Monday, August 3, 2015

True Confessions Of Ben Holder: Episode 8

When I began this series, True Confession Of Ben Holder it was because I believed Ben was finally ready to tell the world the answers to a list of questions involving the stories Ben has "broken" as an activist, journalist and blogger. How was I to know that his intentions were no more than to threaten, curse me out and berate me?

Okay, I know what you're thinking, threatening, cursing and berating has been Ben Holder's Modus operandi for as long as any of us have ever heard of him, why should I expect any different? Right?

And amazingly, every time I get close to finding the answers to questions concerning Ben Holder I end up stumbling upon more questions. For example: did you know Ben Holder seems to think he runs the City of Greensboro. During the recent appointment of the new Chief of Police, Mr Holder got angry because he was not allowed to participate in the process of choosing our new Chief of Police.

Can I prove that? I sure can, you only need click here to read this e-mail sent to Mayor Vaughan, Councilman Barber, Donnie Turlington and Sarah Healy.

Now I ask you, why would Ben Holder's name come up in a conversation about who the Greensboro Police Department was going to appoint to be the new Chief of Police? Ben has never Ben a police officer, Ben has a felony Correction: criminal record. And as far as I know Ben Holder was never reported by any of the local MSM outlets as being considered for the job.

Methinks Ben is delusional. Or it brings up the long held political adage, "How do you get rid of an activist? You give him a job."

Which brings up another question Ben has long refused to answer: With Ben being so close to the edge why did Mayor Vaughan, Councilman Barber and Skip Alston all 3 sign a letter of referral so that Ben could get a 6 month gig working in code enforcement with the City of Greensboro just last year right after Ben and 4 of his friends signed papers saying Heritage House was unfit to live in? Were they paying Ben back for helping them work out a land grab? Giving him a job?

And don't you find it interesting that Skip Alston is brokering the deal to sell Heritage House even before the City of Greensboro has legal possession of the property?

So to learn more I sent the following Public Information Request to the City of Greensboro:

"The following link displays an e-mail from Ben Holder that was sent to Sarah Healey, Nancy Vaughan, Mike Barber and Donnie Turlington:

It appears Mr Holder has some concerns about who was appointed Chief of Police and considers himself in a position to be able to dictate who runs the City of Greensboro and is upset that then Interim Chief Anita Holder has left him out of the process.

Last I checked Ben was neither elected nor appointed to any position with the City of Greensboro.

Now on to my actual PIRT request: I would like all the information that was made available to Mr Holder as per his request.

I'm sorry I don't have a PIRT # to give you as I'm sure that would make your job easier.

Thanks -Billy"

So is Ben Holder simply suffering from delusions of grandeur, a god complex, therefore feeling the need to strike down with impunity anyone who questions his deeds and authority?

Or is Ben Holder caught up in something bigger, afraid to tell the truth for fear he too might be implicated, perhaps even arrested and carried to jail, the fall guy while the real criminals get away.And are Mayor Vaughan, Councilman Barber and Skip Alston the real criminals?

I've asked Ben to answer my questions. He has chosen instead to tell his own story. So we'll work with what Ben gives us.

Currently Ben is telling his story over at his blog, the Troublemaker, in a piece titled Hush Money, Part 1 where he tries to make himself out as some sort of a hero for cleaning up derelict and blighted properties. He even includes a video of himself illegally breaking and entering into a property Ben identifies as being located at 2415 Charlotte Street and pointing out all the problems he has found with the property but did you happen to notice the new kitchen counters or the new dishwasher with the tape and sales stickers still intact at 02:31 in Ben's video? Here's a screen grab taken from Ben's video just in case you missed it. As with all my screen grabs you can click on it to make it bigger.

Now wait a minute, who puts a new dishwasher in an apartment they don't intend to fix? Yeah, I see lots of problems with that address beginning with Ben Holder breaking down the door.

From Ben's post on the subject:

"After Mitch was removed for the office of city manager, The city brought in Rashad Young as the city manager.  Shortly after his arrival, I was contacted by the city and was told that the new management team wanted to find a better way to work with me.  They wanted to know what I thought of that.  I detailed to several staff members how I could easily and effectively help them fight blight in district 1.  Never once was it mentioned I couldn't blog, talk to media or the police.  They just wanted to see what I could actually do in regards to helping the city.

