017 at 4:00pm
IF this is found to be true, Bohannon should resign his council position or be removed by other means. He should not use his council position to gain in his business plans. Definitely a conflict of interest if done. Can't use your city position and insider informational services for personal gain, especially if the taxpayer paid for it. This is the type of activity that ruins any semblance of public trust council had if they had public trust to begin with.

Also an opportunity for me to make a smart a-- remark about one of my favorite subjects......the HUD landlord and program. Not a fan of people living here who contribute to and make money from a dam government program that contributes to the "ghetto" reputation Middletown has acquired the last decade or two. We need less HUD slumlords and HUD declared property not more and we need to get out of the business of inviting those who look for handouts to town. I see nothing positive nor uplifting to the HUD abundance. Has really hurt this city image.

As a side note while on the subject of the condition of this city......

I don't normally drive past my old neighborhood anymore as I have no reason to venture west of Breile Blvd. but I was trying to find my wife a new wheelchair the other day at a business located in the downtown area. While driving west on Grand Ave, around Dorset and Kensington St., and as I went further west down around Sutphin St. and McCoy-Leffler Funeral Home, I was shocked at the condition of a few houses in that area. Good Lord! some of them have been left to rot by the current owners. As a young kid in second grade at the old Wilson Elementary School and through high school, this area was well respected and not nearly as rundown as it is now. Almost looks like everything decent has moved north and east past Breile to me. The old respected areas of this city have certainly taken a hit over time. So sad to see for me. Guess the current owners just don't give a dam as much as the previous owners did......or they just don't have the disposable income to do maintenance on their homes. Is this an indication of the type of people we have locating to Middletown now Mr. Adkins?
........Where's the quality in the people we are attracting nowadays?

I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.

Posted By: Middletown29
Date Posted: Nov 24 2017 at 8:38am
Brought up the Bonhannon issue at a Thanksgiving cocktail party last night. Opinion of 2 attorneys “if this is true Bohannon could have a serious problem”.
Both wondered how the City would let this happen.

Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Nov 24 2017 at 9:31am
I thought that the police did background checks for free or a minimal charge? At least I remember that offer from my business days and time on the citizens’ advisory board. nbd imo—had to have been offered and seems to be police responsibility to decline?

Not a fan of his council voting record, however he is a good hard-working resident who cares about the city. We should thank him for his service and not fault him for checking potential renters for past history.

Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Nov 24 2017 at 9:39am
Just another sideshow distraction when compared to the wasteful decisions and lack of follow-thru mentioned by analytical et al.
Hopefully mr. b shared his info with other landlords.
So— who in admin has Bohannon jerked their chain?
Did he side against Atrium?

Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Nov 26 2017 at 8:32am
no replies....

if we think back quite a while, Mr.A had a series of meetings with landlords where I believe they discussed working together to share information about backround info on potential renters. Maybe admin agreed to help access such info??

Either way probably nothing to be excited about, and if anything irregular was done, the city employees might be the helpful cilprits.

Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Nov 30 2017 at 1:40pm
So as not to let this matter slip away into oblivion as is often the case when any public official is caught, and, perhaps, let Bohannon slide on this alleged issue, where do we stand on any investigation?

If true, and knowing that the Adkins Administration will protect their buddies, what is the next step in reporting this to proper authorities?

I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.

Posted By: middielover
Date Posted: Dec 05 2017 at 11:18am
Received the following copy of an email sent by Steve Bohannon on July 21 of this year:

"To All Members of the Middletown Real Estate Investors Group:

Like us, some of you may have started to receive bills for background checks you have processed through  We checked into it and found out that the $5,000.00 startup funds that the City of Middletown gave to get this program going back in 2015 has been used up.  Therefore, we must now start paying the $9 processing fee for each report.  The $9 report is for the Combined Report only (SMS622-Tenant).  It does not include the Individual Reports.  If you chose to process any of the Individual Reports, there will be additional fees.  

We encourage you to continue to use to protect yourself from issues with the City of Middletown's nuisance ordinance and to help you reduce the number of evictions you need to deal with.

If you have questions, let us know!"

Steve Bohannon
MREIG President

Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: Dec 05 2017 at 3:10pm
Clarification please...........................

So, Mr. Adkins or Mr. Fooks (with the approval of Mr. Adkins), allocated $5,000 in city funds in 2015 to pay for
landlord background checks of prospective tenants?  Is it known what funding source (general fund, etc.) was
utilized?  Was this matter presented to the City Council for approval?  If so, which of the five members voted in
the affirmative?  If not presented for their consideration, did Mr. Adkins have authorization to approve/spend
$5,000 for this purpose?  Was this "FREE TENANT BACKGROUND CHECK" funding available only to HUD
Section Eight participating landlords?  Middielover, do you also own residential rental properties as does Mr.
Bohannon?  Are you a participating Section 8 landlord like Mr. Bohannon?  Thanks for sharing this information.
It's always a good thing for the city's taxpayers to really know what's going on in Middletown.  It appears that
your present relationship with Mr. Bohannon is a bit strained?

