CLAYTON JOHNSON, MASTER SWINDLER
Who started these lies? We want a new building?
We need to rehab the Martings Building? We must
move out of our present building? By Austin Leedom
by Moezine Productions.
News and Opinion by Austin Leedom, July 25, 2005
Clay Johnson, the man who sold the over-priced
Martings Building to the City of Portsmouth in May
2002, as he
appeared at an alleged forum at Portsmouth High
February, 2005. This is the man who swindled $2
Dollars from the citizens of this city. Many
people believe that
criminal prosecution is long overdue for Clay Johnson,
Greg Bauer and their City Council accomplices in the
Martings embezzlement and they believe the Two Million
Dollars should be returned to the City of
Johnson is the agent for dozens of dubious
corporations. He has allegedly become a
while working "for the betterment of Portsmouth"
as leader of the Southern Ohio Growth Program (SOGP)/
Chamber of Commerce,/ Martings Foundation and many
other "non-profit" secretive groups allegedly striving
"the betterment of Portsmouth." During the past
hundreds of millions of dollars in grant money
from the federal government have disappeared into the
coffers of the SOGP. A few elite,
over-privileged accomplices of Johnson have prospered
while the "rest of us' have become impoverished and
City has withered. Clay Johnson has refused to
account for the money that has been
sent here for the benefit of the City of
Portsmouth. Recent actions by Clay Johnson
indicate he has no intention of returning any of the
money he bilked from the City in the Martings fraud
and also indicate Jim Kalb is still an accomplice with
Johnson, as he was in the Grand Theft in 2002
Many citizens now know that Clay Johnson has been
caught stealing from us, and they believe the entire
$2 Million, plus interest should be returned, and
Johnson and associates should be charged with grand
Why should Johnson and Gang escape the law?
Crooked public officials and big time corporate
thieves have been going to prison in record numbers
Read the controversial agreements Mayors Bauer and
Kalb have entered into with C. Clayton
Johnson/SOGP/Marting Brothers and Neal Hatcher/Big
Time Developer with "Eminent Domain." Both
Hatcher and Johnson are involved in both deals; both
contracts are beneficial to Hatcher and Johnson; both
deals are detrimental and injurious to the city and
Friday,August 12, 2005
Written by Andrew Feight –
copied from Moe’s Forum by Austin Leedom
This Martings controversy just makes little sense to
me. It really borders on a madness. Why can't Kalb and
the others just admit the whole thing was a huge
mistake from the get-go? Judge Marshall's ruling was
the chance to rectify the whole situation. The
original deal was voided. So what insanity has got us
to the point where the city council is once again
voting on whether or not to renovate the martings
We all know about the backroom dealing, the overvalued
appraisal, the violations of Ohio open meetings laws,
etc. The city's taxpayers were swindled. The
Portsmouth Daily Times' Rick Greene claims that there
is no corruption in city government. What a joke! With
the help of city officials like Jim Kalb, Greg Bauer,
Ann Sydnor, Carol Caudill, and David Kuhn, the
Martings Foundation unloaded a decrepit building and
bankrupt business and walked away with 2 million
dollars in tax payers's money. And in spite of Judge
Marshall's ruling, which was suppose to have voided
the sale, the Martings Foundation still has that 2
Rick Greene says that there is a vocal minority out
here who wants to stack city council to vote in a
certain way. Is that not what the martings foundation
supporters also want? There is a battle going on and,
contrary to the opinion of Rick Greene, it is not just
a minority of people out here who think that any
council member who votes to renovate that
asbestos-filled building deserves to be denounced.
From what I've read the Martings Foundation is little
more than a front for the business interests of
Clayton Johnson. I've heard him described, not just in
the pages of the Sentinel or here on Moe's Forum, but
by local business owners, as the one man who runs this
town. To be honest, I find it kind of hard to believe,
that Portsmouth has such a powerful boss. We all like
to believe that there is a weak, little man behind the
curtain, controlling things. And Rick Greene says
there is no such man. Yet, it does seem that it is
Clayton Johnson who walked away with the $2 million.
Where is Judge Marshall on all of this?
