Yost has friends

Matt Westerhold
Mar 24, 2014

 

It took the city years before it learned when Joe Yost wants to make a deal chances are the only person who will benefit is Joe Yost.

Yost's housing development on the Sandusky's west side off Venice Road -- Cold Creek Crossing -- never became what city officials and Yost envisioned, and he walked away.

Yost bought the old American Crayon building on Hayes Avenue at the subway but never redeveloped it, and then he walked away.

He bought Hopper's, the mobile home park at Tiffin Avenue and Venice Road, let if deteriorate for years, and then walked away.

Now he hopes to walk away from a felony theft charge filed after the city shut off the water at Hopper's because Yost failed to pay the water bill there, for years, even though he'd been colleting water payments from tenants in addition to rental fees and "purchase" payments for trailers with questionable titles.

And the attorney assigned to prosecute Yost wants to walk away with him.

"A mobile home park was bulldozed for $2,700? I'm not aware of that," special prosecutor Dean Holman said during a court hearing last week.

Yes, Dean, that's what appears to have happened, and not only were those residents of Hopper's victimized by Yost, so too were city taxpayers and every water customer. As the prosecutor, your job is to convict Yost, not defend him.

And you might have to take some time to carefully review the hard work the Sandusky Police Department did in preparing the evidence that was handed to you. They were willing to do that; your court appearance last week suggests you're not willing to follow through.

Estimates so far show Yost owes somewhere between $1.5 million to $2 million in back taxes, utility bills and who knows what else. Wherever there's a deal with Joe Yost, there's likely some unpaid money owed to some unhappy someone.

And that's likely just the beginning of the debt Yost will leave for others to pay, just as he left others to clean up and bulldoze the trailer park and the American Crayon building.

Tenants at Hopper's mobile home park know Joe Yost all too well, even though most never met him. Dozens of families were forced out of their homes last year after the city shut off the water to the trailer park.

Yost owed somewhere between $60,000 to $300,000 alone in unpaid water bills and penalties to the city for Hopper's, even though tenants paid him monthly fees and water bills for trailers he "sold" them. Many of those trailers were separately metered for water consumption with improper devices for measuring consumption.

The tenants say they paid, and Yost appears to have no record they didn't. Holman suggested during the court hearing Yost might agree to a plea deal as long as he avoids a prison sentence.

Holman should believe the tenants, and prosecute the case against Joe Yost rather than make a deal.

Sandusky police developed evidence that showed about $2,700 in receipts from some of those tenants showing they paid their water bills to Yost, but he never forwarded that money to the city. The fact that the other tenants didn't keep their receipts doesn't change the fact that Yost didn't pay the water bill he owed.

Holman should be advocating for the tenants and seeking a conviction on the charges presented to him. It's difficult to believe he doesn't understand that role, and if he doesn't want to do that he should get out of Dodge and let another prosecutor take the reigns of this case.

Advocate for the tenants and the residents of Sandusky, Mr. Prosecutor. They will be paying his bills for years to come. If you don't have time for this case, then resign from it.

Read more about Hopper's mobile home park

If anyone of those tenants had pulled the same kind of shell game Yost appears to have played they'd likely be sent to the Big House in a forced plea deal in short order. It's easier to convict disadvantaged people than it is to convict people, like Yost, who live in nice homes in comfortable surroundings.

Comments

Stop It

Amen.

MrSandusky

Dean Holman... That name should sound familiar to those of you that keep up with the news here in Sandusky. Why do we allow him in this county?

If the fix is in, our county calls on Dean Holman... Yost will walk, unless the public starts to squawk!

Babo

That's a good question for Judges Tone and Binette as they keep allowing him to represent the people of Erie County at Baxter's request.

samiam

One of the few times I agree with Matt.

jacksonbrowne

I agree Sam.

Hillside

Would think the people in Sandusky would be knocking on some doors and making a lot of noise. Makes you wonder how some people just always land on their feet. If Mr. Yost has a "nice home" and no funds to pay his bills that nice home should be sold and funds applied; of course the house may belong to a bank or his wife, if he has one. What exactly is the criteria for hiring assistant prosecutors in Sandusky???????

Babo

Holman shouldn't be involved in this case at all. As the full time prosecutor of Medina County, his loyalty is to the citizens of Medina County to provide full time service to that county. The fact is Holman's "appointment" as special prosecutor" by Baxter is illegal and it's just part of a long standing unlawful association between the two by which they cover up wrongdoing for each other. Every minute Holman spends in Erie County while on Medina time is a form of theft in office from the citizens of Medina because he isn't devoting himself to his job in Medina and Erie County isn't paying Medina for his services. http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/309.08

Moreover, a county prosecutor's jurisdiction is limited to the county in which he was elected and swore an oath to serve. A county prosecutor has no authority to employ any legal counsel including a special prosecutor to act for the county. That responsibility rests with the County Commissioners and the Administrative Judge of the Common Pleas Court. http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/305.14

The Commissioners are to hire an attorney with no ties to the prosecutor who claims to have a conflict, enter into a contract with that individual, and have that choice approved by the Judge who then administers the oath of office to the special prosecutor. The alternative is for the County prosecutor to request a special prosecutor from the AG's office which again must be approved by the Judge. The AG's office does have state wide jurisdiction.

Area county prosecutors in Erie, Sandusky and Ottawa counties IMO have made a mockery of the US Constitution, Ohio Constitution and Ohio Revised Code for years by using sock puppet special prosecutors like Holman whenever they need a friend protected or a political enemy targeted.