A model project was started where I would go out and find nuisances.  If the nuisance I reported was not listed by anyone else, I would get the contract to clean it IF the owner didn't clean it themselves in the allotted time.  The city would get 100's of free inspections and re-inspections.  I worked with the police and cleaned up several of Greensboro's most horrible situations.  I was a beast on blight and everyone knew if they wanted something done, they should call me.  I took a camera with me just about everywhere I went to document and show people had bad things were.  Below is one of the videos taken during that time."

Rashad Young left the City of Greensboro in 2011. And Ben was kicking down the doors of unoccupied apartment buildings in 2011 while the owners were attempting to repair them.

So who owned the property at 2415 Charlotte Street? According to the Guilford County Register of Deeds as of July 29, 2011 that property belongs to none other than the City of Greensboro funded, taxpayer supported East Market Street Development Corporation who was at the time working to rebuild the property

And Ben Holder was running up the bill kicking down doors and tearing things up after EMSDC had already started trying to fix the place up. Smooth move, Benny Boy.

Seriously Ben, you solve problems by breaking down doors of already condemned apartments already being repaired at taxpayer expense by kicking in doors? Did you not see the yellow condemned signs on every door you walked in 'cause your audience damned sure saw them?

Ben Holder fails to take into account all that is involved in rehabbing any structure. Take for instance the following August 3, 2015 facebook post by Eric Robert. Eric is complaining that the City won't allow him to go ahead and start repairs on a building Eric has just bought.

Here's a photo of the recently refurbished Jonesboro Landing (Ben's infamous 2415 Charlotte Street) which were reopened on Thursday, March 1, 2012 snagged from Google maps:

Did you notice in Ben's video that even the grass wasn't all that very high outside the apartments?

It's not uncommon to find pizza boxes and wine bottles laying around construction sites. Construction workers have to eat and a few of them have been known to drink cheap wine. Not all, but a few-- what was Ben Holder drinking? Many of the migrant workers hired to work in construction these days choose to live on the very sites on which the work in conditions most of us would find to be quite deplorable. Many of my years in trucking was spent delivering construction materials to job sites. Often I would arrive in the middle of the night hours before my delivery appointment only to find construction workers and their entire families living on site. And then there are also the squatters who will come if construction workers aren't allowed to live on site.

From the Jonesboro Landing website:

Scroll back up, wasn't that new dishwasher I snagged from Ben's video also black?

I left a comment on Ben's blog post, let's see how long it stays there.

To add insult to injury, Ben claims to have run a company called NC Housing, Inc from his home address at 1306 Oak Street. Well if Ben ever told the truth he told it when he said he doesn't read my blog otherwise he would have known I search the NC Secretary of State website anytime a corporate name comes up in one of my investigations and I found no NC Housing, Inc but you are welcome to try. I also searched for North Carolina Housing, Inc but it didn't come up that way either.

Has Ben Holder been ripping off the State of North Carolina, not filing his incorporation papers, pocketing his share of his taxes and not carrying his weight? I sent the following public information request to the City of Greensboro to find out.

"Howdy, howdy, howdy!!!

And a wonderful day it is!

Please send me all information concerning Greensboro City Business with a company called NC Housing, Inc.

Please include e-mails, contracts, billing, invoices, insurance records, payments, videos, photographs and any other documents you may stumble across.

Thanks -Billy Jones"

Now Ben does write:

"Please note that they got my business name wrong and I never claimed to the city to be an LLC. That would be their mistake, just in case anyone wants to jump all over me for that. "

Well for starters the letter says "Inc". not "LLC"  as Ben wrote (I snagged a screen grab in case he changes it.) but if Ben never made any claim to a business name then where did the City come up with a business name? Does the City have someone on payroll who thinks up business names for people like Ben Holder who can't think up their own business names?

Yeah, I kinda doubt it too.

Good job, Ben, I look forward to Part 2. That is: if you have the balls to post it. Remember: the more you lie the easier my job gets. You'd be a lot better off to start answering my questions instead of giving me more things to question you about, Benny boy.

Continued in True Confessions Of Ben Holder: Episode 9