As for Tim Loper.... If he votes to renovate the
Martings building he deserves to be ridiculed and
There is no good reason for the city of Portsmouth to
do a damn thing with that building.
From Moe’s Forum August 10, 2005
Revitalization of the downtown would be nice maybe. I
really like the convenience of CVS and a good
restaurant or bar but to try and make things like they
used to be may not be wise. People like new things and
places and hate traffic congestion. I for one like to
pay my water bill at the present location. I don't
like walking into municipal building at all. It only
stands for corruption and blind justice and really
makes me sick to even drive by the place. Why stick it
in the middle of something your trying to revitalize.
Why would anybody want the stench of city hall in the
middle of his or her cities beautiful downtown. It's a
disgusting thought. That bunch of crooks doesn’t
deserve a building, except one with bars in the
windows. They are violating a judge’s order to even
enter that building at all.
What part of null and void don't they understand? No
matter where the build or what they build it will only
be the same degrading structure that we have now moved
somewhere else. Put them in the old Naval Reserve by
the sewage treatment, where the smell will fit in.
Pray to the lord it doesn’t happen in our beautiful
historic downtown area that's revitalizing it's self
as we speak. Slowly but surely, the downtown is coming
back in a way that is appropriate for the times and I
only see the SOGP trying to CODLOCK that, by forcing
their will on the people, by shoving that Marting's
building down our throats to control the downtown as
they have for many years, which has kept the downtown
from coming back. Example of this can be found at the
Columbia Music Hall, which will open for business in
about thirty days, after all the efforts of SOGP and
City Hall to prevent this from happening, have failed.
I for one do not want to see a city hall filled with
crooked officials at all. Especially not down town as
a shrine. They should be housed underground somewhere.
Please don't be offended if you work there now and
have an honest job and do it honestly, for I know some
of you do and are fine people and you know you are
surrounded by slime.
The SOGP only wants the river front property of the
present municipal building for a casino and to rid
their Martings foundation of it's debts. If they had
the city's interest at heart they would do any thing
for her, not just insist on this illegal purchase be
sanctified and made holy. These people are bad people
and it has been proved in court and showed by way of
live videos. Their interest is not in our best
interest. From Moezine Productions.
DOUG DEEPE AGAINST
LATEST KALB PLAN
Article written by Austin Leedom at 2:00 a.m. Friday,
July 29, 2005.
Investigative Reporter Doug Deepe said yesterday, “How
stupid can Jim Kalb be?” “This is the dumbest
thing he has ever done,” said Doug. “He plans to
move city workers into
that building without cleaning up the asbestos.
He has no concern for the health of the workers; he is
willing to kill people off. Fifteen to twenty
years from now people will be dead from cancer from
exposure to the carcinogens.
Does he know or believe the scandal that he’s been
bought off? Is he part of it? When Jim
signed that contract (new contract with Clay Johnson)
he assumed liability for the City,” said Doug.
Mayor Jim Kalb and SOGP Boss Clay Johnson had planned
to tear down the old Marting Building and build a new
structure for a City Hall. Then, during a
meeting Saturday night with the Citizens for
Responsible Government, Kalb learned that the Citizens
had a copy of the 27-page EPA report that declares the
Marting building is filled with asbestos. Jim
Kalb has had a copy of this report for over a year,
but didn’t publicly share this information with
Realizing that citizens were now aware of the asbestos
and would be scrutinizing any destruction of the
building to ascertain that proper procedures for
removing the asbestos were followed, Kalb changed his
mind about constructing a new building and now plans
to make minor remediation and move employees into the
Kalb has repeatedly reported that asbestos removal
from the Marting building would cost a very small sum,
perhaps five to eight thousand dollars. Kalb
should have known better, maybe he did, maybe he was
simply misinforming the public.
Although the ownership of the Marting Building is
doubtful Kalb has been insistent in attempts to add
real estate taxes onto the citizens to rebuild on the
Marting site since he admittedly met secretly with
Clay Johnson, and made a “deal” in December 2004.
According to the ruling of the Scioto County Common
Pleas Court in November 2004, the building is now the
property of Clay Johnson, who is also known as Marting
Foundation, Marting Brothers, Southern Ohio Growth
Partnership, and other shell corporations.