SamAdams

The most insane part of all of this -- never mind prosecutors, evictions, demolitions, sweetheart plea bargains, or anything else -- is that the case exists at all. If you or I didn't pay our water bill for a couple of months, we'd have our water shut off. If you or I didn't pay our property taxes for a couple of years, we'd see lawsuits, liens, and foreclosures. I'd really love an explanation from the City and the County as to why Mr. Yost is apparently "better" than all of the rest of us...!

Little Giant

RICO!!!!!!

Stop It

As I said in another post about him, Samantha. He has a few people's cajones in a vise ready to tighten at any given time. He can't be the only one who cashed in on those shady deals.

Babo

Here's a link to a page at the Ohio Secretary of State's website listing companies that Joe Yost owns. Note that former Law Director for Sandusky Duffield Milkie and now in house counsel to Cedar Fair represented Yost.

Milkie resigned as Agent for some of Yost's companies but not all last August. (As an aside you got to love the fact that Milkie lists his office on "Shady" Lane) Milkie's former law firm also included Kevin Zeiher who was involved in the Metro Parks Greenway disaster by which so many lawyers profited. http://www2.sos.state.oh.us/pls/...

His business affairs are very complicated and without a doubt way beyond the abilities of state law enforcement to unravel. This looks to me like a made to order case for the criminal division of the IRS and the US Attorney's office.

Factitious

Not a good link. Please consider posting the link to the query page, and the search parameters you ran.

Babo

Odd, it works when I click it. Anyway here's another link:

http://www2.sos.state.oh.us/pls/...

That should lead you to the business name search inquiry. Enter incorporator in the type box and then Joseph F. Yost for name in the Agent/Incorporator box and hit search.

That should lead you to a list of businesses that Yost owns. Some are active while others have been cancelled. You can then click on a business and then download Articles of Incorporation/formation and Agents for each business entity.

Brick Hamland

Babo- if you understand how the state filings work you would know it is not uncommon to have the attorney that set up the corporation act as the statutory agent. If you are suggesting that Mr. Milkie made money from Mr. Yost I think that is inaccurate. I am willing to bet that that Mr. Milkie's customary legal fee's in representing Mr. Yost went unpaid and the law firm took a loss on Yost- just like everyone else. You would be able to check that by looking at Yost's bankruptcy filing and look at the schedule of debts that were discharged.

Babo

Sure and he filed Bankruptcy and none of the companies he had an interest in were liquidated to pay off creditors? Fact is he hasn't filed personal bankruptcy and creditors such as the City of Sandusky ought to force him into an involuntary bankruptcy so they can start going after his personal assets.

Of course I know how state filings work. I also know that the lawyer who does the filings is also usually corporate counsel for the companies. I also know that attorney client privilege is a wonderful way to conceal corrupt activity. I also know that Sandusky City Law Directors and County prosecutors have looked the other way for years as fellow lawyers and or their clients continue to drain the city and county through self dealing.

Again, there has to be a lot of undeclared income in this morass of filings and that my friend is criminal tax evasion.

Julie R.

"I also know that attorney client privilege is a wonderful way to conceal corrupt activity."

You sure did get that right! Ever notice how often Baxter & Co.'s favorite Lorain County law firm uses that attorney/client privilege crap?

holysee

Yost is subjected to a different set of rules just like all rich and connected people. Anyone who hasn't learned this is living in a cave. The way the Yost case is being handled is predictable and common. Holman and people like him don't really like to see their peers subjected to common justice, but rather elite justice with an alternate set of rules.
Large money changes the person and the RULES he lives by.
HAPPENS EVERYWHERE EVERYDAY AND IT IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Jim Lahey

I know that if I don't pay my water bill or electric bill after a couple months, I get those things shut off. You would think if the guy was paying for the entire park every month the city would have stopped service. Or at least picked up the phone and called someone. The sad part is the city of Sandusky and the residents will be the one's to eat that bill, and no one did anything to prevent it.

FlyBoy86

I bet you know a few things about trailer parks, eh Lahey?

Jim Lahey

Me, Julian, Ricky, and Bubbles

Brick Hamland

Yost's demise is similar to a lot of real estate investors that purchased real estate prior to 2008. When property values went down they took large losses and some were unable to meet obligations- just like Yost. I am unsure why the city would not have turned the water off long before it did. Cold Creek could have been a nice development, I looked at buying a house back there but when I found out the assessments associated with the purchase it turned out to be a terrible deal. Too bad too because there are some good people living back there. I don't intend to imply Yost is a victim, as he is a shady character and when the bottom fell out he would have done anything to make ends meet. One statement I found interesting in the article is if he was on the hook for $60,000 to $300,000 in unpaid water bills and they could only come up with proof of $2,700.... that seems a little light

sandusky boyz

...

slightthroat212

Tell me again why BAXTER isn't doing this court work?????? Why he is bringing in someone else? Hasn't he anyone within his OWN office that can prosecute this guy?????? what is wrong with this town? You people need to make some BIG noise and stop letting these rich people get away with this. Show up in court. Make noise about it. Go to the paper and have Mr. Westerhold help you out. Protest. March on the courthouse or the paper and make waves. Even if only 10 of you did this, you would have it made in the shade with the paper covering it. Do what is necessary. I am moving out of town this weekend to my new home. You good citizens do what you need to for YOUR town and don't let them get you. Make it work for YOU. good luck.

Babo

People did complain about it but Baxter had them criminally charged and imprisoned to protect the system.