Posted By: middletownscouter
Date Posted: Dec 05 2017 at 3:42pm
Analytical, most of that clarification you want you can get by going back and reading the city council meeting minutes and workbooks at the time, along with journal-news articles.  It happened at the time the city passed the nuisance property ordinances, and after the first reading it went back for re-tooling due to concerns from residents and landlords throughout the city not being consulted or involved in the process.  I believe the background check assistance was part of the outcome but it was not hidden and was publicized at the time.  I'd look it up but I'm kind of rushed this afternoon.

Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: Dec 05 2017 at 7:07pm
Thanks for your post, MiddletownScouter.

Since you weren't able this afternoon, I did locate the City Council agendas, meeting minutes and
workbooks pertaining to the latest nuisance property ordinance (see below).  Unfortunately, there's
NO MENTION of the $5,000 in city funds allocated by someone for "free" landlord background
checks on prospective tenants.

My original questions remain.  Middletown's taxpayers deserve to know the facts about this
matter and expenditure of city funds..

AGENDA TUESDAY, April 7, 2015


7. Ordinance No. O2015-24, an ordinance enacting Chapter 1456 of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Middletown establishing regulations for chronic nuisance abatement. (1st Reading)


Pages 153 - 161

AGENDA TUESDAY, April 21, 2015 


2. Ordinance No. O2015-24, an ordinance enacting Chapter 1456 of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Middletown establishing regulations for chronic nuisance abatement. (2nd Reading)


Pages 44 - 52

March 31, 2015

TO: Douglas Adkins, City Manager
FROM: David VanArsdale, Public Safety Director Leslie S. Landen, Law Director Ashley Bretland, Assistant Law Director Kyle Fuchs, Community Revitalization Director
Prepared by: Lt. Jim Cunningham


The City of Middletown currently has nuisance ordinances, however, the current provisions of the Middletown City Ordinances do not provide an adequate tool for abating nuisance properties. The City desires a more comprehensive and inclusive ordinance to deal with chronic and severe nuisance complaints within the City’s jurisdiction.


The City of Middletown has long dealt with ongoing nuisance complaints and have limited effectiveness on correcting those issues. Chronic nuisance properties present health, safety, and welfare concerns to the City, and have a negative impact upon the quality of life, safety, and health of the neighborhoods in which they are located. Furthermore chronic nuisance properties are a financial burden to the City due to the calls for service for nuisance activities that occur repeatedly on these properties. This proposed recommendation is a means to lessen that burden and hold accountable those persons responsible for such properties. City staff, consisting of David VanArsdale, Les Landen, Ashley Bretland, Kyle Fuchs and Jim Cunningham, have conducted extensive research on area jurisdiction nuisance ordinances. As a result of the investigation we have created a new nuisance ordinance which is in compliance with the goals and mission of the City of Middletown.


The committee recommends the adoption of the nuisance ordinance to remedy nuisance activities that occur throughout the city. The proposal will provide the City a process for abatement to better serve the community. Attachments: Proposed City Nuisance Ordinance Proposed Nuisance Abatement Ordinance 

Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Dec 05 2017 at 11:49pm
FYI - I spoke with Mr. Bohannon after the conclusion of tonight's council meeting.  FWIW - I think this is a nothing burger based upon his answer.  I didn't get his explicit approval to share his answer (forgot to ask) but anyone who wants to PM me, I'll be happy to share.


"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."—Henry David Thoreau

Posted By: Middletown29
Date Posted: Dec 06 2017 at 7:59am
Perhaps Mr. Bohannon could give his own explanation here?
What does he have to hide?
Illegal interest in a public contract?

Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Dec 06 2017 at 11:14pm
You know, I have gotten to know Mr. Bohannon over the last few months just by hanging around the council meetings and taking the time to reach out.

He's never not engaged with me regardless of the question.
He's never refused to talk with me about anything.
He's never hidden anything nor danced around any question I've ever asked.
He's not afraid to say he doesn't know - and put me in front of someone who does and he learns right with me.
He's without a doubt the most approachable member of council at the moment.
He's a businessman - and he can see any/all things through said prism (although he and I differ to some degree on these abatements and giveaways at times - at least he's got some courage to mess up the unanimous vote that Adkins so desires)

What's the beef?  He won an election to serve on council - and just like the rest - you know what to do if you want rid of him.....but I gotta ask, what's the problem?

We are talking about a landlord completing background checks on his tenants (something I think ALL of us can agree on)....what's the beef?  Seems more like some kind of a personal vendetta....

If you got dirt on someone, spill it.  Otherwise this seems kind of petty.

Have you called, emailed or otherwise contacted Mr. Bohannon for an explanation?  I think it might be enlightening!