Jim Kalb admits meeting with Clay Johnson recently and
signing a contract overruling the Court order and
taking title to the Marting Building again, in return
for a promise by Clay Johnson to return $1.4 Million
dollars of the $2. Million that Johnson defrauded from
the city in 2002, in a “deal” that Kalb helped
engineer. In this latest contract Jim Kalb
forgave Clay Johnson and all others involved in the
theft of city funds of all sins, “from the beginning
of the world to the date of this agreement,” and he
took possession of the building for the City.
Acceptance of the ”deal” from Clay Johnson was a good
deal for Johnson, but a lousy one for the citizens of
Portsmouth. With any possession of the structure
also comes the liability of ownership. The
fire-damaged building, filled with asbestos and other
hazardous materials is a decrepit, deteriorating
structure that possibly could endanger citizens.
It must be either be maintained or destroyed. A
big added advantage for Clay Johnson was that he could
claim a major IRS deduction for his "generosity" in
"giving" some of ill-gotten gains to the city if
the building was going to be used by the City
Clay Johnson had a real problem when his crooked deal
of 2002 was declared null and void by the court in
November 2004. Johnson then had a building he
could not sell (to anyone but Jim Kalb). He did
not want to spend the money to tear the building down
and remove the asbestos properly, and did not want the
building to stand as an eyesore on Chillicothe
Street. Also, he did not want to pay taxes on
the building. (Clay Johnson has an almost new
office building valued at $650,000 at Sixth and
Washington Street on which he pays zero taxes.
He has tax abatement on that structure.)
Only after the Common Pleas Court delared the sale
illegal and possible prosecution arose did Clay
Johnson make any move to make any amends for his
crime. Johnson needed another sucker; he called
for Mayor Jim Kalb, one of his lead conspirators in
the 2002 "deal." Kalb rushed to Clay's office
and they made another secret "deal."
Let us now take a look at renovation in Columbus and
see what is happening elsewhere.
Seneca Hotel Renovation in Columbus To Cost $15
According to report by the Columbus Dispatch
$1.9 Million for Asbestos Removal alone.
The complete article on the Seneca Hotel can by read
by linking onto MartingJohnson
(In the July 28, 2005 edition of the Columbus Dispatch
there is an article about the old Seneca Hotel, which
stands East of the State House in downtown
Columbus. A private person sold this building,
which covers half a city block on some of the most
valuable land in the State in October 2004 to a
developer for $1.5 Million.
An initial estimate for remediation of this building
was $300,000, but after the asbestos was discovered,
cleanup costs increased to $1.9 Million. The new
owner has applied for a $1.9 million grant from the
Ohio Department of Development to get rid of the
asbestos. (Kalb apparently has never thought of
getting grant funds to help with renovation of the
Marting building; he has only asked for huge increases
in real estate taxes from the already overburdened
Total costs for complete renovation of the Seneca
Hotel are predicted to be $15 Million. (The
Marting renovation is estimated to be as high as $12.5
Perhaps Jim Kalb will reconsider and not place our
City workers in the Marting Building without removing
all existing health hazards.
This article written by Austin Leedom at 2:00
a.m. Friday, July 29, 2005.
The article below was copied from Pages D1 and D2 of
the Columbus Dispatch, dated Thursday, July 28,
by Austin Leedom.
Plans are afoot to convert the historic Seneca Hotel
Published: Thursday, July 28, 2005
By Mike Pramik
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
1917: Seneca Hotel, designed by noted architect Frank
Packard, opens in September with 250 rooms, a dining
room, three party rooms and a rooftop garden.
1922: The University Club of Columbus establishes
itself at the Seneca. The club closed in 1996.
1967: Building converted to a dormitory for students
attending the Nationwide Beauty Academy and other
1973: Ohio Environmental Protection Agency uses the
Seneca as its headquarters.
1987: Ohio EPA moves out.
1989: Proposal to turn Seneca into low-income housing
1991: Cincinnati company makes bid to buy the Seneca
from a trust, tear it down and build a parking lot;
1991: Central Ohio brothers Robert and Samuel C.
Shamansky buy the Seneca for $300,000 and announce
plans to convert it to apartments.
1995: City building inspectors ask to have the Seneca
declared a public nuisance after exterior damage goes
1996: Shamanskys seek permit to demolish the building.
1998: Demolition permit denied by Columbus Board of
1999: City and Shamanskys agree on modifications to
keep hotel safe.
2002: Samuel C. Shamansky dies.
2002: Seneca sold: Robert Shamansky and Don M. Casto
Organization invest $510,000 as part of court-ordered
split of the Shamanskys' property.
2004: Casto redevelopment plans for Seneca fall
2004: Campus Apartments
buys Seneca, announces plans to convert it to
apartments, retail shops and offices.
Source: Dispatch research
Leaky pipes have destroyed the ceilings, moisture has
ruined the hardwood floors, and asbestos has spoiled
But the Seneca Hotel, described as an eyesore even by
its owner, one day could be a place that people will
be happy to call home.
With a little help from the state, potentially.
Campus Apartments Inc. is asking the Ohio Department
of Development for nearly $1.9 million in Clean Ohio
Revitalization Fund money to rid the Seneca of
asbestos. The grant would kick-start a rebirth of the
88-year-old building that was last used in 1987 as
headquarters of the Ohio Environmental Protection
The money is essential to moving the project forward,
said David Adelman, president of Campus Apartments.
The Philadelphia-based company acquired the Seneca in
October for $1.5 million from Columbus lawyer Robert
"Based on where the local rental market is in Columbus
and the cost of construction, it's a tough balance,''
Adelman said. "If we don't get this grant we'll have
to wait until the rental market picks up'' to begin.
Adelman, a 1994 Ohio State University graduate, plans
to gut the Seneca and construct 96 apartments and
15,000 square feet of retail shops and offices. He
predicts market demand from Downtown college and
university students, and workers in the Discovery
Rent would cost about $1.25 per square foot.
Campus Apartments plans to spend a little more than $1
million to clean up the Seneca and more than $10.2
million for its redevelopment. The state grant and
cost of the building, combined with more than $175,000
offered by Columbus for streetscape improvements,
would push the total project cost to more than $15
Adelman was in Columbus this week showing the building
to interested parties, including representatives of
Columbus, the Ohio EPA, the Ohio Department of
Development and Capital University.
Joseph Reidy, a lawyer at Schottenstein, Zox &
Dunn who's representing Campus Apartments, said
initial estimates for the Seneca's remediation were
$300,000. But after inspectors found that the plaster
in the hotel's ceilings and walls were riddled with
asbestos, cleanup costs increased to nearly $1.9
The Seneca is competing with 26 other projects,
including four from Franklin County, for about $40
million in the current round of Clean Ohio money. The
grants are expected to be awarded in December.
Columbus has proposed granting more than $175,000 for
streetscape improvements at the Seneca, said Bob
McLaughlin, the city's Downtown development manager.
It also has abated property taxes on the site for 10
years. The grant would require approval by the
Columbus City Council.
Capital University, which owns land next to the
Seneca, is solidly behind the project, said Jack
Guttenberg, dean of Capital University Law School.
"It provides very easy access to high-quality housing
for our students. They could wake up and be in school
in five minutes.''
Noted architect Frank Packard designed the Seneca in
1917. It was the city's first high-rise hotel and is
punctuated by white terra cotta adornments.
The building's use as a hotel gradually began to wane,
and the Ohio EPA took it over in 1973. In 1987 the
Seneca was boarded up when the EPA moved to Watermark
Drive, and succeeding owners pledged to renovate the
They never did, though.
The Seneca almost fell victim to the wrecking ball on
The most-recent reclamation attempt came after
developer Don Casto and former owner Robert Shamansky
combined to buy it in 2002. They declined to renovate,
citing a lack of parking in the area.