"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."—Henry David Thoreau

Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Dec 07 2017 at 1:23pm
"at least he's got some courage to mess up the unanimous vote that Adkins so desires)"

Reading the workbook notes from each council meeting, historically, there is a unanimous 5-0 approval on any and all issues voted on. Most of the council members from the past 20+ years can be labeled as rubber stamping yes people. Again, the only council member in recent memory who has "rocked the boat" albeit briefly, was Laubach and he succumbed to the inner circle/backroom politic scrutiny after only one term. No one lasts if they don't go along with the program. It's an "All In The Family" environment between council and the city building personnel. No dissenters allowed.


"Have you called, emailed or otherwise contacted Mr. Bohannon for an explanation? I think it might be enlightening!"

Perhaps......On the other hand, Bohannon (and the other council members) can interact on this blog if they choose to do so and answer the concerns without direct contact. To date, and for the many years I have been on this site, there has been only two council members answer the many questions we have asked here and they would be Tony Marconi and Josh Laubach, years ago. Marcia Andrew did a great job from the school perspective but, apparently, the new school board president could care less what we have to say. To their credit, there have been several from city government that have answered as well.....

Doug Adkins
Chief Muterspaw

and, no doubt, a host of other officials who chose not to use their names here. I noticed Mr. Adkins has given up here as well. MUSA participants usually have issues with what the schools and the city government are doing to make this city healthy again. We have had some interaction, but, for the most part, it has not gone well and they leave the forum. I guess dissenting parties can't always work out an amicable solution. We are troublemakers to them and they are totally inept and out of control to us. When they do schedule a community meeting a handful of MUSA people come out at best. Java Johnnies was a prime example so I am told. We will never see eye to eye at this rate. Perhaps neither side has any intention of agreeing on any subject as it may be a sign of weakness. City leaders insist on having it their way. MUSA people, as citizens living here, want a different game plan. Kinda like the giant kid's sandbox in Washington between the two major parties isn't it? One party has the shovel and the pail and the other wants not one but both. MUSA/city government both having "my way or the highway" mindsets. No one wants to back down to achieve a working relationship. I am as guilty of it as anyone here. It is a shortcoming that is hard to overcome given all the destruction and mismanagement I have seen the last four decades to this once great city. Hard to trust people who have ruined your hometown. Sad.

I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.

Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Dec 08 2017 at 1:29am
This is why I keep asking - who is going to run?  Why don't you throw your name out there?  You'll have my vote.

"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."—Henry David Thoreau

Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Dec 08 2017 at 1:32pm
Originally posted by buddhalite buddhalite wrote:

This is why I keep asking - who is going to run?  Why don't you throw your name out there?  You'll have my vote.

1. Must take care of my paralyzed wife as a caregiver- top priority Takes alot of time to do so.

2. As a person who would "rock the boat", have a 180 degree focus for the city, oppose total downtown focus while giving equal time to the ENTIRE CITY and resist most of what is on the agenda, wouldn't accomplish anything without additional council members who would have the same agenda as I would present. Need a majority to be effective. They would hate me but I could care less. Wouldn't want the Laubach experience.

3. Too abrasive in my response to all the crapola that is spread within the halls of the city building and the council chamber. Just flat out don't mind what I say to people as I've gotten older. Some deserve it IMO. Rude to some. Direct with no nonsense to others. Don't care. Hardly politically correct and don't wish to be.

4. Just retired. Just left the "lack of common sense" working world after 50 years. Don't need the aggravation of dealing with the moronic thinking regarding council decisions.

5. They have the city so screwed up, it would take more than a few council terms and some cooperation to fix it all. A hopeless situation to those who would want to straighten this mess out.

6. Would want to fire the city manager and some city building buddies right out of the chute. Council should be the city manager's boss not the other way around. Place the so-called influential people living here who support the current administration in the back seat. Reduce the impact of the MMF. Severe but necessary beginning to the change the city needs right now. Clean house on council. Clean house in the city building. New format. New direction in thinking. Fix the basics first. Then, years from now, after stabilization, the fluff comes.

7. After council, we move to the school board and start changing the landscape of the poor educational system we have there. It isn't getting any better as to performance even with their new schools, new ideas and the endless line of cookie cutter superintendents they have hired. Poor is poor, new schools or old. The numbers don't lie.

Some city/school leaders just flat out don't want to face reality and don't like being reminded how bad the town has gotten. Denial is the city/school mantra. Never will be repaired if the problems are ignored while maintaining an "everything is beautiful" mentality. Sad seeing this in educated mature adults. JMO

I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.

Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Dec 08 2017 at 8:46pm
I get #1 - and I don't blame you.

I see nothing wrong with the rest of your points - in fact it almost mirrors my mocked-up platform.


"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."—Henry David Thoreau

Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Dec 09 2017 at 8:47am
probably best that no one from this forum seek a Council seat.
we need new younger minds determined to stress the positives of the area and unite/include every person and neighborhood in the big picture. + we need a more open and interactive city govt and forums for communication. remember the old phone co.slogan "Communication is the beginning of understanding"?

We all need to become better at constructively communicating with one another--too many smart/qualified/willing citizens are on the sidelines

let us hope that it happens--and soon!

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