But Adelman says he's not worried about parking. He
said he has talked with Capital University about
converting one of its lots to a parking structure if
"We think that this building is getting the
much-deserved attention that's long overdue,'' said
Kate Matheny, executive director of the Columbus
Landmarks Foundation. "It's not only reuse of a
fabulous building but it's . . . a good model of how
you can renovate a building using
historic-preservation standards and make it very
Matt Fergus, an environmental specialist at HZW
Environmental Consultants of Mentor, said the building
has a convenient space between the 10th floor and the
roof for new mechanicals that would provide the Seneca
with cool air, heat and water. A huge tank that was
used to supply the hotel's guests with running water
still stands near the roof but will be dismantled and
The Seneca's interior is covered with ragged
carpeting. There's peeling paint over most of the
walls, and several ceilings have been rotted by water
that leaked from abandoned pipes.
To make matters worse, some leftover plumbing fixtures
were used by vagrants long after water was shut off,
making remediation a health hazard.
"This is an unbelievable mess, isn't it?'' said one
participant in Adelman's recent tour.
Adelman, whose firm has $250 million in real-estate
assets, said he would like to start the remediation
effort in December. It would last three or four
months, then the interior would be cleared.
Adelman insists that he will follow through with the
Seneca's rebirth, unlike those who failed to do so.
"A lot of people told me an out-of-towner couldn't get
a deal done with (Shamansky) because no one in town
could,'' Adelman said. "Let's just say I was
Copied by Austin Leedom from Columbus Dispatch, Pages
Dl and D2, dated July 28, 2005
This article written by Austin Leedom after receiving
news of Kalb’s change of plans from Doug Deepe
–Wednesday, 27 July, 2005 at 4:20 p.m. Re-posted 9:20
"Kalb don't care."
KALB CONTINUES THE CLAY JOHNSON/MARTING PROJECT, BUT
WITH A CHANGE OF PLANS.
Despite the recall of one Mayor and two councilmen
last year, the promised recall of four more
councilmen, plus the Solicitor, and in arrogant
disregard of the wishes of two-thirds of the citizens,
Jim Kalb has persisted in following the dictates of
our unelected criminal king-pin leader, Clay
Kalb’s plan will cost the citizens over 12 Million in
new real estate taxes, but “Kalb don’t care”.
Clay Johnson doesn’t pay any taxes on his nearly new
$650,000 office building; he has tax abatement, so
“Clay don’t care,” either.
Clay Johnson sold the Martings Building to the City in
2002 through the conspiracy of a corrupted Mayor
(Greg Bauer, now recalled) and the corrupt Council led
by then-Council President Jim Kalb. By default
Kalb is now Mayor.
The Common Pleas Court ruled the deal was crooked in
November 2004 and ordered the building returned to
Clay Johnson. Johnson is also known as boss of
SOGP, Chamber of Commerce, Retail Merchants, Martings
Brothers, Martings Foundation and a dozen other
questionable groups. Johnson doesn’t want the
old building; it is filled with asbestos that may cost
up to $2 Million to remove.
Johnson and Kalb have recently made another backroom,
secret deal to return the building to the city
again. Kalb signed a deal in which he gave full
absolution to Clay Johnson. Jim Kalb gave
“forgiveness from the beginning of time,” for all sins
or crimes committed by Clay Johnson and his henchmen
and for Greg Bauer, Jim Kalb and all other
conspirators connected with the $2 Million crime in
the sale and purchase of the Marting Building in
CLAY CAN’T AFFORD THE OLD BUILDING AND HE CAN’T SELL
IT TO ANYONE BUT JIM KALB
Clay Johnson doesn’t want the expense of removing the
asbestos; he can’t sell the building. In a
benefit forum for Clay Johnson at Portsmouth
High School in February 2005 Johnson confessed he had
earlier tried to sell the building for $900,000 to a
group of out-of-town merchants. Johnson boasted
he had hired women to carry shopping bags and walk up
and down in front of the Marting building while the
prospective buyers were in town in an attempt to
mislead the prospective purchasers into thinking
Martings was a going, prosperous business. The
prospective buyers didn’t fall for the ruse and
according to Clay Johnson, “left town without even
When Clay Johnson’s attempt to defraud the out-of town
merchants failed Johnson then made backroom deals with
Jim Kalb, Greg Bauer and other rascals to sell the
building to the taxpayers of Portsmouth for
$2.Million. When the dirty deal was finally
announced to the public Jim Kalb, as Council
President, proudly took credit for promoting the scam,
according to frontpage articles in the Community
Common on April 24, 2002
KALB HAS REPEATEDLY ATTEMPTED TO GET COUNCIL TO VOTE
FOR MORE REAL ESTATE TAXES SO HE CAN BEGIN WORK ON THE
MARTINGS BUILDING. KALB OPENLY CONFESSED IN
COUNCIL MEETING, THAT HE DID NOT INTEND TO HAVE BIDS
ON ANY CONTRACTED WORK ON THIS PROJECT. HE WOULD
CHOOSE CONTRACTORS WITHOUT ANY BIDDING.
(easier to make deals when no one is watching)
The JIM KALB/CLAY JOHNSON proposals have been
supported by Council President Howard Baughman, a
close relative of Clay Johnson, Sixth Ward Councilman
Marty Mohr, who publicly and proudly boasted of his
back room meeting with Clay Johnson in December 2004
and Fourth Ward Councilman Jerrold Albrecht; (Mohr has
boasted, “I have Albrecht in my pocket,”) and Second
Ward Council David Malone who supported the
Kalb/Johnson proposal until citizens filed recall
action against him last month. Two honest
councilmen, Tim Loper and Bob Mollette have opposed
the expenditure of funds for Kalb/Johnson plans for
the Marting Building. Mollette has said that the
people will have to pay and they should have a right
to vote on the project. Mollette said citizens
should have a voice in government,
not be victims of city government.
KALB SAYS CITIZENS WON’T GET TO VOTE ON PLAN
Kalb has publicly announced at a council meeting, he
doesn’t intend to ever let the people have a vote on
his plans to put them in debt. The citizens of
Portsmouth are going to have City offices at the site
of the Martings Building, whether they like it not,
according to Kalb
KALB NOW PLANS TO PUT CITY WORKERS IN HAZARDOUS OLD
BUILDING. “KALB DON’T CARE.”
Mayor Jim Kalb has privately said that he has changed
his mind about tearing down the old Martings Building
and building a new structure there. It is the
best thing for Clay Johnson and Jim Kalb; the "rest of
us" will get massive increases in real estate tax for
the next twenty-five years. Kalb knows of the
danger of exposure to asbestos but is willing to place
the health of city workers in jeopardy for the sake of
Clay Johnson's continued enrichment at our expense.
“Kalb don’t care;” Clay don’t care.”
This article written by Austin Leedom after receiving
news of Kalb’s change of plans from Doug Deepe
–Wednesday, 27 July, 2005 at 4:20 p.m. Re-posted 9:20
Item below was copied From Doug’s
Forum 25 February, 2005 at 3:00 p.m. – A posting by
Lee Scott Feb
25, 05 - 2:35 AM Update - Lawsuit will be ready
today for filing. We will win!!!!
Barring any unseen problems, the
citizens’ lawsuit to recoup our 2m+ will be filed
today. I was told that we were getting a new offer
presented by the end of the week. Now I understand
that this is really no new offer but a revamping of
the last and Martings will still be in control. A
resounding NO IS THE ANSWER FROM THE CITIZENS!!!! We
do not want these people ruling our city behind the
scenes any more. This had a way to be solved last
week by letting the citizens have their vote but it
was jerked away at the last minute by Judas Malone
and Little Dictator Mohr. Of course, Baughman was on
their side but what would you expect, if this is not
family enrichment to the tune of an immediate 2m
(and a lot more to steal if we let them get by with
this one) then there is no such thing as dishonesty
in our government. I became really angry during the
last recalls as I had stated at that time, "We have
taken out the boil and now we need to clean up the
infection." Well folks, we left Baughman in there
now it has infected Mohr & Malone. I guess I was
right after all, but not to gloat, let’s fix it.
When we get the suit filed, it is time to work on
other areas like our charter. Once we succeed with
this civil action, hopefully it will not only bring
in the state but will land a few in prison.
Above Copied from Doug’s Forum
-printed by Shawnee Sentinel Friday, February 25,
2005 – Austin Leedom